2024 Munster Rugby vs Ospreys Rugby - Quarterfinal

A Hometown Sweep: BKT United Rugby Championship Quarterfinal Recap

A Hometown Sweep: BKT United Rugby Championship Quarterfinal Recap

Relive the thrilling 2023-2024 BKT URC quarterfinals with intense matches: Munster/Ospreys, Bulls/Benetton, Leinster/Ulster and Warriors/Stormers.

Jun 10, 2024 by Philip Bendon
A Hometown Sweep: BKT United Rugby Championship Quarterfinal Recap

Tight, tense and exhilarating, the 2023-2024 BKT United Rugby Championship quarterfinals saw four exhilarating matches take place across three countries.

Reigning champion Munster Rugby got the action underway Friday evening, hosting an in-form and ascending Ospreys side at Thomond Park in Limerick.

On Day 2 of the round, a Benetton side would be stacked to the gills, with Italian internationals traveling to Pretoria to face the ultra-physical Vodacom Bulls.  

Having dived 13,872km south between matches one and two, the competition returned north for the third fixture. This time it would be the DHL Stormers who left the dry South African winter behind to trot out in the wet summer conditions of Glasgow as they faced the Warriors.

Completing the action was an Irish derby of Leinster vs Ulster at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. The men in blue would be seeking revenge on an Ulster side who swept them in the regular season action.

So, without further ado, let’s get into it. Here are how the four 2023/24 BKT URC quarterfinals played out.

Munster Rugby Vs. Ospreys 

To read the match report, click here.

Vodacom Bulls Vs. Benetton Rugby

As close to a test match as one can come at this level, the Vodacom Bulls were made to work for their place in the semifinals, as they just about held on to a 30-23 win at Loftus Versfeld.

Speaking post-match, the team's director of rugby, Jake White, was unsurprised by the impressive showing of the visitors. He pointed out the international experience within the Benetton side.

Taking the lead inside the first minute through the dancing feet of Springbok star Kurt Lee Arendse, the Bulls looked up for the occasion. Twenty minutes later, when Arendse crossed for his second try of the day, it looked set to be a long afternoon for the Italian side.

However, as they have done all season, Benetton refused to quit, and the squad methodically worked its way back into the contest.

Scoring its first try through powerhouse Fijian winger Onisi Ratave to go along with a Rhyno Smith penalty, Benetton suddenly was back within seven points at the 30-minute mark.

Benetton scored two tries in the second half compared to the Bulls, but it would be the boot of Johan Goosen that would prove to be the difference.

Slotting all three of his conversions and three penalties to Smith’s, one conversion and two penalties sealed the deal for Jake White’s side.

Leinster Vs. Ulster

Revenge is a dish best served cold, and the Leinster men had ice in their veins as they pummeled Ulster at the Aviva Stadium.

Holding their visitors without a try until the 49th minute, any fears the Leinster players had about struggling to gather themselves following their Investec Champions Cup final loss were dispelled. 

To Ulster’s credit, they held off waves of blue attack for 20 minutes, but when the floodgates opened, there was no going back.

Scoring six tries through Robbie Henshaw, James Lowe (two), Jordan Larmour, Josh van der Flier and Ross Moloney, Leinster’s much-maligned attacking game seemed to return. 

Combining this attack with a newly installed hard-rush defense, Leinster delivered arguably a second ‘full’ performance of the season to go with the win over La Rochelle. 

For Ulster, there are plenty of positives to take for new head coach Richie Murphy as he plans his first pre-season with the province.

The team’s willingness to fight for the full 80 minutes included winger Michael Lowry scampering over for the final try of the match in the 79th minute. 

This performance combined with their five wins from the final six rounds including a second win over Leinster shows that Murphy has the team going in the right direction.

Glasgow Warriors Vs. DHL Stormers

The tightest contest of the weekend would bring down the curtain on the quarterfinal stages, as the DHL Stormers and Glasgow Warriors battled challenging conditions at Scotstoun Stadium.

Playing with a strong wind at their backs in the first half, the Warriors took a 6-0 lead into the break, courtesy of two George Horne penalties.

While Horne slotted both chances, Manie Libbok missed all of his shots at goal on the evening, which ultimately proved costly in the end. 

Breathing life into their contest in the 58th minute, winger Ben Loader crossed for the first try of the match.

This score sparked the contest into life, as the Warriors responded immediately through winger Sebastian Cancelliere. 

This score would be the first of a yo-yo run of tries, as the Stormers' replacement scrumhalf Paul de Wet found a gap in the otherwise stingy Warrior's defense to get the Stormers into double digits.

This would be the final moment of joy for John Dobson’s side as the Warriors pulled off two clinical tries through Henco Venter and Ross Thompson, with Horne converting both scores.

How To Watch Rugby Matches In the United States On FloRugby

The Investec Champions Cup will stream all its matches on FloRugby and the FloSports app in the United States. FloRugby and FloSports also are the U.S. home to:

FloRugby also is home to match archives and match replays. 

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