2023 Emirates Lions vs Zebre Parma

South African URC Sides Get Back On Track On Home Turf With Big Victories

South African URC Sides Get Back On Track On Home Turf With Big Victories

South African rugby triumphs in Vodacom URC, as local teams shine. Read about dominating performances and key moments in the action-packed weekend.

Nov 26, 2023 by Philip Bendon
South African URC Sides Get Back On Track On Home Turf With Big Victories

In a rugby weekend filled with exhilarating performances, South Africa's United Rugby Championship teams returned to home soil and, with it, to winning ways. 

In a weekend packed with highlights, the standout moment came from the seasoned Willem Alberts, whose successful conversion encapsulated the triumphs of the local sides. 

At 39 years old, Alberts, a former Springboks loose forward with 43 tests under his belt, now showcases his skills as a lock for the Emirates Lions. His conversion capped off a spectacular 61-19 victory over Zebre Parma in Johannesburg on a memorable Saturday afternoon. 

Following suit, the Vodacom Bulls showcased their prowess by overwhelming Connacht 53-27 in Pretoria. Notably, Willie le Roux, in his debut for the Bulls, contributed to their seven-try spectacle. 

Meanwhile, the Hollywoodbets Sharks sealed the day for South African teams with a resounding 69-14 triumph over Dragons in Durban, featuring the return of Rugby World Cup-winning Springboks. 

However, not every South African side experienced unmitigated success. 

The DHL Stormers faced a setback with a 31-24 defeat to Cardiff on Friday night, a match coach John Dobson later acknowledged as one they had let slip away. 

As the dust settled on Round 6, the Vodacom Bulls climbed back into the top four with 20 points, trailing behind the Glasgow Warriors (25) and Leinster (24). 

The Emirates Lions held the ninth spot with 14 points, followed by the DHL Stormers in 11th with 13 points. 

The Hollywoodbets Sharks made a commendable move from the bottom of the log, securing 14th place with seven points. 

Despite the slip-up in Cardiff, the Stormers displayed promise early on, scoring two rapid tries to lead 14-0 within 13 minutes. 

Yet, a cascade of unforced errors and penalties cost them momentum, allowing Cardiff to snatch victory in injury time. 

Despite outperforming their hosts in discipline, territory and possession, the Stormers found themselves on the wrong side of the result, earning only a losing bonus point for their efforts. 

The South African teams' dominating performances underscored their prowess in the United Rugby Championship, particularly when on their home turf.