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Monday, April 22, 2024

North Conquers South in Thrilling Vodacom URC Derbies

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The Emirates Lions and Vodacom Bulls dazzled in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, clinching crucial home victories over their rivals. The wins not only fortified their playoff ambitions but also showcased their prowess in the tournament.

In Johannesburg, the Emirates Lions roared past the Hollywoodbets Sharks with a commanding 40-10 triumph. Meanwhile, the Vodacom Bulls vanquished the DHL Stormers 40-22 in Pretoria, marking their first win against the Capetonians in eight matches and setting a new attendance record for a Vodacom URC league match in South Africa.

These results propelled the Vodacom Bulls to second place on the log with 40 points, trailing only Leinster on 44 points. The Emirates Lions climbed to 11th place with 29 points, a mere three points behind the eighth-placed Benetton.

The DHL Stormers slipped to ninth with 30 points, while the Hollywoodbets Sharks languished at the bottom of the log with just one win in 11 matches. Adding to the Stormers' woes, they conceded their top spot in the SA Shield standings to the Vodacom Bulls, who now lead by three points.

The Emirates Lions' triumph over the Hollywoodbets Sharks was a testament to their resurgence in the tournament. They orchestrated a stunning second-half display, scoring six tries while steadfastly defending against the Sharks' attacks. The match was highlighted by Sanele Nohamba, JC Pretorius, and Quan Horn's tries, propelling the Lions to a resounding victory.

Meanwhile, the Vodacom Bulls showcased their dominance against the DHL Stormers. Despite a valiant comeback attempt by the Stormers, the Bulls stood firm, securing a convincing win with tries from Johan Grobbelaar, Canan Moodie, and Embrose Papier.

With these victories, both Gauteng teams have bolstered their playoff hopes and set the stage for an exhilarating climax to the Vodacom URC season.
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]

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