Cookie Consent by Skip to main content

Barring the apple cart being upset and dismantled in the final round of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, South Africa will again have three teams in the quarter-finals after the Vodacom Bulls booked their place in the top eight alongside the DHL Stormers, while the Cell C Sharks did enough to ensure that they are in pole position to remain in playoff contention.

Unfortunately, the Emirates Lions’ hopes of sneaking into the quarter-finals were dashed late in their match on Saturday, when Leinster fought back to win in a heart-breaking result for the men from Johannesburg in

The Cell C Sharks beat Benetton – the only team that can still pip them to a spot in the top-eight – in the first match of the penultimate pool round by 43-33 in Durban on Friday, and the Vodacom Bulls added to the excitement as they outclassed Zebre Parma 78-12 in Johannesburg on Saturday.

But the momentum swung against the South African sides as the Emirates Lions suffered a last-minute 39-36 defeat against Leinster in Johannesburg, while the DHL Stormers managed to score a late try to secure two bonus points as they went down 26-24 against Munster in Cape Town.

These results saw the defending champions, the DHL Stormers, drop to third place on the log – one point behind the second placed Ulster – which means although they hold onto their home quarter-final, they will only know after their final pool match next week if they are still in line for a possible home semi-final.

The victories for the Vodacom Bulls and Cell C Sharks also ensured that they remained in the top eight, with the Pretoria side in seventh place with 48 points, while the KwaZulu-Natalians are one spot down in eighth place with 46 points – five above the ninth-placed Benetton and with a points difference advantage of 83 points.

Benetton, who need a big win to possibly force their way into the top-eight, travel to Stellenbosch to face the DHL Stormers on Friday, followed by another Gauteng double-header on Saturday afternoon when the Emirates Lions take on Zebre Parma and the Vodacom Bulls host Leinster at Loftus Versfeld. The last local match is in Durban, where the Cell C Sharks will know exactly what they need to do against Munster to book their place in the quarter-finals.

Cell C Sharks win Vodacom URC try-fest in Durban

The Cell C Sharks won a high-scoring Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash by 43-33 (half-time 14-14) over Benetton in Durban on Friday night, with a total of 11 tries scored during an entertaining encounter at Hollywoodbets Kings Park.

Possession, territorial stakes and defensive statistics were very even, and in the end, the extra try scored by the hosts sealed the deal, but it was not a walk in the park.

Playing against a strong wind, Benetton shocked the home supporters with two tries in the first seven minutes to take a 14-0 lead, but the Cell C Sharks slowly found their feet with their pack taking control, they managed to take the lead early in the second half and stay in front as the tries kept coming, with Grant Williams and Makazole Mapimpi scoring two tries apiece.


Cell C Sharks 43 (14) – Tries: Vincent Tshituka, Grant Williams (2), Siya Kolisi, Makazole Mapimpi (2). Conversions: Curwin Bosch (5). Penalty goal: Bosch.

Benetton 33 (14) – Tries: Sebastian Negri da Ollegio, Nacho Brex, Joaquin Riera, Edoardo Padovani, Tomas Albornoz. Conversions: Albornoz (4).

Vodacom Bulls run riot against Zebre in Johannesburg

Springbok speedster Canan Moodie scored a hat-trick as the Vodacom Bulls claimed an important 78-12 bonus-point win (half-time 36-5) against Zebre Parma in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship in Johannesburg on Saturday, out-scoring the visitors 11 tries to two.

The Vodacom Bulls took advantage of the altitude to record the most points as well as the biggest win of the 2022/23 Vodacom URC season.

The hosts enjoyed the perfect start and lifted the tempo after half-time, with the forwards as well as backs showing plenty of intent to keep the ball alive. 

Having secured five log points from the fixture, the Vodacom Bulls boosted their playoff hopes, and strengthened their bid for a place in next season’s Heineken Champions Cup. They have also ended their a four-match losing streak in the Vodacom URC.


Vodacom Bulls 78 (36) – Tries: Canan Moodie (3), Embrose Papier (2), Ruan Vermaak (2), Gerhard Steenekamp, Marco van Staden, Bismarck du Plessis, Chris Smith. Conversions: Johan Goosen (10). Penalty goal: Goosen.

Zebre Parma 12 (5) – Tries: Richard Kriel, Chris Cook. Conversion: Tiff Eden.

Leinster find pot of gold in Johannesburg

Leinster scored 25 second-half points – mostly with 13 players on the field – to beat a brave, but ultimately outclassed Emirates Lions team by 39-36 at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Saturday, with the winning points scored in the 79th minute of a pulsating Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash.

A late penalty goal secured a win for the Irish province in a result that looked unlikely at the break, with the home side leading 26-14 after an explosion of brilliance which saw them score four tries and a earn their bonus point in the opening half.

The great tries by the home side in the opening 40 minutes rocked the Irish giants, who then saw two players yellow-carded in the opening part of the second half. This, however, may have bolstered Leinster on the way to a famous win, which came compliments of a last-minute penalty goal.


Emirates Lions 36 (26) – Tries: Gianni Lombard, Marius Louw, Edwill van der Merwe, Francke Horn, Penalty Try. Conversions: Sanele Nohamba (3). Penalty Goal: Nohamba.

Leinster 39 (14) – Tries: Vakhtang Abdaladze, Liam Turner, Michael Milne, Rob Russell, Chris Cosgrave. Conversions: Sam Prendergast (4). Penalty goals: Prendergast (2).

DHL Stormers stumble in crucial clash against Munster

The DHL Stormers dropped to third place on the Vodacom United Rugby Championship log on Saturday after suffering a disappointing 26-24 defeat in a thrilling match against Munster in the penultimate pool round at the DHL Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday.

The defeat for the DHL Stormers dealt a blow to their hopes of earning a possible home semi-final in a few weeks, as Ulster’s bonus-point victory on Friday against the Dragons saw them leap-frog the Cape side on the standings into second place by one point – although they will be pleased that they fought until the death to secure two bonus points from the match.

In a match that delivered high intensity as both teams put everything they had into the contest, the result was also the DHL Stormers’ first home defeat in 20 matches in the Vodacom URC.


DHL Stormers 24 (12) – Tries: Frans Malherbe, Ruhan Nel (2), Steven Kitshoff. Conversions: Manie Libbok (2).

Munster 26 (12) – Tries: Diarmuid Barron (2), Shane Daly, Gavin Coombe. Conversions: Jack Crowley, Ben Healy (2)

Leave a Reply