Home General Discussions CC Final: Blue Bulls 36, Cheetahs 24

CC Final: Blue Bulls 36, Cheetahs 24

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You will have to go a long way to find a rugby match, in fact any sporting event in South Africa, that can claim such a disproportionate share of the spotlight.

Jan de Koning – Rugby365.com

Not many Test matches were sold out this year and that included those against the Springboks’ arch rivals, the All Blacks.

The Currie Cup Final was sold out within an hour of tickets going up for public sale.

It remains one of the biggest events on the calendar and Loftus Versfeld on Saturday will be awash with fervent blue-clad, flag-waving fans … with only splatterings of the Free State Cheetahs’ orange to be seen.

Add to that a host of Springboks from the all-conquering South African national team – 10 of those in the Blue Bulls matchday 22 – and it is easy to see why this game has been billed as a ‘test’ match.

It will be a true test of the players’ ability to cope under the most intense pressure.

As Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said: “Finals are about pressure.”

Ludeke, who already tasted success by winning the Super 14 with the Bulls earlier this year, will be hoping to become only the second South African coach to win a Super Rugby title and Currie Cup crown in one year.

The first was Kitch Christie, who saw his Transvaal (now Golden Lions) team make a clean sweep in 1993 – Super 10, Currie Cup, Night Series and Lion Cup.

Ludeke’s task is perhaps a lot more complicated, as the game has moved on considerably in the 16 years since. For starters, it is now a professional sport, a full-time occupation.

The Bulls mentor spoke of the need for the players to continue to back their teammates, and “keep it up for 80 minutes.”

Most pundits this week also spoke of the importance of the set pieces.

And that is certainly one aspect of the Cheetahs’ game that will give the Bulls a few sleepless nights.

“The whole season their set pieces were good – they have a very good, solid pack of forwards,” Ludeke told rugby365.

But the Cheetahs are by no means a one-dimensional team.

“From broken play they are also very dangerous, they are good at getting the ball into space and put the opposition under pressure, while they are obviously also very good at the breakdown,” Ludeke said.

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské was also in a complimentary mood this week when quizzed about the Bulls.

Even though most pundits believe the Cheetahs’ front row could be their trump card, Drotské is not convince the scrums are a safe bet for the Cheetahs to win.

“The Bulls showed in the semifinal against Western Province they can scrum,” Drotské told rugby365.

“However, the last five years we have targeted other teams’ set pieces – their scrums and line-outs.

“We will certainly continue doing that – even if they have Victor Matfield, we will still target their line-out.

“That is something that is part of our game plan every week.”

Other experts also agree that the game could develop into a brutal forward battle.

Springbok forwards Juan Smith (Free State Cheetahs) and Chiliboy Ralepelle (Blue Bulls), who will both miss the Final due to injury, told a media gathering on Thursday that the two packs will decide the outcome.

“If we [Free State Cheetahs] are not physical enough up front we could have serious problems,” Smith told the media gathering in Johannesburg.

“We have to match them in set pieces and have to make sure we don’t concede unnecessary penalties. The team that makes the most mistakes will come up short.

“In a Final, teams are very closely matched and the game is not actually flashy. It’s about playing winning rugby, because the scoreboard is all that counts.”

Ralepelle agreed with Smith and added: “We really worked hard on our scrums this week as this battle will be won up front,” he said.

“We know we have to set a good platform up front for the backs to get some good attacking ball and guys like Pierre Spies to shine from the back. Finals are always very close games.

“The Cheetahs have Jaques Potgieter and we have Morné Steyn, so I believe it will be a big battle between the two, especially if the teams give away easy penalties.”

Players to watch:

For the Blue Bulls: He has been a match-winner all year and the Blue Bulls’ mercurial flyhalf Morné Steyn will again be in the spotlight. Then there is Bryan Habana, in his last game in the light blue jersey, before he moves south to Cape Town. Other key players for the Bulls are scrumhalf Fourie du Preez, No.8 Pierre Spies, along with locks Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield.

For the Free State Cheetahs: The game is also a last for flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter, who joins up with the Bulls next year. The Cheetahs’ trump card is another Springbok star, poacher extraordinaire Heinrich Brüssow. You will also look to the power of Lionel Mapoe on the wing, the experience of Meyer Bosman in the midfield, the brute force of Ashley Johnson and Frans Viljoen, along with the find of the season – prop WP Nel.

Head to head: You could, and probably should, list them all – 22 to one. However, the key battles are at flyhalf, Morné Steyn (Blue Bulls) against Jacques-Louis Potgieter (Free State Cheetahs), scrumhalf, where Fourie du Preez (Bulls) faces JP Joubert (cheetahs), No.8, with Pierre Spies (Bulls) up against Ashley Johnson (Cheetahs) and lock, Victor Matfield (Bulls) versus David de Villiers (Cheetahs). Then again, this would not be complete without comparing the two front rows – Werner Kruger, Derick Kuün and Gurthrö Steenkamp (Bulls) up against WP Nel, Adriaan Strauss and Wian du Preez (Cheetahs).

Most recent Currie Cup encounters:
26 Sept 09: Blue Bulls won 30-27, Pretoria
7 Aug 09: Cheetahs won 24-15, Bloemfontein
11 Oct 08: Blue Bulls won 31-19, Pretoria (semifinal)
20 Sept 08: Blue Bulls won 23-5, Bloemfontein
12 July 08: Blue Bulls won 31-23, Pretoria

Road to the Final:

Blue Bulls:
Beat the Lions 19-13
Beat Western Province 30-22
Lost to the Sharks 13-19
Beat the Boland Cavaliers 50-18
Lost to the Free State Cheetahs 15-24
Beat Griquas 25-24
Beat the Leopards 44-11
Lost to the Lions 13-20
Lost to Western Province 19-25
Lost to the Sharks 23-29
Beat the Boland Cavaliers 72-16
Beat the Free State Cheetahs 30-27
Beat Griquas 61-27
Beat the Leopards 61-24
Beat Western Province 21- 19 (semifinal)

Free State Cheetahs:
Lost to Griquas 18-28
Lost to the Lions 22-31
Lost to Western Province 13-19
Lost to the Sharks 12-21
Beat the Blue Bulls 24-15
Beat the Leopards 71-17
Beat Boland Cavaliers 59-8
Beat Griquas 58-13
Beat the Lions 20-16
Beat Western Province 33-31
Lost to the Sharks 13-24
Lost to the Blue Bulls 27-30
Beat the Leopards 60-17
Beat the Boland Cavaliers 55-10
Beat the Sharks 23-21 (semifinal)

rugby365 Prediction: It will be brutal, as all finals are. It will be close, as most finals are. It may even produce a surprise result, as often happen when the Blue Bulls and Free State Cheetahs go head-to-head. But we feel that the Bulls simply have too much experience across the park and in key positions and will win a tight game. The Blue Bulls by 10 points.

Teams:

Blue Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 Jaco Pretorius, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Dewald Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Derick Kuün, 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Danie Rossouw, 19 Pedrie Wannenburg, 20 Heini Adams, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Gerhard van den Heever.

Free State Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Corné Uys, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Danwel Demas, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 JP Joubert, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Frans Viljoen, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 David de Villiers, 4 Nico Breedt, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Izak van der Westhuizen, 19 Lukas Floors, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Louis Strydom, 22 Fabian Juries.

Date: Saturday, October 31
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT)
Predicted weather: Early showers and morning clouds, otherwise mild. High of 25°C and a low of 13°C. The win will be at about 15km/h NE and there’s about a 50 percent chance of precipitation.
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant referees: Pro Legoete, Cobus Wessels
TMO: Shaun Veldsman

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30 COMMENTS

  1. yawn. This site is about as boring as the win will be easy.

    45-19 to the bulls. Cheetahs to score first and take a first minute lead and then never see the lead again.

  2. Cheetah cub asks:

    Mommy, why do Bulls supporters’ women have big breasts and small mouths?

    Mother answers: Because Bulls supporters have big mouths and small dicks.

  3. trust a wetlook poofter to talk dick size on a rugby thread.

    Don’t know deon, i don’t really measure myself. What i do know that bulls have, is a full trophy cabinet.

  4. Wag vir hom, JA DIS NOG EEN VIR ALMAL WAT DIE CHEATERS SUPPORT HET!

    :finger:

    BULLS 4EVER!

  5. WELL DONE CHEETERS!!!!!!

    BBBUUUULLLLLLLSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!

    The fkn cheeters played better rugby today. The cool heads, however, carried the day.

    FOURIE DU PREEZ ( no accident, you cannot mention him if it is not billboard sized letters), you are a prodigy! Your equal will probably be born in 2509.

    For GUTS, never say die, the cheeters got 150%.

    Congrats, Boere Ferrari, on your double and CC win, we are going to miss you. You are also going to miss us. You will look like a fkn zebra with those stripes, so, fire Berney and stay at the KINGDOM.

  6. Reply to cab @ 7:23 pm:

    Cabbie, it is no coincidence that the Sharks with their boks fell off the wagon, and the BULLS sucked hind tit in the semi’s and today.

    The BULLS boks played 15 S14 games, 3 BIL games, 6 TriNations, 5 CC games. That is 29 HIGH LEVEL games. It is impossible for their bodies to take that strain and not die down in that final pain barrier stuff.

  7. What a brilliant final Congrats to all the cows, Great season winning the Super 14 and CC, :WTF: with the springbok team Adams in fu.. me, and why no WP Nel?

    Can not wait for France game
    :db:

  8. Reply to Cosa @ 8:18 pm:

    ja agree, but they still played very well today, morne is a world beater, naas in the making, no doubt. habana, potgieter, guthro and FDP all huge today too.

  9. B U L L E ! ! ! ! ! !! !

    Well done Bulle – julle bly die beste!!

    Super 14 Champs!!!

    CC CHamps!!!!

    Dankie Habs vir al die memories!!

    Dis lekker om ‘n kommin, Oos-pawiljoen, Blou Bul supporter te wees –

    WANT ONS KAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Eisj, jammer die Cheetahs
    het daai eerste 21 punte
    gelek – kon ‘n ander storie
    gewees het.

    Geluk aan die Bulle, julle
    het verdien om ‘n puik
    wedstryd te wen.

  11. Only watched the game now. Great final. Cheetahs definately played more rugby, but congrats to the Bulls. Cool heads from them and two hot head moments by the Cheetahs cost them. Both from the Strauss cousins.

    Well done Bulls and congrats to the supporters.

  12. Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 3:07 am: They showed the game in NZ today and the general comment was why do the Cheaters struggle in the S14 when they can play like this in the CC final? If anything was awesome it was their ability to attack from anywhere on the park and some great handling. The stats shown with 15 mins to go stated Morne Steyn had run the ball ONCE and passed 7 times by that late stage of the game. Suppose its a reflection on the state of rugby when the kicking game wins tests and cup finals. Hold your heads high Cheaters you might not have won the cup but you have won a lot of admirers around the world for the way you play.

  13. What was Blades on about during the game? I heard him say the Bulls have won the Currie Cup more than any other province? If so, he is wrong- WP has won the Cup something like 33 times since 1892 and Bulls twenty something times? Perhaps he was saying they had played in more finals than anyone else? WTF, I thought nobody remembers the guy who comes second?

    I think I am right in saying the Cheetahs have won the CC 4 times 1976, 2005, 2006 (shared) and 2007? Pretty good new millenium performance by them?

  14. Reply to out wide @ 10:25 am:

    Unfortunately saying “we played
    the most/best rugby” does not
    win matches.

    I thought Brussow was particularly
    good, not so much in poaching, but
    his overall vision, passing and
    ball-carrying.

    That’s why I rate him way above
    Afkophoender.

  15. Reply to out wide @ 10:25 am:

    As much as I enjoyed the game… one must not forget that the national comp is far inferior to the S14…

    Take out the awesome crowd atmosphere… and the CC is most definitely not something to choose test players from…

  16. If rugby was like figure skating they could have judges awarding points and then the team that played the “most rugby” ( in the view of the judges) may win the game.

  17. NTvl/Bulls won the most CCs since a final has been used to the determine the winner. WP won about 20 before finals were used. How did they win? Don’t know!
    Maybe they had judges, like in figure skating.

  18. Reply to Boertjie @ 1:03 am:
    Hmmmm. I’ve always wondered if it was somehow rigged.

    Seriously though.
    It would be interesting to know the details of the early competition. Format? Competitors? Scores? and so on.

    If you have something on that it would make a nice article for the off-season.

  19. Congrats to the BuLLs players, their Management Team, The Union and LAST BUT LEAST

    Their SUPPORTERS!

    Played the Klevah game

    Deserved the win…

    Worthy CC 2009 Champs!

    :respek:

    StiLL

    Except for Sjampyn koLLe aLL over the BuLLs jerseys- also some briekmerke in the blue “oNNerbroeke” to sort out this wEEk!

    :whistling:

    weLL done chEEtahs!!!

    Mission accomplished U19 & U21’s

    Senior team

    weLL second is stiLL first of the losers!

    “the greatest comeback” wasnt that far oFF.

    StiLL I enjoyed a gOOde “OranjeOktober”

    Much Obliged!

  20. My line was down the whole weekend.

    So to all the Bulls boys, well done, you are the best union in world rugby.

    Cheetahs – tough luck boys, but I reckon you will have a very good Super tournament next year.

  21. Reply to fyndraai @ 10:53 pm: It was like this see

    First there were like three teams because the capies wouldn’t allow the savage Boers to play along nor the overly colonial Natalians

    So CC’s were decided between WP, Border and Griquas

    Then because the impretinent Griquas were getting so good at it the Capies stopped holding a final

    And then just held onto the cup for 20 years….

    Until Danie Craven went of to Pretoria and told them about it…. and the newly nationalistic Boere decided it must be put up for competition and the good Pretoria influence on danie Craven led him to a moment of lucidity which quickly vanished when he went down to the Cape again after his sojourn of reality…

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