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URC Saturday Preview – Sharks and Bulls in action

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The Cell C Sharks and Vodacom Bulls end their first tour in the URC on Saturday when they face Cardiff and Edinburgh. Both sides came off good wins last week in round 3 and will want to end their tour on a high note before returning to the Republic.

Jake White has kept some constancy in his backline only making some changes to his pack for this clash against Edinburgh on Saturday.

With Goosen out due to injury, Chris Smith will take the number ten jumper next to Embrose Papier at nine who keeps his starting position from last week with Cornal Hendricks and Harold Vorster in the midfield.

The back three stays the same with David Kriel at fullback and Tambwe and Arendse on the wings.

In the pack Mornay Smith and Lizo Gqoboka starting in the front row. The loose trio is also a new combination with Arno Botha, Marchell Coetzee and Muller Uys who gets the number eight jumper for this weekend.

On the bench the Bulls will also have the experience of the Springbok Morne Steyn who has joined the team this week after Goosen was ruled out.

Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White, said: “It’s been quite an experience for our squad in these past four weeks in the UK, adapting to the Vodacom United Rugby Championship – new opposition and unfamiliar conditions.

“Edinburgh is a top side that is well-coached, with a number of international players. We expect another challenging encounter against a competitive opposition. We look forward to ending off this tour on a high note.”

For the home side fans will be happy to see that Mark Bennett have made a return to the starting XV. He is one of five change to the side form last weekend.

With Bennett back, James Lang moves to the midfield partnering with Bennett. On the wing Hoyland also gets a start this weekend and he will form the back three with Henry Immelman and Darcy Graham.

Charlie Shiel will start this week with the number nine on his back and he will have Jaco van der Walt next to him. Van der Walt had a brilliant game last week and was a handful on attack, something the Bulls will have to look out for on Saturday.

In the pack Stuart McInally also return to the hooker position and Bradbury replace Ritchie on the side of the scrum.

Head Coach Mike Blair, said: “We’ve talked this week about finding balance to our game after doing some really positive things in the draw with DHL Stomers.

“We were delighted to see that focus and energy in our fast start, but it’s about maintaining that throughout the full 80 minutes and ensuring we get our threatening strike runners on ball consistently, and executing our game plan from first whistle to last. 

“The players have been buzzing to get back to DAM Health Stadium this weekend and the Vodacom Bulls present a unique challenge with their size and physicality.”

The game will be live on SuperSport at 18:00 on Saturday so don’t miss this one.

Teams:

Edinburgh Rugby: Henry Immelman, Darcy Graham, Mark Bennett, James Lang, Damien Hoyland, Jaco van der Walt, Charlie Shiel, Pierre Schoeman, Stuart McInally, Luan de Bruin, Marshall Sykes, Grant Gilchrist (CAPT), Magnus Bradbury, Luke Crosbie, Viliame Mata

Replacements: Dave Cherry, Boan Venter, WP Nel, Pierce Phillips, Mesulame Kunavula, Connor Boyle, Ben Vellacott, James Johnstone

Vodacom Bulls: David Kriel, Madosh Tambwe, Cornal Hendricks, Harold Vorster, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Chris Smith, Embrose Papier; Lizo Gqoboka, Bismarck du Plessis, Mornay Smith, Janko Swanepoel, Ruan Nortje, Marcell Coetzee (CAPT), Arno Botha, Muller Uys.

Replacements: Schalk Erasmus, Simphiwe Matanzima, Robert Hunt, Walt Steenkamp, Elrigh Louw, Marco Jansen van Vuren, Morne Steyn, Lionel Mapoe

As with the Bulls, the Sharks are coming off their first win in the competition and will have some good confidence going against a very good Cardiff side this weekend.

Everitt has made only three changes to his starting XV for this clash with Dylan Richardson coming in for James Venter with Henco Venter moving to eighteen to make way for his captain Phepsi Buthelezi who returns to the starting XV this week.

Gerbrandt Grobler will be playing of the bench this weekend as well as Tian Meyer and Reniel Hugo.

In the backline Anthony Volmink starts on the wing for the injured Abrahams with Curwin Bosch getting the number fifteen jumper.

This week head coach Sean Everitt will be looking for more of the same from his charges as they look to end the tour on a high after their commanding victory over Ospreys last week.

“We’re obviously very happy with the result we got on Friday night, and not just the result but the way we performed,” he explained in the lead-up to the match.

“We believe there are four things you need to do to win rugby games, one of them is discipline and I thought we were outstanding in that department, only conceding four penalties in the last 60 minutes of the game which contributed a lot to us winning the territory battle.

“Our discipline has improved vastly since the first game when we gave away 17 penalties, but conceded 10 against Glasgow and this last week nine, which is below the tournament average of 12, so we are doing well in that department.”

The match will be live on SuperSport at 20:30

Teams:

Cardiff Rugby: Matthew Morgan; Aled Summerhill, Owen Lane, Willis Halaholo, Josh Adams; Rhys Priestland, Tomos Williams; Rhys Carré, Kirby Myhill, Dillon Lewis, Seb Davies, Rory Thornton, Josh Turnbull (CAPT), Ellis Jenkins, Will Boyde

Replacements: Kristian Dacey, Rhys Gill, Dmitri Arhip, Teddy Williams, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Lloyd Williams, Ben Thomas, Hallam Amos

Cell C Sharks: Curwin Bosch, Marnus Potgieter, Jeremy Ward, Murray Koster, Anthony Volmink, Boeta Chamberlain, Ruan Pienaar Ntuthuko Mchunu, Kerron van Vuuren, Thomas du Toit, Ruben van Heerden, Hyron Andrews, Dylan Richardson, Henco Venter, Phepsi Buthelezi (CAPT)

Replacements: Dan Jooste, Khwezi Mona, Wiehahn Herbst, Reniel Hugo, Gerbrandt Grobler, James Venter, Tian Meyer, Werner Kok

In the other matches on Saturday we see Zebre taking on Glasgow, Benetton hosting Ospreys and Leinster at home Scarlets

Glasgow is two wins from three matches and they travel to play Zebre who has not register a win this season so far. It is fare to say that Glasgow goes into this match as favourites and they are expected to get the full points on the night.

Zebre has struggled this season so far and although at home this weekend will have to put a perfect 80 minutes together to come away winners in this match.

The game is life on SuperSport at 13:55

Teams:

Zebre Parma: Junior Laloifi, Pierre Bruno, Giulio Bisegni (CAPT), Tommaso Boni, Mattia Bellini, Carlo Canna, Alessandro Fusco, Danilo Fischetti, Luca Bigi, Matteo Nocera, David Sisi, Andrea Zambonin, Maxime Mbandà, Renato Giammarioli, Giovanni Licata.

Replacements: Oliviero Fabiani, Andrea Lovotti, Eduardo Bello, Cristian Stoian, Luca Andreani, Marcello Violi, Paolo Pescetto, Erich Cronjé.

Glasgow Warriors: Cole Forbes, Sebastian Cancelliere, Nick Grigg, Sione Tuipulotu, Rufus McLean, Duncan Weir, George Horne; Jamie Bhatti, Johnny Matthews, Oli Kebble, Lewis Bean, Richie Gray, Ally Miller, Rory Darge, Ryan Wilson (CAPT).

Replacements: Fraser Brown, Brad Thyer, Enrique Pieretto, Rob Harley, Thomas Gordon, Sean Kennedy, Ross Thompson, Stafford McDowall.

The two teams go into the match as even as you get with two wins and one loss in the first few rounds of matches. Benetton has shown why they won the Rainbow Cup against the Bulls earlier this year playing some good rugby so far.

They could have easily been three from three but the signs are there that they are building nicely as a team. At home they will be s force to be recon for for the Ospreys side.

Ospreys are in the same position as their host and a win will bring them to the top half of the log this weekend.

Both sides have been badly beaten last weekend after twi wins from the first two rounds so there should not be a problem to motivate the teams.

The game will be live on SuperSport at 15:55 on Saturday.

Teams:

Benetton Rugby: Andries Coetzee, Tommaso Menoncello, Marco Zanon, Joaquin Riera, Monty Ioane, Tomas Albornoz, Callum Braley, Nahuel Tetaz, Gianmarco Lucchesi, Tiziano Pasquali, Niccolò Cannone, Federico Ruzza, Giovanni Pettinelli, Michele Lamaro (CAPT), Riccardo Favretto

Replacements: Giacomo Nicotera, Cherif Traoré, Ivan Nemer, Irnè Herbst, Sebastian Negri, Dewaldt Duvenage, Rhyno Smith, Tommaso Benvenuti.

Ospreys Rugby: Max Nagy, Alex Cuthbert, Owen Watkin, Keiran Williams, Luke Morgan, Stephen Myler, Rhys Webb (CAPT), Rhodri Jones, Elvis Taione, Tomas Francis, Bradley Davies, Alun Wyn Jones, Olly Cracknell, Sam Cross, Ethan Roots

Replacements: Ifan Phillips, Nicky Smith, Tom Botha, Rhys Davies, Morgan Morris, Reuben Morgan-Williams, Joe Hawkins, Mat Protheroe

Leinster are sitting nicely on the top of the standings and will have Scarlets coming to town on Saturday who have only one win out of three matches so far. The one thing we know is that Scarlets is much better than their current log position.

It is never easy playing Leinster and even more difficult when you play them in their own back yard. This is a difficult one for Scarlets but they can take some tips from the Dragons who pushed the champions all the way in their second round match a few weeks ago.

The match will be live on SuperSport at 18:10

Teams:

Leinster Rugby: Hugo Keenan, Jordan Larmour, Garry Ringrose, Ciarán Frawley, James Lowe, Johnny Sexton ( CAPT), Jamison Gibson-Park, Andrew Porter, Rónan Kelleher, Tadhg Furlong, Ross Molony, James Ryan, Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan

Replacements: Dan Sheehan, Cian Healy, Michael Ala’alatoa, Ryan Baird, Rhys Ruddock, Luke McGrath, Ross Byrne, Jimmy O’Brien

Scarlets Rugby: Ioan Nicholas; Johnny McNicholl, Jonathan Davies (CAPT), Johnny Williams, Ryan Conbeer; Sam Costelow, Gareth Davies, Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, WillGriff John, Sam Lousi, Lloyd Ashley, Aaron Shingler, Tomas Lezana, Blade Thomson

Replacements: Ryan Elias, Rob Evans, Samson Lee, Morgan Jones, Shaun Evans, Kieran Hardy, Dan Jones, Tom Rogers.

Standings:

UNITED RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP LOG

PosTeamPWLDPDPts
1761013429
275115728
375205425
47520-1725
574302221
654106519
763305316
87340-3716
95320-2414
105230-4012
115230-1311
125230-149
137160-439
145131-247
155140-665
165050-1091

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