It has indeed been a good year for the Bulls and the Blue Bulls with a dramatic improvement in virtually every age group and league in their various 2019 campaigns and their good performances continued in the past week or two.
Of course, these successes and those published in Rugbyvaria last week (see http://rugbyvaria.co.za/sa-rugby/sa-rugby-news/the-bulls-impressive-turnaround-at-all-levels-this-year) do not guarantee immediate trophies or titles.
However, the notable fact is that the struggling Bulls and Blue Bulls of last year and the years before have already created a culture of excellence on which they can build.
Just have a look at the following achievements in the past fortnight:
- Craven Week
The Blue Bulls qualified for Saturday’s main match of the tournament after losing all three their matches last year. They have won both their matches to date.
The Limpopo Blue Bulls were eighth from 18 sides after one win and one defeat before the “play-offs” on Saturday; the Blue Bulls XV were tenth, and their Academy side was also unbeaten as was that of the Limpopo Blue Bulls.
- SA Rugby U21 Championship
The out-of-the-blocks performances of the Blue Bulls in the U21 Championship are probably the most impressive of the Blue Bulls performances in the past two weeks.
Friday’s 59-5 win in the U21 Championship against neighbours Golden Lions, who have come to pride themselves on their junior rugby, was probably the best performance at all levels in the past week.
The Blue Bulls U21s have now beaten the Free State 73-31 and accounted for Western province 55-27 in the competition’s first three matches. They have a full house of 15 log points and have scored 187 points with 64 against (ave. score 62-21)
- University Week
During the University Sport South Africa (USSA) Week the Tukkies’ winning (19-18) of the final against Maties was special. This tournament, without professional players, is mainly between sides that field only students who play amateur rugby.
Tswane University for technology (TUT) beat Durban University for Technology (DUT) 59-5, and Centurion Academy beat Rhodes University 44-14 on the last day.
- Currie Cup
Perhaps not the most impressive but certainly the most important win was Friday afternoon’s in the Currie Cup warm-up against the Pumas, who also play in the Currie Cup Premier Division.
The Lowveld side last weekend lost the final of the SuperSport Rugby Challenge against new champions Griquas.
The Blue Bulls were somewhat disappointing in that series but found their feet towards the end but too late to make it to the play-offs despite some good performances.
However, with some players from the Super Rugby side who are now available, the Blue Bulls simply carried on with their improved play.
The Pumas had little answer to the Blue Bulls who won 42-7.