Alessandro Fusco (Zebre) watches the scrum during the United Rugby Championship match between Zebre Rugby Club and Emirates Lions. BackpagePix/Massimiliano Carnabuci/LiveMedia/Shutterstock
JOHANNESBURG - South African rugby has a new continental competition to look forward to.
The United Rugby Championship started on Friday with the Lions from Gauteng kicking off their campaign with a well-fought 38-26 victory against Zebre in Parma.
The hosts, fresh off an 11-week pre-season, seemed lacklustre in the first half.
The Lions produced sparkling rugby at times, with Jamba Ulengo running in the first of five tries.
At the break, the visitors led 35-0.
But Zebre returned rejuvenated and scored four tries of their own to make it a close affair.
Despite being kept try-less in the second half, the Lions held on for a thrilling victory.