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Bulls and Sharks Shine in European Knock Outs

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The Vodacom Bulls and Hollywoodbets Sharks brought South African rugby fans some joy in an otherwise mixed weekend, as both teams secured impressive victories to advance to the quarter-finals of their respective European competitions.

The Vodacom Bulls, who delivered a stunning 59-19 victory over Lyon in Pretoria, will now face the Northhampton Saints in England next Saturday in the Investec Champions Cup quarter-finals. Meanwhile, the Hollywoodbets Sharks, following their dominant 47-3 win against Zebre Parma in Durban, will host Edinburgh in their EPCR Challenge Cup quarter-final.

However, it was disappointment for the other three South African sides. The DHL Stormers suffered a heartbreaking last-minute 22-21 defeat against defending champions Stade Rochelais in Cape Town, while the Toyota Cheetahs fell short against Clermont Auvergne with a 27-22 loss in France. The Emirates Lions also faced a frustrating 27-17 defeat against Benetton in Italy, despite the hosts receiving a red card early in the second half.

Vodacom Bulls Roar to Victory

The Vodacom Bulls showcased their dominance against Lyon, outscoring the visitors nine tries to three for a comprehensive win. Sebastian de Klerk and Embrose Papier each scored two tries, with the team's attack proving relentless. Lyon struggled to match the Bulls' intensity, with the French team forced to settle for scraps throughout the match.

Heartbreak for DHL Stormers

It was a tale of heartbreak for the DHL Stormers as they narrowly missed out on a win against Stade Rochelais. Despite a strong first half, where they entered the break with a 13-0 lead, injuries and a yellow card to Marcel Theunissen in the second half allowed the defending champions back into the game. A missed conversion on the stroke of fulltime denied the Stormers a victory, ultimately leading to their exit from the competition.

Toyota Cheetahs' Brave Fightback Falls Short

The Toyota Cheetahs staged a strong second-half comeback against Clermont Auvergne, scoring three tries after being 27-3 down. Despite their efforts, they were unable to secure a late victory, with Clermont holding on for a 27-22 win.

Emirates Lions' Disappointing Exit

The Emirates Lions faced a frustrating defeat against Benetton, despite the hosts receiving a red card in the second half. The Lions were unable to capitalize on their numerical advantage, ending their EPCR Challenge Cup campaign with a 27-17 loss.

Hollywoodbets Sharks Dominate Zebre

In a commanding performance, the Hollywoodbets Sharks outclassed Zebre Parma with a 47-3 victory. The Sharks' attack was relentless, scoring seven tries to secure a home quarter-final against Edinburgh.

The quarter-finals promise to deliver more exciting rugby action, with the Bulls and Sharks flying the flag for South Africa as they continue their European campaigns.
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]

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