Bulls and Lions look to bounce back against Dragons and Munster



The Bulls and the Lions will both be looking for United Rugby Championship (URC) redemption after recent chastening local derby defeats, in their first game of their respective European tours, when the Bulls take on the Dragons in Newport and the Lions face Munster in Cork on Friday night.

Both Highveld sides were soundly beaten by their coastal counterparts, the Stormers and Sharks, in their last two games of 2022, and will thus be eager to bounce back with valuable away wins at the start of their tours.

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Despite their two losses at the end of December, the Bulls are still well placed at fourth on the URC log, but they have lost ground against the teams ahead of them, while the teams just behind them, the Sharks and Glasgow Warriors are gaining ground fast.

The Bulls will thus be targeting a full house of points against Dragons at Rodney Parade, and although the home side has been in better form than they were last season, they are still one of the weaker sides in the competition and one the Bulls will be confident in knocking over.

Director of Rugby Jake White has also taken no chances after naming a strong touring squad, and he will be urging his charges to put in a big effort ahead of two tough Champions Cup games in the following weeks.

Difficult task

The Lions face a much more difficult task than their cross-Jukskei rivals, as they take on an inform Munster team that is rising back up the URC table after a poor start to the competition.

The Lions themselves are in a difficult position as they have dropped to 11th on the log after their two derby losses and they desperately need to get a win to get themselves back on track.

The visitors will need to draw inspiration from their unbeaten tour earlier in the season, where they won all three of their games in Wales and Scotland, and hope that the hosts have an off day.

The Lions follow up their clash against Munster with two Challenge Cup games in Paris and Newport, before finishing the month in Connacht, making the game in Cork even more important in building some positive momentum.


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