United Rugby Championship: Leinster secure top spot despite losing in Cape Town, Sharks win in Durban

Date published: April 30 2022 - Dylan Coetzee

Leinster sealed the top spot in the United Rugby Championship despite losing 20-13 to the Stormers in Cape Town.

The visitors were happy to kick the ball out after the 80 and accept the losing bonus point guaranteeing that they cannot be caught.

The Stormers thought they had scored within the first minute, but centre Ruhan Nel’s try was ruled out for obstruction.

The teams went into half-time with Leinster leading 6-3 after two penalties from Ciaran Frawley to the one penalty from the Stormers’ Manie Libbok.

Click here for the teams and scorers

The game opened up slightly in the second half, and the Stormers crossed the line through fullback Warrick Gelant and wing Seabelo Senatla before the decisive penalty try for a collapsed maul.

Leinster had two yellow cards in the second half but managed to score a try of their own through prop Ed Bryne in a tight clash that had a cagey atmosphere.

With Leinster secured at the top, the Stormers are in a strong position to push for a home quarter-final,  a trip to Scarlets the final hurdle for the Cape Town men.

Ospreys push for Champions Cup qualification

The Ospreys boosted their chances of qualifying for the Champions Cup by beating Welsh rivals Scarlets 54-36 in Swansea.

The home side scored eight tries with Nicky Smith, Morgan Morris, Keelan Giles, Michael Collins, Owen Watkin, Sam Parry and a Dewi Lake brace in a dominant performance. Fly-half Gareth Anscombe kicked 14 points in total to round out the scoring.

Despite being on the losing side, Ryan Conbeer scored a hat-trick of tries to add to Gareth Davies and Keiran Hardy’s tries in a losing cause.

Ulster win tight clash

Ulster managed to fight off a late Edinburgh surge to finish with a 16-10 win as they continued their push for a home quarter-final.

The team traded a try each through Ulster’s Robert Baloucoune and Edinburgh’s Mark Bennett.

The difference was from the kicking tee, where Ulster scrum-half added three penalties and a conversion while Edinburgh’s Emiliano Boffelli kicked one penalty and a conversion. The hosts pushed hard to grab a late winner, but their effort proved in vain as the clash fell into Ulster’s hands.

Strong second half sees Sharks claim solid win

Connacht will be disappointed to lose 41-21 to the Sharks in Durban after taking a 21-10 lead into half-time in what was truly a game of two halves.

The visitors took their first-half lead through tries from Gavin Thornbury and Caolin Blade, with the remaining 11 points being kicked by Connor Fitzgerald.

The Sharks hung on with a Gerbrandt Grobler try in the first half coupled with some points from the boot of Curwin Bosch.

At half-time, whatever was said worked as the Sharks scored 31 unanswered points in the second period through tries from Marius Louw, Bongi Mbonambi, and Le Roux Roets, while Grobler completed his brace as the Sharks went third on the table.

The Lions beat Benetton in their final home game of the season

The Lions beat Italian side Benetton 37-29 in a thrilling clash in Johannesburg as the South African side continues to improve as the competition goes on.

The home side played spirited rugby, and tries from Ruben Schoeman, Morne van den Berg, Edwill van der Merwe, Stean Pienaar and Jordan Hendrikse rounded out the scoring in a positive win.

Meanwhile, the visitors turned the game into an arm wrestle with a brace of tries from Rhyno Smith along with tries from Filippo Drago and Lorenzo Cannone in a losing cause.

Zebre claim rare win

Zebre claimed their first win in 14 months over the Dragons 23-18 in Italy, thanks to poor discipline from the Welsh side.

The Dragons had two yellow cards from wing Jared Rosser and fly-half Sam Davies resulting in a penalty try. Meanwhile, Zebre wing Simone Gesi and Hooker Luca Bigi scored tries, while fly-half Antonio Rizzi
kicked two penalties.

Tries from Rosser and Lewis Jones were not enough for the visitors as they fell to their 12th loss of the season.

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