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Sep 03, 2021, 08:29

Odd name considering...

From Sport 24:

"Sharks, Bulls face Irish powerhouses on opening United Rugby Championship weekend

Sharks, Bulls face Irish powerhouses on opening United Rugby Championship weekend

The Sharks and the Bulls face a tough open round in the upcoming United Rugby Championship as they were drawn to face Munster and Leinster respectively in fixtures announced on Friday. 

The tournament gets underway on Friday, 24 September with Italian outfit Zebre at home to the Lions (18:35 SA time).

The Stormers, the fourth South African team in the tournament will face another Italian team in Benetton on Saturday, 25 September with kick-off at 14:00.

It's the Sharks and the Bulls, however that will be the most watched games on the opening weekend from a South African point of view. 

The Sharks are away to Munster with kick-off at 20:35 on Saturday, 25 September while the Leinster/Bulls clash is earlier at 18:15.

The United Rugby Championship will include 144 regular season fixtures and take place over 18 rounds. 

Every game of the tournament will be live on SuperSport. 

In other fixtures on the opening weekend, Edinburgh will host Scarlets in their new stadium in the Scottish capital, the first Welsh derby of the season takes place between Dragons and Ospreys, Cardiff Rugby entertain Connacht while a battle of former champions will take place between Ulster and Glasgow Warriors.

Martin Anayi, United Rugby Championship CEO, said: “We believe these fixtures will ensure that the URC could deliver on its promise of a new era for our league where the very best from South Africa go head-to-head with our Celtic and Italian teams.

“As we carefully manoeuvre out of the pandemic, the URC will take its place as one of the leading leagues in global rugby and this fixture list should ignite our competition and take it to the next level.

“This schedule is the most complex we have ever produced and the efforts of every one of our stakeholders to help us piece it together in the current climate have been monumental. We now have a format that will heighten competition, showcase our clubs, elevate our athletes and bring great excitement to fans and TV audiences right across our territories and beyond.”

To accommodate the very latest travel conditions across the URC’s competing territories the provisional fixtures had to be readjusted. The South African teams will now complete four-week tours of Europe to begin the season giving fans in Ireland, Italy, Wales and Scotland an early opportunity to see these new sides in person.

In the URC’s commitment to avoid clashing with international weekends, the original date of Round 6 has been moved to the final week in November which ensures every round of the tournament is played on a standalone weekend. Across the world, rugby fans will be able catch all the action on URC TV, the league’s own OTT player which will be launched in partnership with RTÉ very shortly.

Jeopardy and drama will be littered across the campaign with every team eligible to qualify for EPCR tournaments and the reduction in rounds from 21 to 18 means every match matters.

In the new format all 16 teams will be ranked across a single table which will reward the top eight teams with their places in an expanded Final Series that includes a full Quarter-final stage, followed by Semi-finals before the best two teams meet in the URC Grand Final in June. 


Friday, 25 September 

Zebre v Emirates Lions - 18:35

Saturday, 25 September

Benetton v Stormers - 14:00

Leinster v Vodacom Bulls - 18:15 

Munster v Sharks - 20:35  "

Sep 03, 2021, 08:33

Would be nice watching our teams play again, but it's gonna be difficult without the Bok players.

Sep 03, 2021, 13:40

Yes Draad our teams will miss their Boks and of course all the many players plying their trade overseas and propping up these competitions.

That said a changé is as good as a holiday and I am looking forward to it starting. 

Sep 03, 2021, 14:16

Yes, holiday indeed...refreshing, but we'll miss playing the Aussies and Kiwis...but they'll probably miss us to hate us.:D

Sep 03, 2021, 16:05

I'm going for Lions, Benetton, Leinster and Munster to win.

Sep 03, 2021, 16:14

We should do a SuperBru...and a Total Rankers? ...Edd?

Sep 03, 2021, 23:15

Thanks Draad...looking forward to this rugger as I did when the Cheetahs and Kings played ,even thought the Kings were thumped.

Gonna be few wins away and many at home if the Cheetahs are anything to go by.Look at how Benetton drilled the Bulls in June.

Sep 26, 2021, 09:07

Not the ideal start for the South African teams...but we'll get better...

I see RG was healthy enough to play for Munster...

Oct 08, 2021, 20:18

Ospreys vs Snarks in about 30m...GO SHARKS!!!

Oct 08, 2021, 20:33

Rudehole might be a bit conflicted tonight.

Oct 08, 2021, 20:44

Officiating brought to you by Murphy's Law...:D

Oct 08, 2021, 20:54

fck the ref is harsh!!!

Oct 08, 2021, 20:56


Oct 08, 2021, 20:58

lenient on the offside I see.

Oct 08, 2021, 21:03

Most idiotic play I've ever seen. Sharks 15 should be shot.

Oct 08, 2021, 21:31

6-6 after 38m

Oct 08, 2021, 21:34

level at the half.

Oct 08, 2021, 21:52

6-13...GO SNARKS!!!!

Oct 08, 2021, 21:52

Chamberlain looks the goods.

Oct 08, 2021, 21:53

Old man Pienaar adding value too.

Oct 08, 2021, 21:59

Snarks the better team so far.

Oct 08, 2021, 22:00

Aalwyn Jonas a bit of a handfull. 

Oct 08, 2021, 22:02

I like the Snarks 10.

Oct 08, 2021, 22:12

lekke lekke! 6 - 18!!!

Oct 08, 2021, 22:14

He he! Chamberlain is the new hot Argie is wasting his time!

Oct 08, 2021, 22:15

6 - 21

Oct 08, 2021, 22:18

Snarkies got their tail-fins up.

Oct 08, 2021, 22:19

I sense a disturbance in The Force. :D

Oct 08, 2021, 22:20


Oct 08, 2021, 22:26

Snarkholes playing well  tonight.

Oct 08, 2021, 22:32

13 - 27

Oct 08, 2021, 22:35


Oct 09, 2021, 17:23

Liars are 10 - 9 vs the Glasgow Wanciors.:D...Go LEEUS!!!

Oct 09, 2021, 17:43

65 min gone and still 10-9.

Oct 09, 2021, 17:50


Oct 09, 2021, 18:01

Final score.

Oct 09, 2021, 18:03

Glasgow fans could well be singing;

Oct 09, 2021, 18:20

4 Boertjies in the Edinburgh team...

Oct 09, 2021, 18:21

Go STORMERS!...WP actually :D,  ...GO WP!!!

Oct 10, 2021, 09:05

Much better weekend for the SA sides. Two wins, a draw and a narrow loss.

Oct 10, 2021, 09:08

SA Rugby Mag:

"South Africa’s four Vodacom United Rugby Championship teams have been informed they won’t be able to host matches in the Republic despite the country being removed from the UK’s travel red list.

According to Rapport, the Bulls, Lions, Stormers and Sharks will play their scheduled home matches of this calendar year in Italy after URC chiefs determined that South Africa’s removal from the red list had come too late to alter plans for the teams to base themselves in Italy.

The four local sides are scheduled to host ‘home’ games in November, but because of South Africa’s inclusion on the red list, visiting European teams would previously have had to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days upon their return home.

That spurred on organisers to make the alternative arrangement of SA sides hosting home matches in Italy.

When South Africa was removed from the red list, the teams expected the original scheduling to go ahead, but it has now been revealed that URC bosses have decided to stick with Plan B – a call which is not sitting well with the SA sides.

The Stormers were supposed to play Italy side Zebre at Cape Town Stadium on 27 November, but will now play them in their own stadium in Parma instead.

That same weekend, the Bulls were supposed to host Munster at Loftus, the Scarlets were scheduled for for a trip to Durban and the Lions were set to welcome Cardiff at Ellis Park.

All those round six fixtures, as well as the round seven matches scheduled to take place in South Africa, will now go ahead in Italy."

Oct 10, 2021, 19:39

Yep at least we won two games under "Murphy's Law".

Sure not the best start to a season for the SA teams, but hopefully they will manage to win a few more games as the season progresses and they are strengthened by some players returning.

But some of the calls are simply wrong and missed by the officials.

Tough when you are down one player (Yellow Card) and the other side has 16 players.

Oct 16, 2021, 09:03

Stormers looking better...nothing against Libbok...he's better than Tim-Ou Swiel, but I would still prefer yet a better 10...Chamberlain should come home...;)

Oct 16, 2021, 13:24

Evan Roos  stood out again.

Oct 16, 2021, 22:34

Bulls went down to the Jocks in Edinburgh and now it looks like the Sharks are going the same way to the Taffy's in Cardiff.

Not good.

Oct 17, 2021, 13:54

Not to worry two weeks time we play them at home...let's see how well they travel.

Oct 18, 2021, 07:39

Well Draad, I think it is a matter of concern as it shows a hugh gap between A and B teams...if we only rely on key players which are in the Springboks it highlights lack of depth in the whole pool. 15 men in a side plus replacements divided by 4 participating franchises..

Also if we can only win home games (and that still has to be proved) indicates a mindset problem.

Good sides should win on fields anywhere.

Oct 18, 2021, 09:49

We should indeed win abroad...and we fact. all our teams have already done so, but there will be a learning curve...everything is new for the players...the opposition, the officiating and the venues...have you seen that most of the pitches have artificial surfaces? The ball bounces differently. It feels differently underfoot, etc.

Considering the challenges,  I think we did rather well and things will only get better...with a steep curve methinks.

Feb 06, 2022, 09:41

My Stormers has probably won and drawn a few matches we should have lost...definitely punching above our weight ATM....but I'll take it...pity about Newlands though.

Feb 13, 2022, 08:02



Feb 13, 2022, 08:20

My WP climbing the ranks nicely...can't wait for our home games vs the European teams! Soon!

Feb 13, 2022, 10:01

Dayem, when last did we beat you lot 10-32 in Joburg Plum?

Feb 13, 2022, 10:04

A team of no names, hasbeens and neverbeens punching way above their weight...Dobson must be better than being given credit for on this site...looking at you Snarkhole...8-)

Feb 14, 2022, 10:07

That log resembles the Super 12 log back in the day... where the highest placed SA team hovered around 5th or 6th... and the rest were piss poor towards the bottom...

Feb 14, 2022, 13:50

The table is a bit skewed...our teams have completed all but one of our away matches...most of the matches remaining will be at will depend on how well the European teams travel.

Feb 26, 2022, 16:29

Connacht vs My Stormers...7-17...I can't watch, power out where I am. 

Feb 26, 2022, 16:34

Load shedding again? I think Stormers will take it:)

Feb 26, 2022, 16:37

14 - 17...not load sheading,  some other fckup, I'm relaxing somewhere in the Boland mountains...

Feb 26, 2022, 16:41

Lovely :) enjoy

Feb 26, 2022, 16:59

19 -17:(

Feb 26, 2022, 17:16

Woot Woot!

Feb 26, 2022, 17:16

Woot Woot!

Feb 26, 2022, 17:39

What were your impressions? I wasn't able to watch...

Feb 26, 2022, 18:22

Tight game. Conditions where pretty bad in terms of very strong wind and it was pretty cold, but at least it wasn't raining. Stormers didn't play their regular game play and had a sort of pragmatic kicking game plan to suit the conditions and at times where able to really hurt Connacht with the rolling maul though the scrum was more of a lottery. They seemed to deliberately want to slow the pace of the game a lot.

Connacht stuck to their more expansive game plan and got on top mid second half, thanks to the impact of their subs and Stormers getting two yellow cards (both where deserved). 

Wasn't an amazing game to watch over all, very stop start and difficult conditions, but I think Connacht deserved the win on balance, but it was close.

Feb 26, 2022, 18:28

Was a close game....but the two yellow cards swung momentum in Connacht,s favour....and sergeal on fullback is a no go....but besides that Connacht played well to come back from behind and win....Damian I felt was yet again very good at 12...good cover for DA or even a starting position as bok 12.

Feb 27, 2022, 07:59

I hear Mallet was complaining a bit about the ref...

Feb 27, 2022, 11:50

Yes as I see a lot of SA sports media as well.

Dobson was saying that the referring interpretations seem different between North and South and Kitshoff was complaining that cynical penalties where missed by the ref and the Stormers should of won penalties from their dominate maul, although they didn't elaborate on what they where.

I'm not sure what Mallet was complaining about as I haven't heard what he said but I know there was also complaints about the yellow cards. I know former Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan who works as a pundit on Irish TV didn't believe the second yellow card was even a penalty, but I personally thought it was clear cut.

In the end Connacht conceded 4 penalties to the Stormers 8. 

Interesting to note according to the Irish commentators of the match Connacht have been the team that's conceded the most penalties in the URC this season.

Honestly though from what I can see the SA media and fans have been extremely vocal about the refereeing in the URC this season. I've looked at loads of the incidents they have complained about and honestly they have a point about a third of the time, taking absolute tripe for another third and the other third the decisions are so borderline they are very hard to call one way or the other. 

Feb 27, 2022, 14:33

I must say that most of the NH matches I've seen had good officiating...I think there's a bit of a difference in the technical interpretation of set pieces and mauls...but our players will learn to fit in...we are new to the competition,  so we should adapt to how things are done...For consistency, I think it's more a case of our refs having to adapt to blow the same as their NH counterparts.

Feb 28, 2022, 19:06

Nel's card was bogus...not a shoulder charge and no contact above shoulders...BS call...not even a penalty...but it can't be only on the ref...the TMO agreed with was close, so I don't think the cards were that much of an issue...I think the Stormers are used to getting more penalties from dominant mauls and up North the refs are a bit less likely to penalize on technicalities at mauls.

My HL package didn't show the first yellow in slomo but it's consistent with the way they've been blowing such plays the last few seasons...

Feb 28, 2022, 19:30

Personally I think that was a yellow. It wasn't a shoulder charge but it was a high hit. Yes there is clear height difference between the two players and Fitzgerald had dipped slightly as did Nel, but it was decision to tackle that high and it made pretty much instantaneous contact with the upper chest and chin with a high degree of force. No malice intended on the part of Nel but an error in tackling that high.

The first yellow was a clear cut deliberate knock on, again whether Petersen meant it or just instinctively reacted there was there was no chance of him actually catching the ball in the manner he tried to reach for it. It wasn't a guaranteed try he stopped as their was cover but he did stop a potential try scoring opportunity was yellow card was right card.

Feb 28, 2022, 20:16

Like I said...I can live with the calls...I think Nel's was harsh, but it was way within the margin of error belonging to the ref...Peterson's was straight yellow...I don't like the fact that attempts at intercepts are being yellowed, but I agree that it's too easy to excuse a cynical deliberate knock down as an attempt to intercept...I really don't know why Mallet mouthed off...I've seen real controversial stuff getting no mention...

BTW, congrats with the victory...your boys played a good match and deserved the win...till next time...keep well. 

Mar 11, 2022, 20:31

Snarks vs Scarlets...Taffies doing very well in Durbs.

Mar 11, 2022, 20:32

Bosch missed 3 already, but the Snarks taking the wrong options every time.

Mar 11, 2022, 20:38

Fassie scores...contest level again...13 -13 ....22min to go.

Mar 11, 2022, 20:49

Lucky Bosch try after a charged down kick...20-13 ...17min left.

Mar 11, 2022, 20:57

23-13 with 10 to go.

Mar 11, 2022, 21:03

30-13...after penalty try...6min to go.

Mar 11, 2022, 21:04

Intercept!! 30-20

Mar 12, 2022, 16:03

Bulle teen die Monsters up now...

Mar 12, 2022, 16:15

Elendeling op die bank virrie monsters.

Mar 12, 2022, 16:19

monsters getting uppity...

Mar 12, 2022, 16:29

6-8...kick to go.

Mar 12, 2022, 16:30

obstruction...try reversed...

Mar 12, 2022, 16:53


Mar 12, 2022, 16:53


Mar 12, 2022, 16:54

Afrikaans music making the monsters play k@k?:D

Mar 12, 2022, 16:56

24-3...bulle raak rof.

Mar 12, 2022, 21:43

A provoked and wounded bull is most dangerous in it's own padock.

The Bull's have a pecular quality, they appear to lose their mojo and spirit away from Loftus, in past years in Super Rugby they seldom played well in NZ and Australia even against the lesser teams but at home became a different kettle of fish against the best.

Is it a psychological barrier or do they get homesick quickly?:D

Mar 18, 2022, 18:12

Bulle playing Scarlets now-now.

Mar 18, 2022, 20:11

31-7...Bulle good is Scarlets?

Mar 18, 2022, 21:48

Glasgow  vs Edinburgh on now...I'll cheer for the orange lot.

Mar 18, 2022, 22:06


Mar 19, 2022, 15:44

10-21 Lions trail Munster...15 min left.

Mar 19, 2022, 15:45


Mar 19, 2022, 15:47

Munster  starting to feel the altitude....TRY for Lions!!!


Mar 19, 2022, 15:58

Chris Cloete playing for Munster now.

Mar 19, 2022, 15:59


Mar 19, 2022, 16:00

That's the match! Well done Lions!!!!

Mar 19, 2022, 20:22

Snarks putting Zebre to the slaughter ater struggling in the 1st half....38-6

Mar 19, 2022, 21:02

Is Edwill vd Merwe the next Kolbe?....I  think we might hear more from him soon...

Mar 26, 2022, 15:30

Stormers at home looking solid against Ulster.


Mar 26, 2022, 15:31

Roos vs Thor at 8

Mar 26, 2022, 15:36

Good try Ulster ....despite good Stormers defence.


Mar 26, 2022, 15:42


Mar 26, 2022, 15:59

20-13 halftime

Mar 26, 2022, 17:14

23-20...what a nailbiter!!!!

Mar 26, 2022, 17:15

Our first Irish scalp... by the skin of our teath!!!

Mar 27, 2022, 11:40

A Stormers victory over Ulster should be a big thing on this site...not a peep...we choose to rather p!$$ around about Morne, DdA and Putin....

Mar 27, 2022, 15:16

Stormers win is cool....But this Putin war is killing many innocent people which is really fucked up!!!! And DdA is also serious as we need change.....much much better bok 12,s going around that deserves a start!!.....and Morne’, can carry on in peace .

Mar 27, 2022, 21:01

Mar 27, 2022, 21:01

"much better bok 12,s going around that deserves a start!!..."

Name them...the only one with a sniff is Esterhuizen...Willemse isn't half bad for the Stormers either....DdA is still very much in the saddle...and rightly so...

Mar 27, 2022, 23:34

Esterhuizen, Willemse, JVR I would say....then players that are not Boks yet but would be good if they got the chance Rickus Pretorius, Dan du Plessis and Wandesile Similane.....DA is just to stagnate @ 12 just crashes it up, but that X Factor is missing....he had a bit of that in his earlier career but it has been coached out of him by none other than R&N...playing for Munster under a bit more freedom of expression, he is doing a bit better....but you most probably right, he fits perfectly under R&N and this season will be the same as the last, Rassie already announced it, same gameplan same kick and grinding style coming ....all I can say is good luck against OZ and Kerevi, AB and France with Fickou they are waiting for him and licking there lips.....isn’t the point of Rugby bringing more dimensions to your game and growing as a team and most importantly not being 1 dimensional?

Apr 10, 2022, 10:08

Sjoei, close shave for the Stormers vs da Bools....interesting month ahead. Stormers punching way above their weight...Dobson must be much better than given credit for.

Apr 10, 2022, 14:30

RJVR is DDAs superior in every aspect of the game.

Makes far less errors, stays up on his feet better, passes, kicks, makes plays and draws more defenders. A perfect supporting runner too.

DDA at 12, not only hampers attacking play through being unable to create or continue momentum, but his inability to hit gaps allows defences to spread out wider…thus leaving less space in the wide channels.

RJVR has to have eyes in him constantly because he will take gaps and create a run for 10 or 13.

And with Am at 13, who is also a good distributor, what a shame that’s he’s relying on good work from perhaps one of the worst Bok 12s in recent memory.

DDA looks the part but, in reality, after what has now been a long career, there’s only scant evidence that he actually is the part. I don’t see all the skillful plays and steps that he does on the training field…like we often hear from the Bok camp. All i see is what he does on game day, and it’s many moons since he played for the Stormers and was breaking ankles. And that’s the last time i remember him consistently catching my attention.

Apr 10, 2022, 15:25

Ja Plum, he's not nearly the player who broke tackles and made loads of offloads...I can't comment on RJvR...haven't seen him play in the bit I saw from Harold Vorster...

Apr 22, 2022, 20:56

Lekke Wiepie!!!

Apr 22, 2022, 21:09

Nicely done Stormers....and yet again Roos was outstanding and scoring a try....if he is not at the 2 alignment camp, then R&N has completely lost the plot.

Apr 22, 2022, 21:17

Lekke Munster...keep it up!

Apr 22, 2022, 21:41

Watched a chunk of the Stormers Glasgow game and the Stormers do play some sexy rugby at times.

Apr 22, 2022, 22:32

oops Ulster!!!

Apr 22, 2022, 22:44

Go WP!!!

Apr 23, 2022, 19:32

Connacht break Lions heart with penalty 5 mins from full time.

Well done Connacht.

Hope the Sharks can pull it off against Leinster at Shark Tank.

Apr 23, 2022, 19:37

Sharks 21 Leinster 23 as Frawley nails a penalty @ 52 min.

Apr 23, 2022, 20:02

Buthelezi goes over for try from 5 m scrum and Bosch converts...28-23.

Go Sharks and keep it up!

Apr 23, 2022, 20:23

Leinster go over at 83min but held up...TMO check. try.

Sharks hold on to win.

Well done Sharks.

Apr 23, 2022, 21:01

Come on Connacht lets make it 4 from 4 against the SA teams.

Apr 23, 2022, 21:01

Come on Connacht lets make it 4 from 4 against the SA teams.

Apr 23, 2022, 21:01

Come on Connacht lets make it 4 from 4 against the SA teams.

Apr 23, 2022, 21:55

Congrats Stav...the Lions in Joburg isn't easy.

Apr 23, 2022, 22:13

I swear I didn't actually post that 3 times :P

Apr 23, 2022, 22:20

Well done sharks to pull thru. If this is Leinster B squad, then there A squad will be a real tough nut to crack. Fassi splitting the Leinster backline in half for Hendrikse to score, was superb. 

May 01, 2022, 13:02

So Sharks, Stormers and the Bulls all have qualified for the Champions cup now. Bulls can finish no lower than 7th now even if they lose their final game so don't have to worry about the Welsh shield winner nicking their qualification spot. Its going be one of the two Scottish teams that get shafted now.

Log table with yellow circle indicating currently who's  Champions cup qualification place.

The only problem is the SA team have 3 difficult games away from home in the final round.

Ulster vs Sharks is the the most difficult fixture and I can't see the Sharks winning it.

Ospreys vs Bulls and Scarlets vs Stormers is going be interesting because both Ospreys and Scarlets are fighting each other for the final Champions Cup qualification spot and with Ospreys playing Dragons at home next weekend its almost a cert that the Ospreys will end up even on points with the Scarlets but a slightly worse points scored differential going into the final. So for both Scarlets and Ospreys the final matches are must win games.

Final round

Leinster vs Munster: Leinster win (unless they through out the B team) Munster to get a loosing BP

Ulster vs Sharks: Ulster win 

Ospreys vs Bulls: Bulls don't travel well, Ospreys to nick it.

Scarlets vs Stormers: Going go with the Stormers to win.

Edinburgh vs Glasgow: Very tight game but going go with Glasgow

Last 8 will be

Leinster vs Edinburgh

Stormers vs Bulls

Ulster vs Glasgow

Munster vs Sharks

May 01, 2022, 13:06

Also crazy to see Sharks and Stormers deadlocked on both points and point differential after 17 rounds but Sharks are above them because they have scored 57 tries to Stormers 56.

May 01, 2022, 17:13

SA sides have grown for sure...and I think we're fitting in well and I like the style we're playing.

May 14, 2022, 19:59

Well done Leinster into the Finals...they are a impressive unit when at full strength.

May 14, 2022, 20:09

Ja, they made it look so easy...they'll make it difficult for a few of the top test sides...real good side.

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