The Blue Bulls won their first title in six years and made it the first time in a decade that both the union’s junior teams had won a title in the same season.
It augers well for the Blue Bulls future as this match also made it the first time in 21 years that these two sides plus the Blue Bulls Craven Week team all played in the finals of their competitions. Their schools side was beaten in the main match of their tournament this year.
SA Rugby Communications report that the U19s followed in the footsteps of their U21 side to claim the SA Rugby U19 Championship against Western Province with both finals being played in WP territory in Cape Town.
The Blue Bulls U19s won the title at the City Park Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday with their superior kicking game and wise decision-making at crucial times earning them a 32-24 victory.
The first half was tight, with the Blue Bulls taking an early 14-0 lead, but Western Province fought back strongly with three back-to-back tries to sneak into a 17-14 halftime lead.
The visitors, however, outscored Western Province two tries to one in the second half and kicked two vital penalty goals, which steered them to the 32-24 victory and the title they lost out last season.
Hendrik Beukes (flanker) opened up the scoring for the Bulls in the sixth minute after receiving the ball in space out wide to touch down, and Lionel April (flyhalf) slotted over the conversion.
They built on this with a try by Ethan Burger (prop) minutes later from a pick-and-go to stretch their lead to 14-0.
Western Province hit back in the 16th minute with a try by Duan Bredenkamp (prop), from good forward momentum, and Juanre de Klerk (winger) added to this five minutes later as he dived through in the corner to reduce their deficit to 14-10.
The home team had the last say in the half as Matt Cordy (flanker) picked up a loose ball and dashed through for them to sneak into a 17-14 lead at the break.
The Blue Bulls showed their intent early in the second half with Werner Gouws (lock) stretching over to push them back into the lead, and April added a penalty goal minutes later to increase their lead to 22-17.
Western Province hit back in the 55th minute as Christie Grobbelaar (centre) touched down after several phases on attack to hand the hosts a 24-22 lead, but this was cancelled out soon after by Blue Bulls winger, Kabelo Mokoena.
The visitors continued to make the most of their point-scoring chances as the clock wound down, with Steyn van der Spuy slotting a vital penalty goal with minutes to play to push them 32-24 ahead.
Western Province (17) 24: Tries: Duan Bredenkamp, Juanre de Klerk, Matt Cordy, Christie Grobbelaar. Conversions: Juan Mostert (2).
Blue Bulls (14) 32: Tries: Ethan Burger, Hendrik Beukes, Werner Gouws, Kabelo Mokoena. Conversions: Lionel April (3). Penalty goals: Lionel April, Steyn van der Spuy.
Issued by SA Rugby Communications