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RUGBY WRAP: SA sides coming right in URC, Smith dazzles for ‘Quins in Premiership

There was more joy for South African sides this week in the URC while Marcus Smith dazzled as ‘Quins blew Bristol away in the Premiership.

Marnus Potgieter of the Sharks URC
Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

We look back at this weekend's rugby action as the South African sides started to find their feet in the URC and Marcus Smith dazzled for 'Quins in the Premiership.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

South African teams finding their feet in URC

After two weeks of abject displays, the South African URC sides came to life in round 3.

The Sharks kicked things off on Friday evening by bagging a 27-13 win over the Ospreys. The KZN franchise still have some areas to work on but were clinical enough on attack to put away the Welsh side who are shocking on the night. There were groans aplenty from the home support who saw their side consistently cough up possession through a litany of basic handling errors. Boeta Chamberlain’s MoTM performance was well-deserved with the Sharks’ pivot nailing three drop goals as he controlled proceedings well from 10. 

The Lions put in a spirited display going down 13-9 against Glasgow. Ivan van Rooyen’s charges would have felt hard done by with Glasgow scoring a try that shouldn’t have been given. Referee Gianluca Gnecchi was quick to award to try even though Jamie Bhatti was clearly short of the line before EW Viljoen managed to wrestle the ball away from the prop. The replay was only shown after the conversion was taken so the try stood- pretty calamitous stuff from all involved. The match was littered with errors from both sides, but the Lions will take plenty of confidence from this encounter ahead of a tough outing against Ulster next week.

Over at the DAM Health Stadium, the Stormers played out to an entertaining 20-20 draw against Edinburgh. The Cape side showed plenty of character to fight back after going down 14-0 inside the opening 5 minutes before tries from Warrick Gelant and Paul de Wet as well as a pair of penalties from Tim Swiel ensured they went into the sheds locked at 20-20. John Dobson’s men have work to do under the high ball, but they do look as though they’ll ask the Dragons some serious questions next week.

The Bulls did things the hard way down at Cardiff Arms Park, coming from 16-3 down at half time to storm to a 29-19 victory. The victory, however, came at a cost with Johan Goosen forced off with what looked like a serious knee injury. Encouragingly, understudy Chris Smith came on and delivered a perfect performance with the boot, kicking five penalties and two conversions. While the first half would have worried Jake White, the Bulls’ forwards eventually took control of proceedings in the second stanza and blew the Welsh side out of the contest.

Ulster lead the way at the top of the standings with Munster and Leinster the other teams with perfect three from three records. Glasgow and Edinburgh make up the remainder of the top 5 while the Ospreys, Benetton and the Dragons complete the top 8. 

Results:

Friday 8 October

Ulster 28-8 Benetton
Ospreys 13-27 Sharks

Saturday 9 October

Leinster 43-7 Zebre
Glasgow 13-9 Lions
Connacht 22-35 Dragons
Edinburgh 20-20 Stormers
Cardiff 16-29 Bulls

Sunday 10 October

Scarlets 13-43 Munster

Standings provided by SofaScore LiveScore

Marcus Smith dazzles as ‘Quins destroy Bears

Harlequins have certainly enjoyed doing things the hard way against Bristol recently. In last season’s Premiership semi-final, the London club were forced to come back from 28-0 down at Ashton Gate to book their place in the final. This past weekend, they were 24-7 down at half time and seemingly staring down the barrel of a first Premiership defeat of the season.

The tide would turn shortly after the resumption of the match as Harlequins put on a show for the Stoop faithful as Bristol were condemned to their third defeat of the season.

Smith pulled the strings as his side completely overran the Bears as the Bristol club’s defensive system and scrum disintegrated. ‘Quins would go on to run in nine second-half tries, scoring 45 unanswered points after the restart. The pick of bunch saw Smith sharply change direction in the Bears’ 22 before chipping ahead to dot down unchallenged. Harlequins sit second on the standings with three wins from three behind Leicester who are four from four.

Results:

Friday 8 October

Harlequins 52-24 Bristol

Saturday 9 October

London Irish 16-21 Leicester
Gloucester 33-32 Sale
Exeter 42-2 Worcester
Saracens 37-23 Newcastle

Sunday 10 October

Wasps 26-20 Northampton

Standings provided by SofaScore LiveScore
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