The Vodacom Bulls under-21 have set their eyes on destiny, as they put finishing touches to their preparations for the final of the 2021/22 SA Rugby u/21 Cup Final. The Pretoria young guns will battle noisy neighbours from the other side of the Jukskei, the Lions under-21, for the coveted trophy as well as rugby bragging rights across Gauteng.
The decider will take place at Loftus Versfeld, on Friday 21 October 2022. Kick-off is scheduled for 13h00pm.
Hayden Groepes’ ‘heard’ goes into the clash with an impeccable record, as defending champions and victors of the previous two editions of the competition, since 2019. This season, the side has amassed five victories from the six matches they have played, momentum which the Vodacom Bulls under-21 coach will be counting on to help his side defend their crown.
“It is a final, there is a lot at stake but the guys know that we have to stick to our plans and processes, keeping the focus on what matters and when the opportunity presents itself, we must look to make the most of it and the results will take care of themselves,”
Gropes has made a single change to the starting xv that thumped the Leopards under-21 in the semi-finals a sennight ago. Conpuon von Ludwig comes in at fly-half, replacing Rowan Cloete who misses due to Family Responsibility Leave. Corne Lavagna and Juann Else swap jerseys from the bench, with Merwe Olivier added to the matchday 23.
“This group of players has been tremendous all season long, playing for one another and leaving nothing to chance. Their hunger to do better in each game is what inspires us as a coaching unit to want to help them and provide the right support that will keep them consistently producing the results. We can only hope that on Friday, all the preparation will see us perform better than our opponents,” concluded Groepes.
Complimentary tickets to the match will be made available to rugby fans who wish to see the game LIVE. These can be collected through the South Gate, accessible via Lynwood Road.
Vodacom Bulls Special Projects and Women’s High-Performance Manager, Thando Manana challenged rugby fans to fill Loftus. “This young side has had an incredible season in what is a tough and highly competitive competition. I am calling on all rugby fans to turn out in their numbers, to come and support the future of South African rugby. The early kick-off presents a wonderful opportunity for our local schools to make the trip, and they could walk away inspired and that can only advance the game of rugby.”
VODACOM BULLS UNDER-21 STARTING XV:
1. Cebo Dlamini (c), 2. Tiaan Lange, 3. Sebastian Lombard, 4. Hanno Theunisen, 5. Marco De Witt, 6. Danwich Beukes, 7. Ghudian Van Reenen, 8. Hardus Rothmann, 9. Tiaan Fourie (c), 10. Compion von Ludwig, 11. Quewin Nortje, 12. Carlton Banies, 13. Munashe Dukuzwa, 14. Tharquinn Manuel, 15. Franco Knoetze
VODACOM BULLS UNDER-21 IMPACT SQUAD:
16. Juann Else, 17. Corne Lavagna, 18. Mawande Mdanda, 19. Merwe Olivier, 20. Neels Volschenk, 21. Neil le Roux, 22. Corne Beets, 23. Gert Steyn
VODACOM BULLS UNDER-21 MANAGEMENT:
Hayden Groepes – Head Coach; Edgar Marutlulle – Forwards & Defence Coach; 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