Alfons Meyer (CEO) and Willem Strauss (President) - Photo by GB Jordaan
The Blue Bulls Rugby Union president Willem Strauss, in his Annual Report 2019 which was also tabled at the AGM on Thursday night, mentioned the on-field feats of the Bulls and the Blue Bulls, with the franchise and the union’s representative sides boasting an 81% winning ratio in 2019.
In his report Strauss highlights the following and underlines a dramatic improvement on literary every level.
Here follows his Annual Report:
The only disappointment was our Currie Cup campaign which might have turned out differently if there was a double round. On behalf of our new management, our staff and coaching personnel these were memorable improvements this year:
· Reaching SupeRugby play-offs for the first time in six years.
· Performed best of the SA teams, winning 5 out of six derbies. We only lost one game at Newlands by one point.
· Produced most Springboks (12) including two captains.
· Winning at Ellis Park for the first time in seven years and incredibly finishing the New Zealand tour unbeaten.
· Handré Pollard scoring the most points at the Rugby World Cup and Duane Vermeulen receiving the Man of the Match award for the RWC final.
· Winning the National U19 title for the first time in 5 years
· Winning the National U21 title for the first time in 6 years.
· Playing in Craven Week final for the first time in 7 years.
· First time in almost a decade winning the U21 and U19 leagues in the same season.
· First time in 21 years playing in all 3 finals in same season.
· Blue Bulls Deaf team winning the national title.
· Our representative teams had an 81% winning percentage.
The first Volcano Cup, Trophy and U20 leagues were introduced and was arguable SA Rugby’s biggest club success story of the year.
Tuks dominated the league by winning the Volcano and Carlton Cups, with QBR being victorious in the U20 leagues. The Volcano, cross-border competition was dominated by Blue Bulls clubs, with ABE Midas Naka Bulls, Centurion and Northam finishing in the top four.
Tuks had an outstanding season, playing the Varsity Cup final, as well as winning the USSA tournament and the USSA Seven’s (both men and women).
The Volcano leagues created a platform from which more than 80 club players of the BBRU were exposed to provincial rugby on various levels. Hencus van Wyk (ABE Midas Naka Bulls), was selected for the British Barbarians, Fred Eksteen (Tuks) for the Blue Bulls Senior Currie Cup team, and Ethan Wentzel (Centurion) for the National U19 Team. Incredible achievements for our club players!!!
A highlight of the U20 league was the participation of the Bulls contracted junior players. This obviously contributed to the high quality of the league and the Blue Bulls U19 professional team, winning the national title.
The Carlton Reserve League was won by Bronkhorstspruit Rugby Club, with Potgietersrus Rugby Club in their centenary year, who won Limpopo’s Senior League. Pretoria Rugby Club won the President’s League.
The Blue Bulls and Limpopo Platteland teams once again played a match against each other, thereby creating opportunities for players from the non-premier leagues.
Menlopark High School won the VirSeker Beker for the first time.
Acknowledgements and thanks
I would like to thank Dr E Hare and his staff for their dedication to rugby and their high level of administrative support during this challenging year.
Also a huge word of thanks and appreciation to my Co-Directors, Theuns Reynolds, Ian Herbst and Jacob Modiba who has performed a massive task in a short period of time. I want to thank both Deputies, Henry Adendorff and Henri van Aswegen, and the Vice-Presidents from both regions for their support and sterling jobs done. The Manco and Executive Committees functioned very well and there was a genuine willingness to work in the interest of rugby and the Blue Bulls.
The success reached by the BBRU is due to your highly regarded inputs and efforts. Having your support as a Management Team is appreciated and the time and sacrifices by you does not go unnoticed!
The Blue Bulls Referees Association, as well as the Blue Bulls Coaching Association once again operated as well-oiled machines during 2019. Messrs. C Little and J Groenewald are thanked for their good leadership. Also a huge word of thanks and appreciation to the Chairpersons of our other associations such as, School, Medical, Women, Deaf and Wheelchair Rugby for their enormous contributions (Tshwane and Limpopo).
Next season we need to keep improving. Women’s rugby, Seven’s, Limpopo region and Reserve League clubs must be promoted to the next level. We need to continue improving our coaches and referees at all levels.
We will have huge challenges due to the exchange rate and the financial situation which was inherited. However, sometimes in chaos, there are many opportunities. Thank you to everyone’s support and contribution.
I wish you all a happy festive season and look forward to a splendid 2020!