The Vodacom Bulls Under-20 side suffered a narrow 11-17 defeat to their DHL Western Province counterparts in an SA Rugby Under-20 Championship clash at Newlands on Friday.
Despite the hurdle, the side from Tshwane retained their spot at the top of the log before the remainder of the weekend’s matches on Saturday.
It was the home side that dominated proceedings in the first half during tough weather conditions which saw rain, sun and wind during the 80 minutes of play in Cape Town.
It was only five minutes before the half-time break that DHL Western Province U20 broke through with a converted try from prop Corne Weilbach. The Vodacom Bulls U20 responded with a successful penalty kick from fullback, Juandre Burger, before the home side’s pivot, Sacha Mngomezulu, slotted in a three-pointer of his own to give DHL Western Province U20 a 10-3 lead at half-time.
Burger added another penalty early in the second half. Later, Vodacom Bulls U20 winger, Tharquin Manuel crossed over to score in the corner to give the visitors a 11-10 lead. However, the home side quickly responded with a converted try from Ruben Labuschagne.
Misfortune for the Vodacom Bulls U20 saw them lose prop Sebastian Lombard to the sin-bin in the second half, while FC du Plessis’ action was cut short with an elbow injury.
The Vodacom Bulls will look to bounce back in their next SA Rugby U20 Championship clash where they will host the Leopards U20 at Loftus Versfeld on Friday, September 17.
DHL Western Province U20 (10) 17
TRIES: Corne Weilbach, Ruben Labuschagne
CONVERSIONS: Sacha Mngomezulu (2)
Vodacom Bulls U20 (3) 11
TRY: Tharquin Manuel
PENALTIES: Juandre Burger (2)