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Lyon and Vodacom Bulls have been drawn together for the second season in a row in the EPCR Champions Cup as the French and South African sides aim to improve on their 2022/23 performances in the competition.

Vodacom Bulls finished seventh in Pool A before exiting the competition at the Round of 16 stage to eventual semi-finalists Stade Toulousain – losing out 33-9. Lyon, meanwhile, finished ninth in Pool A, entering the Round of 16 in the EPCR Challenge Cup. They’d reach the quarter-finals before exiting at the hands of champions RC Toulon 48-23.

We review their two Pool A meetings from a year ago ahead of their 2023/24 meeting in Round Two on Saturday, December 16.

2022/23 Pool stage: Vodacom Bulls 42 Lyon 36

The pair met in Vodacom Bulls’ maiden EPCR fixture in a 78-point thriller in Pretoria. The hosts got off to a quick start with tries from Sibongile Novuka, Bernard van der Linde (2) and Nizaam Carr in a breathtaking opening 23 minutes.

Stravino Jacobs and Chris Smith contributed second half tries in addition to 12 points from the boot of Morné Steyn, who tallied six conversions.

Lyon played their part with five tries of their own. Arnoldus Botha crossed the whitewash in each half with single scores for Liam Coltman, Ethan Dumortier and Kyle Godwin. Leo Berdeu added a penalty and four conversions to notch 11 points.

2022/23 Pool stage: Lyon 31 Vodacom Bulls 7

The second meeting of the sides, in Round Four at Stade de Garland, was a more one-sided affair as Lyon took the spoils in a 31-7 victory.

Guillaume Marchand notched a brace in the opening period as the French side ran in four tries – Jean-Marc Doussain and Leo Berdeu also dotting down in the contest. Berdeu was also productive from the tee kicking 11 points.

Vodacom Bulls replied with a single second half try – Kurt-Lee Arendse crossing in the second period. Johannes Goosen added the extras.

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