The Vodacom Bulls under-19 thumped the Cell C Sharks with a bonus point 35-7 victory to retain the SA Rugby under-19 cup. The commanding victory, playing in Durban, means the Pretoria outfit finished the brisk competition undefeated, scoring 13 tries as they collected 14 points at the conclusion of the cup.
Front rower, Juann Else, lock Corne Beets (who went over the line twice), flanker and co-captain Neels Volschenk all scored first-half tries with substitute backliner, Gcino Mdletshe sealing the win with his second-half try. Junior Springbok flyhalf Compion von Ludwig was on-song as he converted all five tries to see his side deservedly crowned champions, again.
Head coach, Edgar Marutlulle, beaming at the results of his side said: “I am really happy for the Vodacom Bulls under-19, winning the third trophy of the year for the franchise. Significant to how we see rugby and the development of this organisation. The boys played really really well in the first half, taking our opportunities because we were clear in how we wanted to play. Going into the game we spoke about having clarity when we had the ball,”
“At the end of the day, we achieved our mission for the year, achieving significance by doing something that hasn’t been done before, winning three competitions in one year. All of us were extremely hungry for it, extremely determined to bring back a solid result for the Vodacom Bulls family.”
Marutlulle tipped the competition as a solid foundation for the development of the under-20 national side, earmarking the junior Boks for a good showing on the global stage.
“I think the competition is very strong, there is a strong case of South Africa’s best players in the entire competition. It is good to see competition amongst the South African franchises so rife and to see that the next and up-and-coming talent is still in good hands, therefore South African junior structures are in good hands. I now look forward to seeing how many players out of the competition can come together and produce a solid South African under-20 team which can hopefully go to the World Cup next year and win it with the current crop of players,” concludes the Junior Vodacom Bulls mentor.
BBCo Director of Rugby, Jake White commended the junior side for their efforts, labelling the success as the perfect foundation for a culture of winning for the players.
“The victory is a great confidence booster for the three coaches because they have journeyed with the players across the board. As a union, we are big on winning and it has been a good time, seeing some of these incredible results from our under 21’s, under ’20s and now the under-19,”
“Speaking with our group of players, I said I know of players who have won nothing in ten years of their careers and now Edgar and Hayden’s squads have won junior cups. That makes it quite nice to talk to guys who know how to win. Hopefully, the winning culture comes through when they join the seniors and help us maintain that winning culture as the Vodacom Bulls. Congratulations to everyone involved!” concludes White.
VODACOM BULLS SCORERS:
Tries: Juann Else x1, Corne Beets x2, Neels Volschenk x1, Gcino Mdletshe x1
Conversions: Compion Von Ludwig x5
VODACOM BULLS UNDER-19 VS CELL C SHARKS:
1. Corne Lavagna, 2. Juann Else, 3. Mawande Mdanda, 4. Hanno Theunissen, 5. Corne Beets, 6. Neels Volschenk (c), 7. Ghudian Van Reenen, 8. Abulele Ndabambi, 9. Neil Le Roux, 10. Compion Von Ludwig, 11. Adrian Joubert, 12. Gert Steyn, 13. Munashe Dukuswa, 14. Lutho Mene, 15. Quewin Nortje (c)
VODACOM BULLS UNDER-19 IMPACT SQUAD:
16. Johan Lombard, 17. Mbasa Maqubela, 18. Johan Louw, 19. Haydn Kemp, 20. Gcino Mdletshe, 21. Olwethu Ngwenya, 22. Shaun Calitz, 23. Regan Izaks
VODACOM BULLS UNDER-19 MANAGEMENT:
Edgar Marutlulle – Head Coach; Hayden Groepes – Attack & backline; Wessel Du Plessis – Head of Juniors, Kicking & Breakdown Coach; Prieur Le Grange – Technical Advisor; Hendy Seerane – Team Manager; Tshepo Mashigo – Logistics Manager; Limbi Seyani – Sport Scientist; Tayla Chidrawi – Strength and Conditioning; Dr Gerhard Louwrens – Doctor; Claudette Echard – Physiotherapist; Darryn Berry – Physiotherapist