There were big wins for the DHL Stormers and Vodacom Bulls in the opening round of the 2023-24 Vodacom URC, while the Lions didn’t come away empty-handed in defeat.
The Bulls dominated the Scarlets with a 63-21 win in Pretoria on Sunday, led by Cameron Hanekom and Stedman Gans, who both scored twice.
Meanwhile, the Stormers held off a Lions fightback to win 35-33 at Ellis Park, with the Lions earning two losing bonus points.
Defending champions, Munster clinched a 34-21 bonus-point victory over the Sharks, with tries from Andrew Conway and Ethan Coughlan sealing the deal.
Glasgow Warriors narrowly overcame Leinster 43-25 in a hard-fought match. Jacob Umaga’s boot secured a remarkable comeback for Benetton, who beat Cardiff 23-22 after trailing by 16 points. Debutant Ben Healy’s kicking prowess propelled Edinburgh to a 22-17 victory over Dragons.
Caolin Blade’s hat-trick guided Connacht to a 34-26 bonus-point win against the Ospreys, while Ulster staged a comeback to beat Zebre Parma 40-36 in a thrilling contest.
When the action returns in round 2 this weekend, the Stormers host Scarlets in Stellenbosch on Saturday (4pm), before the Sharks face Leinster at the Aviva Stadium (5.55pm), the Lions lock horns with Edinburgh in Scotland (6pm), and the Bulls have a big game against Ulster in Belfast on Sunday (7pm).