Adding to the atmosphere at the matches, the DHL Stormers and Hollywoodbets Sharks celebrated their roots sporting their school socks in the first of two Origin Rounds where the players’ rugby heritages were celebrated, while the Emirates Lions and Vodacom Bulls supported CANSA care and support programmes for those affected by cancer through the popular Shavathon initiative.

Both matches were played on Saturday, with the Vodacom Bulls breaking away in the second stanza following a tight first half against the Emirates Lions in Johannesburg for a bonus-point 25-10 victory, while the DHL Stormers held off a late comeback by the determined Hollywoodbets Sharks for a nail-biting 25-21 victory in Durban.

Following all the matches in the round, Leinster cemented their position at the top of the standings on 39 points, while the Vodacom Bulls (third on 35) and DHL Stormers (sixth on 30) are in the top-eight. The Emirates Lions are in 11th spot (24 points) and the Hollywoodbets Sharks still occupy last place (10 points) despite coming away with a losing bonus point on Saturday.

In the South African Shield, the DHL Stormers lead the charge on 17 points from their four derby matches, but they are closely followed by the Vodacom Bulls on 15 points.


Strong second half earns Vodacom Bulls bonus point win

A strong second half set up the Vodacom Bulls for a valuable 25-10 Vodacom URC victory against the Emirates Lions at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday, marking their second win in a row against their Gauteng rivals in the Jukskei derby.

The Pretoria outfit entered the break with a narrow 5-3 lead after scoring one try to a penalty goal by the hosts, but they broke away in the second half scoring three tries to only one by the Johannesburgers to snatch the bonus point, which could prove to be vital in the second half of the competition.

The first half was competitive as both teams tried to make their presence felt on attack and backed it up with solid defence, and this saw Springbok speedster Canan Moodie score the only points for the visitors, while the hosts responded with a second-minute penalty goal by Sanele Nohamba.

The Vodacom Bulls dominated the second half and made the most of their try-scoring chances, which saw Akker van der Merwe, Marcell Coetzee and David Kriel cross the tryline – the last of which was minutes before the final whistle – to add to a penalty goal by Johan Goosen.

Johan Grobbelaar tries to bring down Sanele Nohamba.

Johan Grobbelaar tries to bring down Sanele Nohamba.

The Emirates Lions, in turn, only scored one try as Quan Horn pounced on a loose ball from a Vodacom Bulls mistake over the try line to take their score to 10 points.

They had another opportunity to score in the dying seconds after Moodie received a yellow card for foul play, but the ball was held up over the chalk, which saw the Vodacom Bulls walk away with the encouraging 25-10 win.


Emirates Lions 10 (3) – Try: Quan Horn. Conversion: Sanele Nohamba. Penalty goal: Nohamba.

Vodacom Bulls 25 (5) – Tries: Canan Moodie, Akker van der Merwe, Marcell Coetzee, David Kriel. Conversion: Johan Goosen. Penalty goal: Goosen.


DHL Stormers hold out in Coastal derby humdinger

The DHL Stormers survived a strong fightback by the Hollywoodbets Sharks in a humdinger of a Coastal derby in Durban on Saturday for an encouraging 25-21 victory after leading 15-7 at the break of their Vodacom URC clash.

Both teams scored three tries, but two vital penalty goals by the DHL Stormers' Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu handed them the edge on the scoreboard in the end.

The Capetonians dominated the opening quarter applying pressure at will on attack and forcing the KwaZulu-Natalians, and this paid off with two tries within six minutes by Joseph Dweba and Paul de Wet for a 12-0 lead in the 23rd minute.

The Hollywoodbets Sharks fought back with intent and missed out on a possible opportunity in the 27th minute, but they made sure to use the next, with Springbok Ox Nche scoring from a pick-and-go with a smart dive over the ruck.

No room to move for Francois Venter with Hacjivah Dayimani and Evan Roos on defence.

No room to move for Francois Venter with Hacjivah Dayimani and Evan Roos on defence.

The Capetonians responded with a penalty goal to take their score to 15 points, and despite the hosts threatening again on the edge of halftime, they entered the sheds 15-7 down.

The DHL Stormers struck first in the second half with their third try by Ben Loader, but the Hollywoodbets Sharks fought back hard and threatened on several occasions, and this paid off with tries by James Venter and Springbok Bongi Mbonambi, while they limited the visitors to only one more penalty goal for their efforts – although they were a man down for 10 minutes after Leolin Zas received a yellow card.

This, however, was enough to snatch the valuable 25-21 away win for the Cape side.


Hollywoodbets Sharks 10 (7) – Tries: Ox Nche, James Venter, Bongi Mbonambi. Conversions: Curwin Bosch, Siya Masuku (2).

DHL Stormers 25 (15) – Tries: Joseph Dweba, Paul de Wet, Ben Loader. Conversions: Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (2). Penalty goals: Feinberg-Mngomezulu (2).

Other matches:
Scarlets 7-42 Munster
Zebre Parma 19-24 Edinburgh
Leinster 47-18 Benetton
Cardiff 12-16 Connacht
Glasgow Warriors 40-7 Dragons
Ospreys 19-17 Ulster