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URC Round 14

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Post by neilthom7 Wed 23 Mar 2022, 3:56 pm

6 nations is over and we are starting to get the the business end of the season. Some good moves up the table made by the South African teams recently and that top 8 is looking very competitive.

Here are your Round 14 fixtures. All games showing on Premier Sports, SuperSport and URC TV.

Friday 23rd March 2022

Emirates Lions v Ospreys- Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg – KO 17.00 IRE & UK / 18.00 ITA / 19.00 SA- BBC Wales
Munster v Benetton- Musgrave Park, Cork – KO 19.35 IRE & UK / 20.35 ITA / 21.35 SA- TG4, Mediaset

Saturday, 26th March 2022

Zebre Parma v Scarlets- Stadio Lanfranch, Parma – KO 13.00 IRE & UK / 14.00 ITA / 15.00 SA- Mediaset, BBC Wales
DHL Stormers v Ulster Rugby- DHL Stadium, Cape Town – KO 13.00 IRE & UK / 14.00 ITA / 15.00 SA
Cell C Sharks v Edinburgh Rugby- Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban – KO 15.05 IRE & UK / 16.05 ITA / 17.05 SA
Cardiff v Glasgow Warriors- Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff – KO 17.15 IRE & UK / 18.15 ITA / 19.15 S
Vodacom Bulls v Dragons- Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria – KO 17.15 IRE & UK / 18.15 ITA / 19.15 SA- S4C
Connacht v Leinster- The Sportsground, Galway – KO 19.35 IRE & UK / 20.35 ITA / 21.35 SA- RTÉ

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Post by Old Man Wed 23 Mar 2022, 9:08 pm

Some good news for SA rugby supporters, as of today stadia can be filled up to 50% of capacity, all you need is a vaccination certificate or negative Covid test.

Hopefully we will now see 5000 spectators in the stands

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Post by Oakdene Thu 24 Mar 2022, 9:24 am

Hopefully we can make a bit of ground up on the Ospreys with a decent win against Zebre this weekend.

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Post by Guest Thu 24 Mar 2022, 9:28 am

Bulls v Dragons Shocked That’ll be one for the record books I’m sure. Hide behind the sofa time for us Dragons fans I think.

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Post by neilthom7 Thu 24 Mar 2022, 10:07 am

Old Man wrote:Some good news for SA rugby supporters, as of today stadia can be filled up to 50% of capacity, all you need is a vaccination certificate or negative Covid test.

Hopefully we will now see 5000 spectators in the stands

That's good news for everyone, so muvh nicer watching games with fans. I can tell from Twitter Ulster are ceratinly enjoying the weather where they are based, training sessions on the beach and all, lets hope thye enjoy the games as much.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 25 Mar 2022, 10:16 am

Interesting to see Irish press are saying that Connacht/Leinster is the pick of the weekend.

For me its Stormers/Ulster as Ulster are coming fairly loaded and that game will tell us more about how well the S.African challenge will go.  I think a loss for Ulster wouldn't be the end of the world as with 2 Home games still to go I think they will have enough to get over the line as a top 2 side.

What is clear is that the top 4 sides with home advantage will play a major role in determining who gets to the last 4.  Edinburgh and Munster will have to win all the home games in the run in.  Glasgow I think will miss out simply as they only have 1 home game left granted its against Zebre so probably a 5 pointer.  Stormers for me are probably the only side from S.Africa that can break into that top 4.  6 home games and 1 away game against the Scarlets and all of them look as if they could win them.  

Really interesting stuff though....

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Post by neilthom7 Fri 25 Mar 2022, 10:25 am

Connacht v Leinster will be a really good game to watch most likely, the way both teams have played this year should make it a good watch.

Stormers v Ulster should also be a good game, I do believe Stormers will win at home but am hopeful Ulster can pull something out of the bag.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 25 Mar 2022, 10:31 am

Well that depends which Connacht turn up. At times this year they have been brilliant but they are very inconsistent. If they play like they did against the Dragons at home for example, Leinster will thump them.

I'm not sure if Ulster can win but I do expect them to run them a lot closer than any side has managed in S.Africa this far.

I can possibly see Ospreys pulling off an upset against the Lions this weekend, which they need to win if they are going to pip the Bulls to a top 8 spot.

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Post by neilthom7 Fri 25 Mar 2022, 11:20 am

Yeah I'd be happy with any points for Ulster, potentially losing bonus points and try bonus points on the table, all could be crucial at end of season

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Post by neilthom7 Fri 25 Mar 2022, 12:09 pm

Ulster team for Stormers (1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor (Capt.), Kieran Treadwell, Greg Jones, Marcus Rea, Duane Vermeulen.

(15-9) Mike Lowry, Craig Gilroy, Stewart Moore, Stuart McCloskey, Rob Lyttle, Billy Burns, John Cooney;

Replacements: Tom Stewart, Callum Reid, Gareth Milasinovich, Mick Kearney, Jordi Murphy, David Shanahan, Luke Marshall, Ethan McIlroy.

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Post by Brendan Fri 25 Mar 2022, 3:46 pm

Stormers v Ulster is the big one for sure.  One think that comes up from the last to rounds is Zebre, Scarlets and Cardiff are easily beaten if you bully them up front.  As Munster showed you match them up front and you can get close.  The 3 big Irish sides and Ospreys normally do ok up front so will be interested to see what happens with two loaded teams.

I am also excited to see Ulster & Edinburgh  teams on the hard pitches, Munster sadly don't take advantage of it but feel those two teams will love the fast pace and both are fit teams.

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Post by Brendan Fri 25 Mar 2022, 5:49 pm

Lions looking good for the lead. Ospreys look tired and it's only half time.

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Post by Old Man Fri 25 Mar 2022, 6:38 pm

Excellent win for the Lions, they seem to be building confidence in their attacking play. Their defence has also improved markedly.

Their set piece has always been solid.

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Post by Mr Fishpaste Fri 25 Mar 2022, 6:45 pm

Gosh. The Ospreys were seriously put to the sword....the Lions, man-on-man, all looked stronger and faster, able to barge through, rip the ball and outrun their opposite numbers...

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Post by Guest Fri 25 Mar 2022, 7:03 pm

Yes the Welsh regions are seriously off the pace. More so than in previous years, and on a general downwards trajectory. I expect the Dragons to ship an almighty amount of points tomorrow vs Bulls. 100 points anyone?! Sad

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Post by Old Man Fri 25 Mar 2022, 7:32 pm

The Oracle wrote:Yes the Welsh regions are seriously off the pace. More so than in previous years, and on a general downwards trajectory. I expect the Dragons to ship an almighty amount of points tomorrow vs Bulls. 100 points anyone?! Sad

Most the Bulls ever scored in a Supper Rugby match was 96 I believe.

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Post by Galted Fri 25 Mar 2022, 7:37 pm

Old Man wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Yes the Welsh regions are seriously off the pace. More so than in previous years, and on a general downwards trajectory. I expect the Dragons to ship an almighty amount of points tomorrow vs Bulls. 100 points anyone?! Sad

Most the Bulls ever scored in a Supper Rugby match was 96 I believe.

Remember listening to them beat one of the Aussie sides 92-3 while I was on holiday in the Kruger Park, driving around near Pretoriuskop. Seems like a lifetime ago.
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Post by Old Man Fri 25 Mar 2022, 7:41 pm

Yes that was it, it was somewhere around 2007-2010, when they were a formidable team and won three titles in that period.

They aren't that formidable now though.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 26 Mar 2022, 1:48 pm

Bulls absolutely destroyed the Chiefs in that SR final. That team featured FDP, Habana, Botha, Matfield, etc.
The current team isn’t as good but they are very big and powerful. SA has a lot of good locks and No.8’s.

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Post by neilthom7 Sat 26 Mar 2022, 2:57 pm

That was an extremely odd bit of communication between TMO and ref over that disallowed try. The TMO repeatedly didn't answer the question the ref actually asked.

Good win Stormers, raced out to an early lead and Ulster couldn't quite get it pulled back. Losing bonus point though helps

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Post by demosthenes Sat 26 Mar 2022, 3:39 pm

Brendan wrote:Stormers v Ulster is the big one for sure.  One think that comes up from the last to rounds is Zebre, Scarlets and Cardiff are easily beaten if you bully them up front.  As Munster showed you match them up front and you can get close.  The 3 big Irish sides and Ospreys normally do ok up front so will be interested to see what happens with two loaded teams.

I am also excited to see Ulster & Edinburgh  teams on the hard pitches,
Munster sadly don't take advantage of it but feel those two teams will love the fast pace and both are fit teams.

Well, you aren't seeing a hard pitch today for Sharks v. Edinburgh. Real 'northern hemisphere' conditions - apart from the humidity!

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 26 Mar 2022, 6:04 pm

Great win by Edinburgh.

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Post by Old Man Sat 26 Mar 2022, 6:23 pm

Well done Edinburgh, Sharks will be very disappointed with that preformance

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 26 Mar 2022, 6:53 pm

The SA teams at home are quite hot. The speed of ruck, fitness and skills are ahead of the NH opposition they’ve faced. Sharks are good but they don’t look quite right when they play - I have seen a few fans complain about their coaches.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 26 Mar 2022, 7:04 pm

Hey a Welsh team actually won. Crazy game at the Arms Park.

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Post by Guest Sat 26 Mar 2022, 7:27 pm

2 Welsh wins and the Dragons not conceding 100 points! Result!

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Post by Brendan Sat 26 Mar 2022, 9:45 pm

Leinster pick up the win. A yellow to Leinster at the start of the game followed by a red to Connacht after 2 mins. It was always going to be an uphill battle for Connacht after that.

Connacht look like they are fighting it out with Lions and Benetton for 12th.

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Post by RiscaGame Sat 26 Mar 2022, 10:20 pm

The Oracle wrote:2 Welsh wins and the Dragons not conceding 100 points! Result!

Plus Newport beating Cardiff first team (hard to keep up) for the fourth time this season.

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon 28 Mar 2022, 9:59 am

Looks like there are a lot of Welsh guys who's last games for the regions will be end of May. 3 month break for most of them on the playing side. At least they will have a lot of time for preseason preparation for next season.

Ospreys might still be able to get top 8 with 3 home games left but none of those look easy and they to could be taking an early break.

Think at this stage it will be hard to look past a Leinster v Ulster final because at this point they will get home advantage for the quarters and semi's and with their home records this year it would take on hell of a upset to knock those teams out.

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Post by Oakdene Mon 28 Mar 2022, 10:02 am

Good win for the us against Zebre, means we move a bit closer to the Ospreys in the Welsh pool, could have done with Cardiff not winning but hey ho. Not sure any of the Welsh sides really deserve to be in the top 8, or in the Champions Cup next season for that matter.

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Post by Pot Hale Mon 28 Mar 2022, 11:53 am

What are the odds on a SA team reaching the semis or final?

I think they're looking very good. Would do wonders for the comp if they were to make it.
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Post by Old Man Mon 28 Mar 2022, 5:30 pm

They would need to get a home quarter final, not sure that will happen, they started very poorly in their overseas trips at the beginning of the comp, it seems they have managed to adapt to the NH rulings, but I can't see one of them getting home advantage in the play offs

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Post by Brendan Tue 29 Mar 2022, 12:11 am

Munster losing both SA games and Glasgow losing has opened the door for the Stormers to get 4th. Glasgow and Edinburgh must still meet and Munster have 4 games but they includs away against Ulster and a double v Leinster so Munster could get nothing from the next two rounds.

I think Stormers look the best of the SA teams. Have the phyiscallity like the Bulls and the running like the Lions but unlike the Sharks they seem to have some game plan and look organised.

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