We look back on a weekend that saw none of South Africa’s URC franchises pick up a win and Handre Pollard continue his great form for Leicester in the Gallagher Premiership.
URC R5: Hard weekend for SA fans
All four of the country’s sides succumbed to losses in a weekend that provided a timely reminder of just how tough this competition is. The Gauteng franchises went down fighting in Scotland and Northern Ireland, with the Stormers also falling in Limerick to Munster. Meanwhile, the Sharks extended their losing run to five games to Connacht in Durban.
Friday saw Edinburgh get the better of Jake White’s men 31-23 at the DAM Health and Ulster hold off a vastly improving Lions outfit 24-17 at the Kingspan. On Saturday, the men in black and white fell to a demoralising 12-13 home loss to Connacht and the Capetonians were thwarted 10-3 by the defending champions in a rematch of last season’s final.
In other results, Zebre forced a 22-22 draw with Cardiff at the Sergio Lanfranchi, Dragons convincingly beat fellow Welsh outfit Ospreys 20-5 at Rodney Parade, Glasgow Warriors continued their impressive form thanks to a 26-12 win over Benetton at the Scotstoun and Leinster breezed past Scarlets 54-5 at the RDS.
Gallagher Prem R6: One-point wins for Bath and Chiefs
Bath continued to flaunt their playoff ambitions after sealing a dramatic 20-19 victory over Bristol Bears at The Rec on Friday. Player of the Match Ollie Lawrence had an absolute blinder in midfield as the hosts hung on for a well-deserved win that saw them go second.
Exeter also managed to scrape home by a solitary point when they faced Gloucester at Sandy Park on Sunday, with Henry Slade steeping up to sink a penalty with the final play of the game to seal the win.
Elsewhere, leaders Sale earned a convincing 40-22 result over winless Newcastle at the AJ Bell, a 16-point haul for Handre Pollard lifted Leicester Tigers to a much-needed 26-17 victory over Saints at Welford Road and full-strength Saracens embarrassed Harlequins 38-10 at The Stoop.