Permutations For Sharks, Stormers and Bulls To Host Home Playoffs In Vodacom United Rugby Championship

Permutations For Sharks, Stormers and Bulls To Host Home Playoffs In Vodacom United Rugby Championship

Keba Mothoagae
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:02 PM
  • There is a lot riding on the final round of fixtures in the stage of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship this weekend
  • The South African sides remaining in the quest for the trophy have their paths laid out in simple terms in front of them
  • The Cell C Sharks, DHL Stormers and Vodacom Bulls all desire home play-off fixtures to make the path to the final helpfully easier

This weekend brings the final round of league action in the United Rugby Championship with lots still to be played for.

From which final eight teams will form the quarterfinal line-up to whom will host whom, it promises to be a cracking round of action.

Permutations For Sharks, Stormers and Bulls To Host Home Playoffs In United Rugby Championship
The Cell C Sharks, Vodacom Bulls and DHL Stormers all know what to if they want to host home play-off matches in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.
Source: Getty Images

As stated on the URC’s website, a place in the top two is significant as it enables the occupants to play both their quarter-final and semi-final matches at home, should they make it that far. Leinster have already wrapped up top spot, meaning they will enjoy home comforts if all goes according to plan.

The battle for second is far from over, however, with five teams still in the mix.

Munster occupy the position but are level on both points and wins with the Cell C Sharks and DHL Stormers while Ulster are a point back and the Vodacom Bulls a further two adrift.

A bonus-point win this weekend would almost certainly be enough to clinch second for Munster although, with a trip to Leinster to look forward to on Saturday, that will not be straightforward.

Any slip-up by Munster could be punished by the Sharks or Ulster, who meet in Belfast on the previous evening, or the Stormers, who travel to the Scarlets on Saturday.

For the Bulls to climb into the top two, they would need a bonus-point win by at least 25 points at the Ospreys as well as defeats for Munster and the Stormers and a draw between Ulster and the Sharks, with neither side earning a try bonus.

They would also have to hope Munster did not collect two bonus points in defeat as Johann van Graan’s men boast a considerably better points difference.

Leinster are already assured of a home fixture in the Final Eight and the equation is relatively simple for the chasing pack.

With the third-placed Sharks visiting fifth-placed Ulster, wins for any of the sides from second to fifth will be enough to see them earn a top-four finish.

The Bulls sit three points outside the top four and would, with a win, climb above the loser of the Ulster-Sharks clash – save for any losing bonus points altering the picture – and will hope that one of the other teams above them slips up this weekend.

The race for the South African Shield is also going down to the final round.

The Sharks currently edge the Stormers on tries scored but the Bulls are three points back and could yet climb to the summit.

Stormers and Bulls troll each other on social media ahead of big United Rugby Championship match

The DHL Stormers and Vodacom Bulls have started the mind games ahead of Saturday's crucial Vodacom United Rugby Championship match in Cape Town.

As reported by Sports Brief, the great arch-rivals of South African rugby bantered with each other on Twitter as anticipation grows for the clash.

There is a bit of history when it comes to jibes between the two ahead of a North-South derby.

Keba Mothoagae photo
Keba Mothoagae
Editor- Local Desk
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