The Emirates Lions refused to give up in their local derby against the Capetonians and left the field with their heads held high and two bonus points, while the Hollywoodbets Sharks had a tough afternoon against the defending champions, Munster, in Limerick in Ireland.

Elsewhere, Ulster edged Zebre Parma in Italy, Connacht beat Ospreys in Galway, Edinburgh won on the road against Dragons, Benetton beat Cardiff Rugby in Wales and Leinster came up short in Glasgow.


Emirates Lions fightback too late against DHL Stormers

The DHL Stormers started very well and were firmly in control at the break of their Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg, but the Emirates Lions refused to lie down and gave the Capetonians a proper scare as they went down 35-33 on Saturday.

The hosts – who outscored their opponents by five tries to four – were out of the blocks first, but the DHL Stormers took control to lead by 32-7 early in the second half.

The Emirates Lions then found another gear and crossed for four tries to set up a tense finish, but the DHL Stormers – Vodacom URC champions in the inaugural season in 2022 – hung on for the victory.

Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu delivered an impressive performance at inside centre and scored two tries, as well as two penalty goals for a personal contribution of 16 points.


Emirates Lions 33 (7) – Tries: PJ Botha, Henco van Wyk, Ruan Venter, Morne van den Berg, Francke Horn. Conversions: Jordan Hendrikse (2), Sanele Nohamba (2).

DHL Stormers 35 (27) – Tries: Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (2), Joseph Dweba, Herschel Jantjies. Conversions: Clayton Blommetjies (3). Penalty goals: Feinberg-Mngomezulu (2), Blommetjies.


Munster too good for Hollywoodbets Sharks in Limerick

Irish province Munster started the defence of their Vodacom United Rugby Championship title with a bonus-point 34-21 victory over the Hollywoodbets Sharks in Limerick on Saturday.

Munster, who led by 21-7 at the break were in control for most of the match, but a yellow card to the visitors’ scrumhalf Cameron Wright with 15 minutes to go gave the hosts the opportunity to pull away on the scoreboard and seal the deal.

At that stage, the score was 24-14, but they scored a try with Wright in the sin bin and followed that up with another five-pointer to clinch the win, before Aphelele Fassi pulled one back for the Hollywoodbets Sharks with time up on the clock at Thomond Park.


Munster 34 (21) – Tries: Edwin Edogbo, Diarmuid Barron, Antoine Frisch, Andrew Conway, Ethan Coughlan. Conversions: Joey Carbery (3). Penalty goal: Carbery.

Hollywoodbets Sharks 21 (7) – Tries: Werner Kok, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Aphelele Fassi. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (3).


Vodacom Bulls rampant against Scarlets in Pretoria

The Vodacom Bulls made the most of their home ground advantage on a hot day in Pretoria to beat the Scarlets by 63-21 in their Vodacom United Rugby Championship opener at Loftus Versfeld on Sunday afternoon.

The Vodacom Bulls were ruthless on attack and scored nine tries, with former Junior Springbok No 8 Cameron Hanekom grabbing a brace in his Vodacom URC debut, while Stedman Gans also crossed the Welsh club’s tryline twice.

The home team showed their intent from the start and had their four-try bonus-point in the bag after 24 minutes. Johan Goosen was on song from the tee, converting all nine tries for a personal contribution of 18 points.

Welsh international Taine Plumtree, whose father John Plumtree is head coach of the Hollywoodbets Sharks, scored twice for the visitors.


Vodacom Bulls 63 (28) – Tries: Ruan Nortje, Cameron Hanekom (2), Johan Grobbelaar, David Kriel, Stedman Gans (2), Akker van der Merwe, Wandisile Simelane. Conversions: Johan Goosen (9).

Scarlets 21 (14) – Tries: Johnny McNicholl, Taine Plumtree (2). Conversions: Ioan Lloyd (3).

Other results:
Zebre Parma 36 Ulster 40
Connacht 34 Ospreys 26
Dragons 17 Edinburgh 22
Cardiff Rugby 22 Benetton 23
Glasgow Warriors 43 Leinster 25