The Vodacom Bulls were unsuccessful in their attempt to get their Vodacom United Rugby Championship campaign off to a winning start.
On Saturday, the Vodacom Bulls fell 31-3 to a strong Leinster Rugby outfit at Aviva Stadium, in the Irish capital of Dublin.
It was a rare occasion for the South African side, who played for the first time, in a while, in front of a crowd as close to 40 000 spectators filled the iconic Irish stadium.
The four-in-a-row title winners, Leinster, showed their pedigree with a confident performance throughout the 80 minutes of play, despite some spirited attempts by the Vodacom Bulls during the season-opening clash.
The home side managed to score four converted tries and a penalty, while the visitors managed only a penalty through flyhalf, Johan Goosen. The score was 17-3 at the half-time break.
After the game, Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White, said: “As a coach, you never want to be on the receiving end of a defeat, but one has to be a bit realistic of where we are, where we’ve come from, and where Leinster are currently.
“We did look really good at times. You must remember that we are talking about an international side, so you’re not going to get space and opportunities [at will].
“They are a good side. They are the benchmark. The team that beats them will win the championship. If you don’t beat them, they will win it. It’s that simple.”
The Vodacom Bulls will next face another Irish side, Connacht Rugby on Friday. Kickoff will be at 20h35.
TRIES: Josh van der Flier, Andrew Porter, James Tracy, Ross Byrne
CONVERSIONS: Johnny Sexton (3), Ross Byrne
PENALTY: Johan Goosen