Vodacom #URC: Sharks and Bulls step up in Wales

The Cell C Sharks and Vodacom Bulls finally showed of what they are capable after a few weeks of frustration to secure their first Vodacom United Rugby Championship victories, while the DHL Stormers secured a draw, and the Emirates Lions were close to grabbing their second win of the season.

While the Lions were perhaps a bit unlucky to lose to Glasgow, and the Stormers could have beaten Edinburgh, the Sharks and Bulls put in brilliant performances in Wales.

On Friday night in Swansea, the Cell C Sharks – with Boeta Chamberlain in control – raced away after the break in their match against the Ospreys to record a 27-13 win, and 24 hours later, approximately 70km to the south-east in Cardiff, the Vodacom Bulls “won” the second half 26-3 on their way to a 29-19 victory.

Only 13 second-half points were conceded between the four South African teams – none by the Stormers, three apiece by the Bulls and Lions, and seven by the Sharks.

The four South African teams finish their mini-tours next weekend – on Friday night, the Emirates Lions take on Ulster in Belfast and the DHL Stormers face the Dragons in Newport; and on Saturday, the Vodacom Bulls play Edinburgh, before the Cell C Sharks take on Cardiff.

Click on the headings for full match reports.

Chamberlain steers Cell C Sharks to debut win

Boeta Chamberlain snapped over three drop goals to put the icing on an impressive Cell C Sharks cake as they notched up a deserved first win in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, beating the Swansea-based Ospreys 27-13 (halftime 6-6).

Chamberlain’s unerring eye for the poles added to slick tries for centre Jeremy Ward and wing Marnus Potgieter and steered the KwaZulu-Natalians to a great win in the third round of the competition.

It was a richly deserved victory as the Cell C Sharks dominated territory and possession and continued the improvement they had shown in the second half in Glasgow last week. The competition will know that when they have their Boks back, they will be even more of a force to be reckoned with.

Scorers: 

Ospreys 13 (6) – Try: Gareth Thomas. Conversion: Stephen Myler. Penalty goals: Gareth Anscombe (2).

Cell C Sharks 27 (6) – Tries: Jeremy Ward, Marnus Potgieter. Conversion: Ruan Pienaar. Penalty goals: Pienaar (2). Drop goals: Boeta Chamberlain (3).

Emirates Lions push Warriors all the way in Glasgow

The Emirates Lions claimed a losing bonus point for an impressive defensive and scrumming performance in a 13-9 Vodacom United Rugby Championship defeat by the Glasgow Warriors on a rainy afternoon in the Scottish city.

The visitors might have taken more from the game after keeping the home team scoreless for an hour from the moment they had opened up a 10-3 lead in the 15th minute.

The Lions’ dominant scrum and maul asked questions that the Warriors toiled to answer, while their vastly improved defensive aggression snuffed out a team that prides itself on its attacking panache.

Scorers: 

Glasgow Warriors 13 (10) – Try: Jamie Bhatti. Conversion: Ross Thompson. Penalty goals: Thompson (2).

Emirates Lions 9 (6) – Penalty goals: EW Viljoen (3).

DHL Stormers end losing Vodacom URC run

The DHL Stormers overcame the shock of conceding 14 points in the first five minutes to claim a highly creditable 20-20 (halftime 20-20) draw with Edinburgh, ending their opening run of two defeats in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.

The Capetonians scored two first half tries of their own – through fullback Warrick Gelant and scrumhalf Paul de Wet – to level by half-time as a prelude to a second half stalemate, in which neither team could fashion any kind of score.

In fact, the match scoring ended at the 39th minute when DHL Stormers flyhalf Tim Swiel levelled the scores for the second time. The second half was in sharp contrast – neither side came close to scoring a try – and both flyhalves missed a single penalty chance.

Scorers: 

Edinburgh 20 (20) – Tries: Darcy Graham, Ben Vellacott. Conversions: Jaco van der Walt (2). Penalty goals: Van der Walt (2).

DHL Stormers 20 (20) – Tries: Warrick Gelant, Paul de Wet. Conversions: Tim Swiel (2). Penalty goals: Swiel (2).

Second-half surge sees Bulls break Vodacom URC duck

A barnstorming second-half performance by the Vodacom Bulls saw them clinch their maiden Vodacom United Rugby Championship victory, 29-19 (halftime 3-16) over Cardiff in the Welsh capital on Saturday night.

After five halves of lacklustre rugby in Europe, the Carling Currie Cup champions finally showed of what they are capable by totally dismantling the Welsh club after the break of their match at Cardiff Arms Park.

Whatever was said in the changerooms at the break clearly had an effect as Marcell Coetzee brilliantly led his troops in one of the best second half comebacks of the season. Their defence was superb, as the Bulls completed 95% of their tackles, while they looked a lot more dynamic and energetic with ball in hand.

Scorers: 

Cardiff 19 (16) – Try: Matthew Screech. Conversion: Rhys Priestland. Penalty goals: Priestland (4).

Vodacom Bulls 29 (3) – Tries: Elrigh Louw, Madosh Tambwe. Conversions: Chris Smith (2). Penalty goals: Smith (5).

Issued by SA Rugby Communications