EPCR – Bulls And Sharks Out To Make History In Europe

 

The Vodacom Bulls and Hollywoodbets Sharks will look to make history on Saturday as they attempt to advance to the in the Investec Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup semi-finals for the first time when they line up against Northampton Saints and Edinburgh in the quarter-finals.

The Hollywoodbets Sharks will take the field first against Edinburgh in Durban at 13h30 after thumping Zebre Parma in their Round of 16 fixture last weekend, while the Vodacom Bulls take on Northampton Saints in England at 21h00, following their comprehensive victory against Lyon.

Both teams were in fine form in their quarter-finals, as they recorded big victories, and they will undoubtedly look to build on that this weekend.

The Vodacom Bulls will face a formidable force in the Northampton Saints, who are unbeaten in the competition this season and currently top the Premiership table with 10 victories in their 14 matches. They also boast a good track record at home, with only one defeat at at Cinch Stadium @ Franklin's Gardens this season.

The Pretoria outfit, however, will take confidence from the fact that they suffered only one defeat in the competition, while their attacking statistics are marginally better with 25 tries to 22 by the Saints, and they will enter match well aware of the fact that this is a do-or-die clash and that they have everything to gain.

Fueling their motivation, they suffered a narrow 29-28 defeat against Lyon in France in the only outing in which they came second-best in the Investec Champions Cup this season, while their nine tries last week will undoubtedly boost their confidence further going into the clash.

The Hollywoodbets Sharks will back themselves against Edinburgh in what will mark the second time the sides meet in Durban in three weeks after the KwaZulu-Natalians defeated the Scottish outfit 23-13 in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship at the end of March.

The Durbanites are also on a three-match winning streak in the EPCR Challenge Cup – where they have only suffered one defeat to two by Edinburgh – and in Durban respectively, where they registered victories against Ulster and Edinburgh in the Vodacom URC before outplaying Zebre Parma in the European showpiece last weekend.

The hosts will also take comfort from the fact that they boast a superior attack having scored 28 tries in their five matches to Edinburgh’s 20, while they will draw huge inspiration from their passionate crowd as they continue to sway their fortunes after a bitterly disappointing start to the season.

Given the massive stakes for all four teams, both matches are set to be humdingers.

Match information:

Investec Champions Cup quarter-final: Northampton Saints v Vodacom Bulls
Date: Saturday, 13 April
Venue: Cinch Stadium @ Franklin's Gardens, Northampton
SA Time: 21h00
Referee: Matthieu Raynal
TV: SuperSport

EPCR Challenge Cup quarter-final: Hollywoodbets Sharks v Edinburgh
Date: Saturday, 13 April
Venue: Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban
SA Time: 13h30
Referee: Matthew Carley
TV: SuperSport