Vodacom Bulls under-19 head coach, Edgar Marutlulle said that he is inspired by both his young chargers’ work ethic as well as their consistency as they prepare for the semi-finals of the 2023 SA Rugby under-19 Cup. The junior herd will welcome the Toyota Cheetahs to Loftus Versfeld (B-field) on Friday 02 June 2023, with kick-off set for 13h00pm.
The side has only five changes to its matchday personnel, as Andile Myeni (left wing) moves from the bench to the starting xv, replacing Michail Damon – who moves to fullback in place of JL Van Rensburg. Inside-centre, Mile Mantinisi replaces Philip-Albert van Niekerk whilst Logan Opperman and Antonio Bruiners come into the impact squad.
Marutlulle said that the match is a great opportunity for his young troops to continue doing great work.
“We have some dynamic players in this group. Guys who love to take the game by the scruff, dynamic players and players who can express themselves. Overall, an exciting group to be a part of and see them doing amazing things at such a young age,”
“For us to be sitting at the top of the log having conceded the least tries and scored the most amount of points, really is part of the testament of the work that these boys have put in into this campaign,”
“What is most impressive is that we started our campaign with ten days’ notice having wrapped up the under-20 young guns competition and came together to focus on this. Not the ideal start but we had the desire to do well and we came together, collaborating to find a solution that would bring us to where we are.”
The junior’s mentor went on to add: “Going into this fixture, we have prepared really well this week – the boys have really worked hard all season long – and hopefully we can get the job done on Friday in front of our home crowd,”
Asked about the importance of having a strong pipeline to the success of a franchise, Marutlulle remarked: “If one looks at all the successful teams in the past, they had a great pipeline of players who went on to graduate and represent the senior team and I think things are no different even now. Every union is South Africa would love to have this pipeline and go forward with them into a first team,”
“We have won the last two under-19 tournaments and hopefully this fixture takes us one step closer to going for that third win in a row.”
VODACOM BULLS UNDER-19 VS TOYOTA CHEETAHS: 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. Andile Myeni, 12. Mile Mantinisi, 13. Kobus Janse van Rensburg, 14. Alfondso Isaacs, 15. Michail Damon
VODACOM BULLS UNDER-19 IMPACT SQUAD: 16. Juanre Breitenbach, 17. Jean Fourie, 18. Kaleb Kriek, 19. Duncan Blignaut, 20. Abel Pretorius, 21. One Fani, 22. Logan Opperman, 23. Antonio Bruiners
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; Claudette Eckard – Physiotherapist, Darryn Berry – Physiotherapist; Prieur Le Grange – Technical Analyst & Team Manager; Tshepo Mashigo – Logistics Manager