United Rugby Championship review: Baptism of fire for SA teams

The four South African sides in the United Rugby Championship were given a baptism of fire on the opening weekend of the new competition

United Rugby Championship review: Baptism of fire for SA teams

The four South African sides in the United Rugby Championship were given a baptism of fire on the opening weekend of the new competition, with only the Lions getting a victory in the Northern Hemisphere.

The men from Johannesburg were up first and cruised to a big lead before their opponents, Italian club Zebre, launched a second-half comeback, but the Lions had enough points in the bank to get the win (38-26), with Rabz Maxwane scoring two of their five tries.

United Rugby Championship

Saturday’s three matches involving the DHL Stormers, Vodacom Bulls and Cell C Sharks were tough for the South Africans though.

The Capetonians appeared to be in control against Benetton, but a late flurry by the Italian side – winners of the Rainbow Cup earlier this year – saw the DHL Stormers leave Treviso with only a losing bonus point (22-18).

The Vodacom Bulls and Cell C Sharks were up against Leinster and Munster, and experienced first-hand how tough these Irish giants are, conceding 10 tries between them.

The men from Pretoria conceded four tries and failed to score in Dublin (31-3), while the KwaZulu-Natalians were punished in Dublin (42-17).

Leinster and Munster top the log after the first rounds of action, with the Emirates Lions in third place – all of them as well as Cardiff, Ulster and Edinburgh – on five points. The DHL Stormers are 10th, with one log points, while the Cell C Sharks (15th) and Vodacom Bulls (16th) prop up the standings.

Next weekend, the Vodacom Bulls travel east to Galway where they face Connacht on Friday night, while the Emirates Lions are in action at the same time against the Scarlets in Llanelli in Wales.

The Cell C Sharks face Scottish club Glasgow Warriors on Saturday afternoon, before the DHL Stormers take on Munster in Limerick later that evening.

Lions out of the blocks in style

The Emirates Lions got their Vodacom United Rugby Championship campaign off to a perfect start with a superb 38-26 victory over Zebre in Parma on Friday evening, despite a strong second half comeback by the Italian hosts.

The men from Johannesburg were out of the blocks at 100km/h at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi and scored five first half tries to take a 35-0 lead into the break, but Zebre didn’t give up and carded three five-pointers and a penalty try in the second half.


Zebre 26 (0) – Tries: Carlo Canna, Tommaso Boni, Oliviero Fabiani, Penalty try. Conversions: Canna (2).

Emirates Lions 38 (35) – Tries: Jamba Ulengo, Burger Odendaal, Rabz Maxwane (2), Jaco Visagie. Conversions: Jordan Hendrikse (5). Penalty goal: Hendrikse.

Stormers stunned by Benetton comeback in Treviso

Benetton scored 15 unanswered points in the final quarter to win their Vodacom United Rugby Championship season opener against the DHL Stormers by 22-18 in Treviso on Saturday afternoon.

The Capetonians, who started the match in brilliant fashion when Rikus Pretorius scored their first try in the first minute, would have left the Stadio Comunale di Monigo wondering where things went wrong for them.

The Italians dominated possession (69%) and had a massive territorial advantage (74%) and had the DHL Stormers under pressure, especially in the latter stages of the second half, while the South African team also committed too many silly errors, which handed the ball back to their opponents.


Benetton 22 (7) – Tries: Gianmarco Lucchesi, Ivan Nemer, Tommaso Menoncello. Conversions: Tomas Albornoz (2). Penalty goal: Albornoz.

DHL Stormers 18 (8) – Tries: Rikus Pretorius, Ruhan Nel. Conversion: Manie Libbok. Penalty goals: Libbok (2).

Impressive Leinster overpower Bulls in Dublin

Irish powerhouse Leinster gave the Vodacom Bulls a proper welcome to Northern Hemisphere rugby when they won their Vodacom United Rugby Championship opener convincingly by 31-3 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday.

The men from Pretoria were probably better than the three points they scored during the game, but unforced mistakes, handling errors, a misfiring lineout and defensive lapses cost them dearly against the most successful side in the history of the competition.

The Irishmen were classy on defence and deservedly scored four tries for a bonus point – two tries in either half of the match. But 16 missed tackles by the Vodacom Bulls and 18 defenders beaten by Leinster tell a story of its own.


Leinster 31 (17) – Tries: Josh van der Flier, Andrew Porter, James Tracy, Ed Byrne. Conversions: Johnny Sexton (4). Penalty goal: Sexton.

Vodacom Bulls 3 (3) – Penalty goal: Johan Goosen.

Six-try Munster too strong for Sharks

Simon Zebo and Gavin Coombes scored two tries apiece as Munster started their Vodacom United Rugby Championship campaign with an emphatic 42-17 victory over the Cell C Sharks in Limerick on Saturday.

Apart from two tries in the second half –by Boeta Chamberlain (flyhalf) and Yaw Penxe (wing) – it was a tough baptism for the Cell C Sharks against one of the best teams in the competition.

The KwaZulu-Natalians defended very well, with a tackle success rate of 93%, but their discipline let them down as they conceded 17 penalties to the seven of Munster.

And to add to their woes, Springbok prop Thomas du Toit – who had a short stint with Munster a few seasons ago – was yellow carded just before the half-hour mark for repeated infringements.


Munster 42 (20) – Tries: Simon Zebo (2), Craig Casey, Gavin Coombes (2), Chris Cloete. Conversions: Joey Carbery (2), Ben Healy. Penalty goals: Carbery, Healy.

Cell C Sharks 17 (3) – Tries: Boeta Chamberlain, Yaw Penxe. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (2). Penalty goal: Bosch.

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Source : The South African More   

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EFF Manifesto: Wealth taxes and RDP houses in Sandton

The EFF manifesto is here. And if you listen to Julius Malema, so too could be plenty of land...and even RDP houses in Sandton.

EFF Manifesto: Wealth taxes and RDP houses in Sandton

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have unveiled their new manifesto, going into the upcoming Local Government Elections. As expected, party leader Julius Malema was in top-form as he revealed the party’s key promises. From the usual remarks about land for all, to promises to distribute jobs on a 50 50 gender basis, let’s take a look at some of the standout points.

“Clearly spelt out, the overarching objective of the EFF is to build developmental municipalities, imbued with the will and desire to reverse centuries of ill-treatment, subjugation, and inhumanity that African people have been subjected to in the land of their birth.

It is now a fact beyond doubt that the so-called former liberation movement has failed and is nearing the end of its disintegration process.”

Julius Malema

Also Read – Local Government Elections: ANC ‘young communist’ gets people talking

EFF manifesto launch: RDP houses coming soon to Sandton?

The party says its manifesto is “people-centric” and if in government, will have a key focus on getting people living back where the economy runs strongest.

While unveiling the manifesto in Johannesburg this afternoon, Malema explained that the party will look to purchase property in Sandton.
This will then allow an integrated affordable housing development, right within one of the country’s economic hubs.
Malema went on to insist that the legacy of apartheid spatial planning can not be allowed to continue.
And as result, the country needs to move away from the perception of “rich” and “poor” areas.

“We are identifying a piece of land in Sandton to build RDP Houses. All the buildings in JHB City centre and hijacked ones. They will be refurbished and made into housing for our people. We want our buildings in Sunnyside, Kempton Park and Vaal.”

EFF promises a property wealth tax

Another standout part of the EFF manifesto is the threat to unveil a wealth tax on those who are “rich”.
Malema says that anybody who can afford to live in Sandton must be able to subsidise the poor.

“They are rich and they must subsidise the poor. Dali Mpofu will be the first to pay. He must pay for a poor person in the township and a village. Even myself, I stay in Sandton, I must pay the wealth tax to subside the poor. That is the only practical way we can share the wealth of the country.”

Julius Malema

While there were also promises to deal with corruption, eradicate all pit toilets and have EFF councillors available on call 24/7, Malema and co promised that all jobs created would be made available equally to men and women.

“When we give land, jobs… women must get 50%,” said Malema.

You can read the EFF manifesto in full, here.

Source : The South African More   

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