The DHL Stormers were the only South African side to come away with a victory in the second round of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship this weekend, as the Emirates Lions, Hollywoodbets Sharks and Vodacom Bulls all came up short in the Northern Hemisphere.
The Capetonians, playing on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Stellenbosch, scored eight tries in a big victory over the Scarlets, before Edinburgh held out the Emirates Lions, and Leinster showed their class against the Hollywoodbets Sharks.
On Sunday evening, Ulster made the most of some ill-discipline by the Vodacom Bulls to win a tense match on a rainy night in Belfast.
Earlier on Sunday, defending Vodacom URC champions Munster needed a late converted try to secure a draw against Benetton in Treviso, with Ospreys, Connacht and Cardiff winning their games.
DHL Stormers run riot in Stellenbosch
Marcel Theunissen and Paul de Wet scored braces of tries each as the DHL Stormers recorded their second successive bonus-point victory in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, courtesy of a 52-7 victory over Scarlets in Stellenbosch on Saturday.
Clayton Blommetjies, Ben Loader, Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu and Courtnall Skosan also went in for tries for the inaugural Vodacom URC champions, who dominated large parts of the game and were rewarded for their positive play.
They bagged their fourth try for the bonus-point shortly before the break and managed to keep their Welsh visitors scoreless in the second half as the DHL Stormers also defended quite well.
The only downside to the DHL Stormers’ afternoon was when their influential outside centre Ruhan Nel had to leave the field on the buggy after taking a hard knock in the 20th minute.
DHL Stormers 52 (31) – Tries: Marcel Theunissen (2), Paul de Wet (2), Clayton Blommetjies, Ben Loader, Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, Courtnall Skosan. Conversions: Blommetjies (2), Feinberg-Mngomezulu (4).
Scarlets 7 (7) – Try: Kieran Hardy. Conversion: Ioan Lloyd.
Edinburgh sneak home against Emirates Lions
Edinburgh were made to work hard to keep the Emirates Lions at bay, winning their Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash in the Scottish capital by 17-16 on Saturday.
Either side could have won, and the visitors from Johannesburg actually led for a spell midway through the second half, but a vital score on his debut by Ewan Ashman helped Edinburgh to snatch the win.
Edinburgh scored two tries to one, but Jordan Hendrikse managed to keep the Emirates Lions in the hunt with his trusted boot.
Apart from some ill-discipline by the Emirates Lions, they were also unlucky when Ruan Venter went over from a maul, but the try was disallowed for obstruction.
Edinburgh 17 (7) – Tries: Luke Crosbie, Ewan Ashman. Conversions: Ben Healy (2). Penalty goal: Healy.
Emirates Lions 16 (6) – Try: Francke Horn. Conversion: Jordan Hendrikse. Penalty goals: Hendrikse (3).
Leinster outclass Hollywoodbets Sharks in Dublin
The Hollywoodbets Sharks were at the receiving end of a Leinster retaliation when the Irish giants won their Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash by 34-13 in Dublin on Saturday, a week after they were beaten in Glasgow.
Leinster, who controlled the majority of possession and enjoyed territorial advantage, scored five tries to the Durbanites one at a wet RDS Arena, where the hosts led by 12-6 at the break, with two early penalty goals from Curwin Bosch the Hollywoodbets Sharks’ only points.
It took the KwaZulu-Natalians 79 minutes for their only try, by replacement hooker Dylan Richardson, but to rub salt in their wounds, Leinster scored their final five-pointer a minute later.
The South Africans were also left to rue conceding too many penalties – 12 to the seven conceded by Leinster – while they lost flanker Vincent Tshituka to an arm/shoulder injury.
Leinster 34 (12) – Tries: Tommy O’Brien, Max Deegan, Rob Russell (2), Jordan Larmour. Conversions: Harry Byrne (2), Sam Prendergast. Penalty goal: Byrne.
Hollywoodbets Sharks 13 (6) – Try: Dylan Richardson. Conversion: Boeta Chamberlain. Penalty goals: Curwin Bosch (2).
Ulster edge Vodacom Bulls in Belfast thriller
The Vodacom Bulls outscored Ulster by three tries to two, but ended up on the losing side in a tense Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash in a wet Belfast, where the Irish province won 23-19 on Sunday night.
The visitors from Pretoria gained a losing bonus point but were denied a fourth try to potentially draw the match when Ulster foiled a strong driving maul on their tryline.
Ulster scored their two tries in the first half hour, but the Vodacom Bulls hit back with two of their own late in the first half, with the hosts leading by 14-12 at the break.
Nathan Doak then made the Vodacom Bulls pay with four second half penalty goals, while the visitors got a fourth try with 12 minutes to go to set up an exciting finish. It was not to be though as Ulster hung on for a famous win.
Ulster 26 (14) – Tries: Tom Stewart, Jacob Stockdale. Conversions: Nathan Doak (2). Penalty goals: Doak (4).
Vodacom Bulls 19 (12) – Tries: Gerhard Steenekamp, Sebastian de Klerk, Elrigh Louw. Conversions: Johan Goosen (2).
Ospreys 34 Zebre Parma 31
Connacht 34 Glasgow Warriors 26
Benetton 13 Munster 13
Dragons 9 Cardiff 16