Mixed fortunes on tour in the Vodacom URC

Oct 23 • General News, International, National, South Africa, South Africa, United Rugby Championship • 1286 Views • Comments Off on Mixed fortunes on tour in the Vodacom URC

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There were mixed fortunes for the Vodacom Bulls and DHL Stormers, the only two South African franchises to take the field in round sixth of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship this weekend, after the Cell C Sharks and Emirates Lions’ home games were called off.

The Pretoria side registered a big 44-22 victory in their final tour match against Benetton, while the Capetonians went down 30-24 against Cardiff in their first defeat of the season.

A strong second half showing by the Vodacom Bulls saw them overturn a 9-3 deficit into an emphatic 44-22 victory against Benetton in Treviso, which allowed them to leapfrog into third position on the log behind Leinster and Ulster, while the DHL Stormers were pipped 30-24 by Cardiff at after the teams were tried at 14-14 at the break at Cardiff Arms Park.

The matches between the Emirates Lions and Glasgow Warriors, and Cell C Sharks and Ulster in Johannesburg and Durban respectively were called off this weekend due to gastroenteritis infections in the visiting camps.

Strong second half steers Vodacom Bulls to big win in Treviso

The Vodacom Bulls bounced back in style from two consecutive defeats against Benetton in Treviso in their round six Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash on Friday night, out-scoring their Italian hosts by five tries to one for a bonus-point 44-22 victory.

The first half was a tight tussle with both teams’ only points coming from penalty goals, with Benetton flyhalf Tomas Albornoz slotting three to one by his Vodacom Bulls’ counterpart Chris Smith, for a 9-3 lead.

Both teams found their rhythm after the break and attacked at will, resulting in a humdinger of a half. The Vodacom Bulls broke out of the blocks quickly and finished the match with a bang, scoring five tries to one by the hosts, which saw them seal the well-deserved victory.

Scorers:

Benetton 22 (9) – Try: Manuel Zuliani. Conversion: Tomas Albornoz. Penalty goals: Albornoz (5).

Vodacom Bulls 44 (3) – Tries: Ruan Nortje, Elrigh Louw, Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Marcell Coetzee, Stravino Jacobs. Conversions: Chris Smith (2), Morne Steyn (3). Penalty goals: Smith (3).

Gritty Cardiff end DHL Stormers’ unbeaten run

Cardiff handed the DHL Stormers their first defeat of the 2022/23 Vodacom United Rugby Championship campaign with a well-deserved 30-24 victory on a wet night at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday.

The scores were tied 14-14 at halftime, but the Welsh side edged ahead in the second stanza, mainly as a result of the visitors’ mistakes. The defeat also meant the end of the DHL Stormers’ unbeaten run of 15 games.

Although they managed to score four tries, three via powerful lineout mauls, the Cape side made far too many unforced errors which allowed Cardiff to keep the scoreboard ticking over through the boot of flyhalf Rhys Priestland.

The experienced Welsh pivot controlled the game beautifully as he engineered two tries with precision cross-field kicks, while he also landed six penalty goals and a conversion.

Scorers:

Cardiff 30 (14) – Tries: Theo Cabango, Jason Harries. Conversion: Rhys Priestland. Penalty goals: Priestland (6).

DHL Stormers 24 (14) – Tries: Nama Xaba (2), Leolin Zas, Junior Pokomela. Conversions: Manie Libbok (2).

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