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The Vodacom Bulls under-19 registered a 31-12 bonus-point victory over the Cell C Sharks at Loftus Versfeld, booking their place in the final four stages of the 2023 SA Rugby under-19 Cup. The victory sees the junior herd sit aloft of the log standings and thus securing a home semi-final as Edgar Marutlulle’s chargers continue their quest to defend their crown for yet another season.

The Tshwane-based outfit ran home five tries, as they were adamant in doing their best to not only secure their place in the playoffs but also a match (and a possible home final) on home ground. Philip-Albert van Niekerk, Juan Smal, Juanre Breitenbach and a double from Lukas Meyer ensured the Marutlulle’s team comfortably gets over the line.

Perhaps the standout moment of the game was when Breitenbach caught the ball (with 20 seconds left on the clock) from kick-off to go over the line for the Vodacom Bulls final try of the match. A sign of the side’s intent for the road ahead in the cup competition.

Speaking after the match, head coach, Edgar Marutlulle said: “The result is brilliant; it gives us the chance to continue in the competition and hopefully go all the way. I am proud of the way the boys stayed in the game, how they managed their business and just their overall desire to take it all the way to the end,”

“There is always room for improvement, but we will assess the game and then work on those minor details come the new week.”

Tries: Philip-Albert van Niekerk, Juan Smal, Lukas Meyer x2, Juanre Breitenbach

Conversions: Philip-Albert van Niekerk x1, Jayden Bantom x2

VODACOM BULLS UNDER-19 VS CELL C SHARKS: 1. Mbasa Maqubela, 2. Juan Smal, 3. Casper Badenhorst, 4. Ben Heydenrych, 5. Keanu Coetsee, 6. Lukas Meyer (c), 7. Lilitha Matsiliza, 8. Liselihle Maphekula, 9. Steven Nel, 10. Jayden Bantom, 11. Michail Damon, 12. Philip-Albert van Niekerk (vc), 13. Kobus Janse van Rensburg, 14. Alfondso Isaacs, 15. JL Van Rensburg

VODACOM BULLS UNDER-19 IMPACT SQUAD: 16. Juanre Breitenbach, 17. Jean Fourie, 18. Kaleb Kriek, 19. Nokutenda Mapungwana, 20. Duncan Blignaut, 21. One Fani, 22. Andile Myeni, 23. Abel Pretorius

VODACOM BULLS UNDER-19 MANAGEMENT: Edgar Marutlulle – Head Coach; Wessel Du Plessis – General Attack, Exits and Kicking Coach, Ofentse Moeng – Launches & Backline Coach; Limbi Seyani – Sport Scientist & Strength and Conditioning; Dr. Gerhard Louwrens – Team Doctor; Darryn Berry – Physiotherapist; Prieur Le Grange – Technical Analyst & Team Manager; Tshepo Mashigo – Logistics Manager

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