Bulls into final to join Boks this weekend in a Super Saturday line-up

rugby15 June 2024 20:00
By:Brenden Nel
article image
Bulls @ Gallo images

It will be a weekend of Bulls and Boks filling up your television screens as both sides look for glory this coming Saturday.


South Africa kept up its record of hosting every Vodacom United Rugby Championship final since the beginning of the competition after the Vodacom Bulls and Glasgow Warriors both won epic games against Irish opposition to claim their spots in the last week of the competition.


This season’s final was confirmed for Loftus Versfeld on Saturday after the Bulls defeated Irish juggernaut Leinster 25-20 in a massive match in the capital city before Glasgow Warriors provided the biggest shock of the day to defeat defending champions Munster in front of their red army in Limerick 17-10.

There was some doubt that Loftus would host the final because of the Presidential inauguration that was scheduled for the stadium on the same date, but Bulls officials confirmed that this had been moved to Wednesday, opening up the chance for the Bulls to host a home final.

As the highest ranked team - the Bulls finished second and Glasgow fourth on the overall league log - the Bulls have the right to host the final, which will kick off at 6pm.

It will be an epic afternoon of rugby with the Springboks facing Wales at Twickenham at 3pm before the URC final takes centre stage. The Boks will be without several Bulls players who must have made an impression with their run to the final, but are likely to be a mix and match outfit as several European based players are also unavailable because the test falls outside the international test window.

The game will be the 17th final in the league’s history with the Vodacom Bulls making their second appearance in the decider while Glasgow Warriors have returned to qualify for their fourth final (2014, 2015, 2019). While the URC is only three years old, previous finals were played under PRO12 and PRO14 banners.

For the third season in a row there will be a new winner of the Vodacom URC as Glasgow Warriors defeated defending champions Munster to secure a date against the Vodacom Bulls.

For the Vodacom Bulls it will be their second Vodacom URC Grand Final in three seasons and their first home final since 2009 where they defeated the Chiefs in the Super Rugby decider.

The Bulls were underdogs going in against Leinster, especially as the Irish team fielded their strongest line-up, totalling more than 2600 caps in the match day 23 and was stronger than the team that lost to Toulous in the Champions’ Cup final.

But two tries to Sergeal Petersen, and another to Johan Goosen as part of a 15 point haul for the flyhalf, was enough to stop Leinster and condemn them to another season of woe where they lost in both the URC and Champions Cup.

As if it wasn’t enough to lose three consecutive Champions’ Cup finals in a row, Leinster have now lost three consecutive URC semifinals in a row as well, two of them to the Bulls after the 2022 semifinal in Dublin saw the Pretoria side eek out a one point victory.

Glasgow were given little chance against a Munster side that seemed to be steamrolling its way to the final after last losing on New Year’s Day and posting 12 straight victories, but South African head coach Franco Smith’s side were all action and had a superb second half to see themselves into the final and a trip to Loftus Versfeld.

While the disappointment of the losses for Ireland is one thing, it does mean their players have an extra week to prepare for the two test series against the Springboks, and to try and heal the scars that this weekend has left for them.

Bumper Saturday action this coming weekend

3pm South Africa v Wales, Twickenham

6pm Vodacom United Rugby Championship final: Vodacom Bulls v Glasgow Warriors