Numbers that matter: Lions vs Ulster

Back at home after a successful tour to the north, the Emirates Lions will be looking to avenge last season’s Vodacom United Rugby Championship loss to Ulster.

Overall URC head-to-head record: Played 1, Ulster won 1.

When they last met:


  • When in possession, the Lions took care of the ball last weekend. They conceded a round-low six turnovers.
  • However, they were less impressive in defence, missing more tackles than any other team in round four (34). Their tackle success rate of 80% was also the lowest of the round.
  • Trying to inspire higher standards in the Lions’ defence, Marius Louw has made more dominant contacts in the tackle than any other back in the league so far this season (seven).


  • A real emblem of their style of play this season, Ulster have made more carries than any other team in the league – averaging 143.5 per match.
  • Ulster are the only side in the league who are yet to be shown a card of any colour. They have also conceded the fewest penalties of any URC side (33).
  • Mike Lowry made four offloads in round four, the most of any player last weekend and one shy of the record for a single match this season.

Did you know?

• The Lions have won their last three URC matches and have only once before winning four in succession in the Championship, between March and April this year.

• The Lions have lost two of their last three fixtures in the URC in Johannesburg.

• The Lions’ only previous victory over an Irish province was 23-21 over Munster at Emirates Airline Park on 19 March.

• Ulster’s only defeat so far this season in URC was 13-20 at home to Leinster in round three.

• Ulster have won just two of their last five away games in the Championship, with all three reversals being on SA soil.

• Ulster’s most recent victory in SA was against Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth in October 2019.

• The two sides have met just once before, in Belfast exactly twelve months ago, where the home side won 26-10.

Photo: Huw Fairclough/Getty Images

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