There was disappointment all around for the other three teams, with the Hollywoodbets Sharks suffering a 21-10 defeat against the Glasgow Warriors in Scotland; a red card in the third quarter for the Vodacom Bulls came at a high cost as they went down 27-22 against Munster in Pretoria; and the DHL Stormers suffered a 27-21 defeat against Ospreys in Cape Town.

The result was that the Vodacom Bulls dropped from third to fourth place on the standings with 46 points (nine behind Leinster, who managed to cling onto the top spot by one point), while the DHL Stormers fell from fifth to sixth place on 40 points.

The win for the Emirates Lions kept them within range of a possible quarter-final finish, still in 11th position with 39 points, while the Hollywoodbets Sharks managed to hold onto 13th place with 18 points.

With only four rounds of league matches left to qualify for quarter-finals, the Vodacom URC is heading to a thrilling finish to the pool stages.


Glasgow Warriors too good for Hollywoodbets Sharks

The Glasgow Warriors moved to within one point of the top spot on the Vodacom URC table as they registered a rewarding 21-10 victory against the Hollywoodbets Sharks at the Scotstoun Stadium, beating a determined, yet young Durban side.

The hosts threatened on attack from the outset and were shut out on a few occasions by the Hollywoodbets Sharks’ solid defence, but their consistent waves of attack paid off with three first-half tries, while they limited the KwaZulu-Natalians to only one five-pointer by Dan Jooste in the 38th minute while they were down to 14 men to take an encouraging 21-5 halftime lead.

Mistakes at crucial times, however, cost the visitors dearly, as they showed good enterprise on attack at times throughout the game.

The Hollywoodbets Sharks second their second try by Springbok prop Ntuthukho Mchunu in the third quarter and they tried desperately to fight back in the second half, which was backed up by a superb defensive effort to deny the home side from adding to their score. However, in the end mistakes and penalties conceded, combined with a much more settled Glasgow team, saw the hosts walk away with the win.


Glasgow Warriors 21 (21) – Tries: George Horn, Max Williamson, Kyle Steyn. Conversions: George Horn (3).

Hollywoodbets Sharks 10 (5) – Tries: Dan Jooste, Ntuthuko Mchunu.


Emirates Lions outplay Leinster in Johannesburg

The Emirates Lions were a force to be reckoned with against Vodacom URC log-leaders Leinster at Emirates Airline Park, surprising the visitors with a bonus-point 44-12 victory as they outscored the Dublin outfit six tries to two.

The Johannesburgers got off to a firing start, scoring three tries in the opening 14 minutes compliments of Morne van den Berg, Marius Louw, and Quan Horn, to add to a penalty goal by Sanele Nohamba for an encouraging 22-0 lead, and they backed this up with a tenacious defensive effort to deny the visitors from scoring a single point in the half.

Leinster tried hard to make their presence felt on attack and got close to the tryline on a few occasions, but mistakes at crucial times – often forced by the hosts’ defence – and a stretch just short of the chalk on the stroke of halftime whistle saw them enter the break scoreless.

The second half was much tighter as Leinster fought back with intent and this saw them score two tries by Ciaran Frawley, while another attempt was denied due to a forward pass.

They battled to contain the Emirates Lions on attack, with the home team adding another three tries – two by man of the match Emmanual Tshituka and one by Franke Horn in the last minute – to add to another penalty goal by Nohamba for the memorable victory.


Emirates Lions 44 (22) - Tries: Morne van den Berg, Marius Louw, Quan Horn, Emmanuel Tshituka (2), Francke Horn. Conversions: Sanele Nohamba (2), Jordan Hendrikse (2). Penalty goals: Nohamba (2).

Leinster 12 (0) - Tries: Ciaran Frawley (2). Conversion: Harry Byrne.


Red card costs Vodacom Bulls against Munster

A red card in the 54th minute cost the Vodacom Bulls dearly as they went down 27-22 against defending Vodacom URC champions Munster at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The Pretoria outfit held a 22-17 lead before Johan Goosen received a red card for a dangerous tackle, and this paved the way for the Irishmen to score two tries to add to their two in the first half – in which they held a 17-10 lead – which set them up for the vital bonus-point victory.

The first half was a tight affair as both teams tried hard to make their presence felt on attack and this was matched with a determined defensive effort by both sides, but Munster gained an edge as they outscored the hosts two tries to one, with Vodacom Bulls captain Elrigh Louw touching down. The teams also kicked a penalty goal apiece, which saw the visitors enter the break with a seven-point lead.

The Vodacom Bulls bounced back strongly in the second half with Kurt-Lee Arendse and Johan Grobbelaar adding their names to the scoresheet, and this nudged them into the lead. But this was short-lived as Goosen received his marching orders for a head-on-head tackle in the build-up to what would have been a try by Canan Moodie.

Munster took full advantage of the extra man scoring tries in the 58th and 74th minute, and while the Vodacom Bulls fought hard until the end, it was not enough for them to overcome being a man short, forcing them to settle for the heart-breaking defeat.


Vodacom Bulls 22 (10) – Tries: Elrigh Louw, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Johan Grobbelaar. Conversions: Johan Goosen (2). Penalty goal: Goosen.

Munster 27 (17) – Tries: Shane Daly, RG Snyman, Josh Hodnett, Conor Murray. Conversions: Jack Crowley (2). Penalty goal: Crowley.


Mistakes see DHL Stormers go down to Ospreys

The DHL Stormers delivered one of their most disappointing Vodacom URC performances as one mistake after the other saw them suffer their first home defeat in the competition this season as they went down 27-21 against Ospreys at the DHL Stadium on Saturday.

The DHL Stormers were their own worst enemies in the first half as they failed to capitalise on at least four try-scoring chances, while Ospreys made good use of their chances, resulting in them touching down three tries to only one try by the Capetonians’ Dan du Plessis. This saw the visitors take a morale-boosting 17-5 lead at the break.

The hosts again tries hard to apply pressure on attack on the Welsh outfit in the second half and started the stanza strongly with a bursting try by Evan Roos four minutes after play resumed, but their attacking woes continued to haunt them as they conceded turnovers at vital times throughout the half.

On a positive note, they managed to secure a losing bonus point after being awarded a penalty try on the stroke of fulltime after a deliberate knock-down by the visitors as they had an overlap on the wing.

Ospreys ensured that they made their presence felt on attack in the half with their phase play, and while it only paid off with one second-half try and a late penalty goal, it was enough to secure them the bonus point for four tries and hand them an invaluable victory.


DHL Stormers 21 (5) - Tries: Dan du Plessis, Evan Roos, Penalty try. Conversions: Manie Libbok (2).

Ospreys 27 (17) - Tries: Luke Morgan (2), Sam Parry, Harry Deans. Conversions: Jack Walsh (2). Penalty goal: Walsh.