Preview – United Rugby Championship Round 5


Leinster and DHL Stormers are the two unbeaten teams left in the United Rugby Championship. Both are looking to continue that streak on Friday night as Leo Cullen's side travel to Connacht while defending Vodacom URC champions make the trip to Swansea to face Ospreys.

The South African franchises will be committed to remaining in the top eight on the Vodacom United Rugby Championship log as they prepare to enter round five of the competition this weekend, where the Emirates Lions and Cell C Sharks have valuable home games, and the DHL Stormers and Vodacom Bulls continue their Northern Hemisphere tours.

The DHL Stormers will open the weekend’s action for SA’s teams on Friday night when they face Ospreys in Swansea, while an action-packed Saturday will see the Emirates Lions host Ulster in Johannesburg, the Cell C Sharks take on Glasgow Warriors in Durban and Munster line up against the Vodacom Bulls in Limerick.

Friday 14 October 2022

20:35 Osprey vs DHL Stormers at the Stadium

Ospreys have won just one of their last five United Rugby Championship fixtures, against Glasgow Warriors (32-17) on 01 October 2022.

Since the start of last season, Ospreys have suffered only three home defeats in the Championship and all were to South African opponents. Ospreys have not beaten a side from South Africa since their victory over Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth in April 2019.

DHL Stormers have won their last fourteen Vodacom United Rugby Championship matches since their 17-19 loss to Connacht in Galway in February. 

DHL Stormers have won all four previous matches they have played against Welsh regions and the two sides have met just once before, in Cape Town in April, with the home side running out 29-13 victors. 

20:35 Connacht Rugby vs Leinster Rugby at the Sportsground, Galway

Connacht opened their winning account in the United Rugby Championship last weekend with their 20-11 home win over Munster.

Connacht has won their last two fixtures at the Sportsground and has not won three in a row at the venue since the start of the calendar year.

Leinster have won all four matches they have played in the United Rugby Championship this season, three with maximum log points. 

Leinster have lost just one of their last eight fixtures against Connacht in the Championship which was 24-35 at the RDS Arena in January 2021. Leinster have won their last five visits to the Sportsground in all competitions.

Saturday 15 October 2022

14:00 Emirates Lions vs Ulster Rugby at the Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg.

Emirates Lions have won their last three United Rugby Championship matches and have only once before won four in succession in the Championship, between March and April this year. 

Emirates Lions have lost two of their last three fixtures in the United Rugby Championship in Johannesburg.

Ulster’s only defeat so far this season in the United Rugby Championship was with 13-20 at home to Leinster in Round 3. 

Ulster has won just two of their last five away games in the Championship with all three losses being on South African soil. 

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

16:05 Cell C Sharks vs Glasgow Warriors at Hollywoodbets King Park, Durban.

Cell C Sharks' successful start to the new United Rugby Championship campaign ended with their 34-54 loss at Leinster on Saturday.

The Cell C Sharks have lost only once in Durban in the Championship since June 2021 which was with 05-21 to Edinburgh on 26 March. 

The Glasgow Warriors' most recent away win in the Championship came on a visit to Connacht on 29 January. The Glasgow Warriors have lost on their last four visits to South Africa, since beating Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein in September 2018.

The two sides have met just once before, at Scotstoun last October, with the Scotsmen winning 35-24.

18:15 Edinburgh Rugby vs Benetton Rugby at the DAM Health Stadium, Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Rugby has slipped to three successive United Rugby Championship defeats and has not lost four in a row in the Championship in the same season since 2016/17.

Edinburgh was beaten by the Emirates Lions in their most recent home game and has never lost back-to-back fixtures at their new home.

Edinburgh’s only loss to an Italian opponent last season came on their visit to Treviso on 2 October. 

Benetton Rugby has lost only one of their last six United Rugby Championship encounters which were with 10-42 at Leinster in Round 2. 

Each side won its respective home game when the two teams met last season. The Italians have only beaten Edinburgh twice in Scotland, 27-22 at BT Murrayfield in October 2012 and 20-17at Myerside in September 2017.

18:15 Cardiff Rugby vs Dragons RFC at Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff.

Cardiff Rugby doubled their tally of United Rugby Championship victories this season with their 16-10 victory at Scarlets on Saturday. 

Cardiff has won their last two fixtures against fellow Welsh regions and has not won three in a row in such encounters since December 2018, however, Cardiff has lost their last two home games against Welsh rivals.

Dragons RFC's only victory so far this campaign was 23-17 over Munster at Rodney Parade in Round 2.

The Dragons RFC have not won away from home in the United Rugby Championship since they visited Scarlets on 16 April.

Cardiff has won their last fourteen fixtures against the Dragons RFC in the Championship.

20:35 Scarlets vs Zebre Parma at Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli.

Scarlets are without a win in their last six United Rugby Championship encounters since beating the Dragons in Newport in April. They did however draw 23-all at home to the Ospreys in the opening round.

Scarlets' most recent victory at Parc y Scarlets was 35-20 over Cardiff Rugby on 2 April.

Scarlets' 23-34 defeat in Treviso two weeks ago ended a run of eight successive victories over Italian opponents. 

Zebre Parma has not won since beating Dragons 23-18 in Parma on 30 April. Zebre has lost their last fifteen away games in the Championship since beating Benetton inTreviso on 2 January 2021.

Zebre’s only two previous victories in Wales were 30-25 at Cardiff in September 2013 and 39-12 at Dragons in November 2019. 

The two sides have met on fifteen previous occasions with the closest Zebre has come to victory being a 16-all draw in Parma in 2013.

20:35 Munster Rugby vs Vodacom Bulls at Thomond Park, Limerick.

Munster Rugby won just one of their last BKT United Rugby Championship fixtures which were 21-5 against Zebre Parma in Cork in Round 3.

The Munstermen’s only home defeat in any competition since May 2021 was 19-34 to Leinster in Limerick last April. 

Munster’s last six matches against South African opponents have all been won by the home side on the day. Munster has a perfect, played six, won six, record at home against South African sides in the Championship.

Vodacom Bulls' 100% winning start to this season’s Vodacom United Rugby Championship was spoiled with their 21-35 loss at Glasgow on Saturday. 

Vodacom Bulls have won their last four fixtures against Irish provinces since Connacht beat them 34-7 in Galway last October.

The two sides' only previous meeting came in Pretoria in March with the home side winning 29-24.