Another 'humbling' URC weekend for South Africa's Super franchises
The slow start for the South African teams in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship continued in round two of the competition with all four sides suffering defeats, albeit in totally different circumstances. One common denominator was the leaky defence from the South African sides as all four conceded more than 30 points to their opponents.
The Emirates Lions, who opened their campaign with a win last week, could not repeat their performance and lost to the Scarlets, who outplayed them to the tune of 36-13.
Two Irish teams, Munster and Ulster, are top of the log after scoring full points in their opening two wins, while Leinster could join them at the top if they overcame the Dragons and earned a four-try bonus point in the Sunday match. The Emirates Lions are the best placed South African side in 11th place, followed by the DHL Stormers (13th), with the Cell C Sharks (15th) and Vodacom Bulls (16th) propping up the log as the only teams yet to score a log point.
The Sharks will be looking for that first win next Friday, when they travel to the Liberty Stadium to meet the Ospreys in a first meeting with a Welsh opponent. The Lions will take on their first Scottish opponent in Glasgow when they travel to Scotstoun Stadium, while the Stormers and Bulls will leave Ireland to take on Edinburgh and Cardiff respectively.
The new franchises have recorded just one win in eight attempts so far in the URC, with the Lions recording a sole victory against perennial PRO14 strugglers Zebre in the opening weekend.
“Not great from our side in terms of consistent pressure and consistency in what we wanted to achieve,” Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen told reporters after this weekend’s defeat to the Scarlets.
“I felt we were not effective enough in the opponents’ 22 and not patient enough in our kicking game and Scarlets managed to convert that into pressure on us.”
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