URC – Vodacom Bulls’ Road To The Semi-final

 

The Vodacom Bulls have finalised their preparations to host Irish side Leinster on Saturday at 16:00 (SA Time) at Loftus Versfeld. 

Front rower, Wilco Louw says it is good to see a packed Loftus as he calls for local support to turn up on Saturday for what should be a great rugby spectacle.

“It is lovely to play at a full Loftus, we are hoping that there will be a lot of people here on the weekend so that we can play a great game for the Loftus faithful, our families and this team.”

“The VURC has such a healthy competition where most weekends feel like a test match. This will be a big game, like any other knockout game and it is also a great opportunity for us to measure ourselves against the best.”

As Jake White's men prepare for the fierce final four battle, here is a closer look down memory lane at their journey to the semifinals in the 2023/24 Vodacom United Rugby Championship.

Round 1: Vodacom Bulls 63-21 Scarlets
The Bulls opened their season with a nine-try victory stroll against the Scarlets at Loftus Versfeld, with Cameron Hanekom and Stedman Gans both collecting doubles.

Round 2: Ulster 26-19 Vodacom Bulls
Despite outscoring Ulster 3-2 on tries, the Bulls were undone by Nathan's Doak precision goalkicking as he booted 16 points to steer his team home.

Round 3: Zebre Parma 29-54 Vodacom Bulls
A high-scoring contest at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi went comfortably the Bulls' way, with David Kriel scoring three tries.

Round 4: Cardiff 12-18 Vodacom Bulls
It proved a far tighter affair at the Arms Park a week later, with the Bulls having to withstand Cardiff's fightback following tries for Embrose Papier and Sebastian de Klerk.

Round 5: Edinburgh 31-23 Vodacom Bulls
The Bulls had Marcell Coetzee sent off one minute into the second half and the home side took advantage by scoring three tries. There were also yellow cards for Hanekom and Sergeal Petersen.

Round 6: Vodacom Bulls 53-27 Connacht
The Bulls ran in seven tries on their return to Pretoria and there were 16 points for Jaco van der Walt as they bounced back strongly from defeat in Edinburgh.

Round 7: Vodacom Bulls 44-10 Hollywoodbets Sharks
Jake White's team encountered few problems against their South African rivals, with Gans and Akker van der Merwe both scoring two tries as the Bulls dominated.

Round 8: DHL Stormers 26-20 Vodacom Bulls
It was a much different story to the Sharks game in Cape Town, where the Bulls faded after a strong start to the game. Canan Moodie was among their try-scorers.

Round 9: Vodacom Bulls 30-28 Emirates Lions
Goosen's penalty two minutes from time gave the Bulls a thrilling victory as the Lions tried to hold out for a memorable win on the road.

Round 10: Emirates Lions 10-25 Vodacom Bulls
Any chance of the Lions avenging their loss in Pretoria was undone by the Bulls' second-half show of strength as van der Merwe, Coetzee and Kriel scored second-half tries.

Round 11: Vodacom Bulls 40-22 DHL Stormers
The Bulls were in no mood to suffer a second defeat against the Stormers, powering home on the back of hooker Johan Grobbelaar's try double and 20 points from Goosen.

Round 12: Dragons 10-31 Vodacom Bulls
The Bulls had few concerns in Newport as Papier and Grobbelaar featured among the try-scorers to give their team a fourth successive URC win.

Round 13: Leinster 47-14 Vodacom Bulls
Any hope of backing up the win against Dragons by challenging fellow competition heavyweights Leinster was dashed on a sobering night in Dublin. The Bulls conceded five second-half tries.

Round 14: Vodacom Bulls 22-27 Munster
There was more misery for the Bulls against Irish opposition as they were undone by scrum-half Conor Murray's 73rd-minute try. Goosen had earlier been sent off.

Round 15: Vodacom Bulls 61-24 Ospreys
There was no stopping the Bulls as they moved effortlessly through the gears to run in eight tries, including doubles for Moodie and Kurt-Lee Arendse.

Round 16: Vodacom Bulls 40-34 Glasgow
The teams shared eight tries at Loftus Versfeld in an outstanding game as the Bulls withstood a strong second-half fightback from Glasgow. Chris Smith's 20-point haul proved crucial.

Round 17: Vodacom Bulls 56-35 Benetton
Another high-scoring encounter comfortably went the Bulls' way, with Moodie claiming a hat-trick among the nine tries his team posted against adventurous opponents.

Round 18: Hollywoodbets Sharks 14-26 Vodacom Bulls
The Bulls completed their regular-season fixtures with a win in Durban. Van der Merwe scored two second-half tries as they warmed up for the quarter-finals.

Quarter-final: Vodacom Bulls 30-23 Benetton
Tries from Arendse (2) and Kriel and 15 points from the boot of Goosen helped the Bulls overcome a dogged display from the Italians.