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Jaco Coetzee, Bosch and Pokomela herald u20 trial group


STELLENBOSCH, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 24, Dawie Theron during the SA Under 20 training session and media briefing at Markotter Stadium on January 24, 2012 in Stellenbosch, South Africa Photo by Carl Fourie / Gallo Images
STELLENBOSCH, SOUTH AFRICA – JANUARY 24, Dawie Theron during the SA Under 20 training session and media briefing at Markotter Stadium on January 24, 2012 in Stellenbosch, South Africa
Photo by Carl Fourie / Gallo Images


Junior Springboks coach Dawie Theron has invited a large group to the Baby Boks trials camp in Cape Town next week:
Junior Springbok trials squad (position in brackets):

Vodacom Blue Bulls

Jan-Henning Campher (hooker)
Tinus de Beer (flyhalf)
Aston Fortuin (lock)
Stedman Gans (centre)
Denzel Hill (No
Jaco Holtzhausen (prop)
JT Jackson (centre)
Manie Libbok (flyhalf)
Andell Loubser (wing)
Franco Naude (centre)
Divan Rossouw (wing)
Hendre Stassen (lock)
Eli Snyman (lock)
Gavin van den Berg (prop)
Franco van den Berg (prop)
Luigy van Jaarsveld (No

Toyota Free State Cheetahs

De Wet Bezuidenhout (flank)
Mosolwa Mafuma (wing)
Victor Maruping (flank)

Xerox Golden Lions

Le Roux Baard (hooker)
Marco Jansen van Vuren (scrumhalf)
Rhyno Herbst (lock)

EP Kings

Lusanda Badiyana (flank)
Tango Balelike (hooker)
Michael Brink (flyhalf)
James Hall (scrumhalf)
Nicolaas Oosthuizen (prop)
Lupumlo Mguca (prop)
Junior Pokomela (No
Roche van Zyl (prop)
Keanu Vers (fullback)
Jeremy Ward (centre)
Stephanus Nieuwoudt (flanker)


Benhard Janse van Rensburg (flyhalf)

Cell C Sharks

Curwin Bosch (fullback)
Morne Joubert (fullback)
S’busiso Nkosi (wing)
Zweli Siluale (wing)

DHL Western Province

Saud Abrahams (flank)
Ruan Brits (hooker)
Paul de Wet (scrumhalf)
Eduan Keyter (fullback)
Daniel Maree (flank)
Gary Porter (lock)
Duncan Saal (wing)
Carlo Sadie (prop)
Tiaan Swanepoel (fullback)
Ernst van Rhyn (flank)
Jaco Willemse (lock)
Eduard Zandberg (lock)
Jaco Coetzee (No
Zane Davids (flank)
Ruben de Villiers (lock)
Wikus Groenewald (prop)
Edwill van der Merwe (wing)
Kuyenseka Xaba (flank)

A talented group that will be out to win a spot in the South African squad that will travel to the Junior World Cup in England. South Africa will play Japan in their opening game. Interesting to note that Curwin Bosch has been penned down as a fullback.

Pool A

New Zealand

Pool B


Pool C

South Africa

Do officials crave the limelight too?




Officials are starting to act like neglected kids who have always sought attention with atrocious calls and decisions every week. It is as if they want to be in the headlines every week and for all the wrong reasons. Some may call the criticism unfair but its warranted with the number of high profile howlers growing by the week. Soon the question of match fixing will become part of the rugby conversation.  Instead of focusing on the rugby, most press conferences, around the world have resulted in talk of the referee decisions. Blues coach Tana Umaga the latest to highlight some inconsistencies. There were many a dubious call that are yet to be put to the fore.

  1. The neck roll on Schalk Ferreira by Sam Whitelock has yet to be cited and one has to wonder what the problem is. A result of the Southern Kings front row heading back home.
  2. It was almost the howler of the year for me, Jaco Peyper was about to send the Brumbies to the bin instead of the shower for punches. Had sanity not prevailed the Brumbies could have got away with that one.
  3. The punch by Nizaam Carr was missed amidst the punching row.
  4. Dillyn Lleyds’ try was actually inconclusive. There is a grey area on this one and I await an explanation from the South African referees on how this was a try.

Law 22.1 & 22.2 state- There are two ways a player can ground the ball:

(a) Player touches the ground with the ball. A player grounds the ball by holding the ball and touching the ground with it, in in-goal. ‘Holding’ means holding in the hand or hands, or in the arm or arms. No downward pressure is required.

(b) Player presses down on the ball. A player grounds the ball when it is on the ground in the in-goal and the player presses down on it with a hand or hands, arm or arms, or the front of the player’s body from waist to neck inclusive.

The list will go on, unless teams adapt on a game to game basis they will struggle. What you will be penalised for in one week, you will be allowed in another. The Reds-Blues clash was an example of an official not sure about the breakdown /scrum laws with some contentious calls. Surely there can be ways in which the officials fix this trend before it gets worse.

The use of neutral officials in clashes could be of help. Watching the Jaguares game against the Chiefs; one has to wonder what SANZAAR are a aiming at with the officials finding themselves making some rather one sided calls on occasion. One has to feel for the Argentinians who have had to face this all season.

All attack, no defence

The Lions managed to put the Cheetahs to the sword and further exposed the Bloemfontein side’s inability to tackle, cover the support runners and read the play of the opposition. The Cheetahs have a tournament high of 116 tackles. A further 38 more than the beleaguered Kings who show some bright sparks but lack the nous to dominate an 80 minute game. The Bloemfontein side is still in rebuilding but would have done well to focus on defence first this season to heal an Achilles heel that has derailed them in the last decade. The chances are looking good that South Africa will harbour at least two of the worst sides in the competition. While most sides will battle with balance the Cheetahs just seem to forget the entire aspect that is defence.

Team of the week:

My team of the week this weekend features a few surprise players and the top performers in:

Warrick Gelant (Blue Bulls); Ruan Combrinck (Lions); Johnny-Ben Kotze (Stormers); Howard Mnisi (Lions); Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders); Elton Jantjes (Lions); Faf de Klerk (Lions); Jed Holloway (Waratahs); Sean McMahon (Rebels); Elliot Dixon (Highlanders); Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers); Blade Thomson (Hurricanes); Marcel van der Merwe (Blue Bulls); Malcolm Marx (Lions);  Sef Faagase (Reds)

A view from the couch..




The Sunwolves have bite

For a team that had under two weeks in pre-season the Wolves managed to play a brave, exciting game The Cheetahs should have been worried at some stage and if it wasn’t for the replacements early on from Franco Smith they could have lost.

The Cheetahs will take pride in the character they showed and will look back and take a few lessons from this match. No one will under estimate the Sunwolves and if you willing to field an under strength side against them- at your own peril.

The Wolves showed some great innovation, speed and resilience. Their addition is becoming more of a positive addition and they are well placed to leave a mark on this tournament.

Akihito Yamada was exceptional in scoring a hat trick that lit up the round. #Awooo

Lions still in good stead

A loss to the champions the Highlanders saw the Lions end their overseas tour with two wins in three. The performance was not as bad if you look at the numbers and game a second time.

The Lions may need to adopt a few options if they look to be an all-round game. They will need to at their kicking game. The Lions kicking was out of touch in Dunedin and may need to refine it a bit.

They showed a lot more one dimensional play this weekend as well, playing off the second receiver so often the Highlanders had it covered. The Highlanders offered an impressive rush defense that capitalized on long, cut-out passes and this resulted in smothering tackles, intercepts to mention a few.

What will be key is how close the Lions came to scoring in the last minute when there was a chip over the defence and they regathered.

Attacking variations will be important going forward. Bar a game in Argentina, the Lions have majority of their games in South Africa and should be poised to finish top in their group.

We also learned that what you do with possession is very important as the Lions dominated possession & territory (71% and 70 % respectively).

The Lions at some point looked to have run out of ideas and could be their biggest downfall if they do not vary their game. Their depth looks much better than most sides in the competition.

The Sharks are better than last year

They Sharks have looked good over the weeks. Slowly showing a vast improvement on the past season.

They have looked good in the set-piece and have a great blend between experience and youth. The side that took to field on Saturday averaged just 25 years. Forget the contentious decision to award the penalty try which I think was completely wrong and bonkers.

The credibility to match officials needs to seriously be looked at. The Sharks played what was in front of them and they dominated. Both Stormers packs got pummelled at the scrum bar one or two when Scarra and the less fancied Oli Kebble felt like scrumming.

The Beast had one of his best games and destroyed both Springbok incumbents. The line out was much improved even pipping a Stormers throw. The tactical nous of Gary Gold has to be lauded.

There is a tour ahead but for now the Sharks can be hopeful of a strong season. The thought of Pat Lambie, Chilliboy Ralepelle, Francois Kleinhans, Renaldo Bothma, Jacques Potgieter, Lwazi Mvovo, Ruan Botha among many who will boost the squad.

To Gary Gold, unleash S’bura Sithole. He will add some variety to a backline that could derail the Sharks attack. The Stormers will need to go to the drawing board because the next two clashes are as tough as they get.

The Brumbies who look flawless and a trip to Argentina against the Jaguares could define their season.

Marais name strong Blue Bulls side for EP Kings



Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais named five Springboks and another on the bench in the team to play the EP Kings in a friendly match in Port Elizabeth on Friday.

Francois Hougaard is picked at scrum half, Arno Botha at no8, Deon Stegmann at flank, Flip van der Merwe at lock and Werner Kruger at prop, with Dean Greyling amongst the reserves.

Marais’ stated policy of giving younger players a chance is evident in the number of recent Junior Springboks that makes up the rest of the group. Warrick Gelant, Travis Ismaiel, William Small-Smith and Daniel Kriel are included amongst the backs and Jannes Kirsten and Marvin Orie amongst the starting pack.

Marais made it clear that the team will have little time to get things right.
“We only have one more warm-up match after this, so we need to get things right from the start. We are working on a number of things on the training ground and would love to see that implemented in a match situation, so it will be an important match for us.”

The team is: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Daniel Kriel, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Flip van der Merwe (Captain), 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Morné Mellett. Replacements: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Dean Greyling, 18 Nqoba Mxoli, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Clyde Davids, 21 Roelof Smit, 22 Ivan van Zyl, 23 Marais Schmidt, 24 Dries Swanepoel, 25 Jade Stighling, 26 Kefentse Mahlo.

Crusaders, Brumbies win!




By: Benedict Chanakira





Crusaders 35 Hurricanes 18

Hurricanes vs Crusaders

To be fair this was a sloppy game which had moments of brilliance in patches. The game started quite quickly though, Havili having had y opportunity to create quite an overlap had he passed instead deciding to hold onto the ball. The first chance quashed. The Hurricane line out was atrocious and this cost them badly in the game. A win would have sealed the top spot with three games to go. The champions elect fell to only their second loss of the season.

The Crusaders winger Nemani Nadolo was in terrifying form and managed to get a try and create a few. Nadolo was breaking tackles and played an important part which saw Drummond, Tuitavake and Todd add to the five pointers. Daniel Carter managed to get his kicking and distribution game at its best and the Crusaders held a 16-8 lead at the break. Robbie Fruean was sin binned for a powerful hit on Nehe Milner-Skudder. DanColes managed to capitalise on the yellow. Though the referee managed to get this one wrong it had no difference in the long run.

After the break the Hurricanes came out to score a breath taking try as they simply dazzled the Crusaders. Nehe Miner Skudder managed to finish off the move by releasing Ardie Save a who brought the score to 16-15 in favor of the Crusaders. Unfortunately this did not help turn the clash around as the Crusaders managed to seal of the game with three more tries.

One moment that left the Hurricanes fans puzzled could have been Ma’am Nonu trying to shield the ball over the try line instead of playing it.  The Crusaders hopes of a play off still alive as they hope for several results To go their way.

Crusaders 35-18 Hurricanes

Crusaders : Tries – Drummond, Tuitavake, Todd, Nadolo. Conversions – 3/4 Carter. Penalties – 3/3

Hurricanes : Tries – Coles, A. Savea. Conversions – 1/2 Black. Penalties 2/2

Brumbies 22 Bulls 16

Brumbies vs Bulls

The Blue Bulls will need a miracle to make the play offs and will have their breakdown woes, failure to front up in the forwarcs and a long list of grievances to blame for the loss. The Bulls started well and held a 6-0 lead and Christian Lealifano had issues with his radar. When Lealifano found his range he managed it make it 6-3. Some patient build up saw Jordan Smiler go over in the corner to take the lead to 8-6 for the Brumbies.

After the break a Pollard penalty saw the Blue Bulls regain the lead but that was the last of it. Henry Speight broke the line and raced away unscathed after the Bulls midfield failed to cope with him. He managed to grab a second a few minutes later to take the score to 22-9 to the Brumbies with about 20 minutes to go.

While a late Labuschagne try gave the bulls some hope to win the game their efforts failed. The Brumbies defence managed to hold on as they quanched the late Bulls surge including some well executed maul stops. The Bulls will now look to salvage some pride in the games to follow.

Brumbies 22-16 Blue Bulls
Scorers: Brumbies – Tries: Smiler, Speight (2) Conversions- 2/3. Penalties 1/3.

Bulls- Try: Labuschagne. Conversion: Pollard- 1/1. Penalties: 3/3.

Absa Currie Cup Round 3 Preview


We have a look at this weekends Currie Cup fixtures and squads

ABSA Currie Cup
ABSA Currie Cup

Absa Currie Cup Round 2 Previews


Its round 2 of the 2014 instalment if the Absa Currie Cup and we give you all the lineups and our thoughts – By Clayton Saville

Xerox Golden Lions
Xerox Golden Lions

Steyn move to France confirmed


The Blue Bulls Company and Mornè Steyn would like to confirm that the Vodacom Bulls flyhalf will be leaving Pretoria for Paris at the end of the 2013 rugby season.

Rugby that Rocks, or Pops?


Has the Pink Floyd, AC/DC or Led Zepplin of rugby been replaced by Justin Bieber?

Serfontein commits to Bulls


The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd is pleased to announce that Jan Serfontein has extended his contract with the BBC and will remain a Vodacom Bulls player in the foreseeable future.

Morne gets 1 week ban


Vodacom Blue Bulls player Mornè Steyn has been suspended for one week of rugby after being found guilty by a SARU Judicial Officer on Tuesday.

Steyn, Mellet cited


Vodacom Blue Bulls players Mornè Steyn and Mornè Mellett have been cited following alleged foul play in their semi-final clash against The Sharks in Durban on Saturday and both will appear before judicial officer Louis Booyse in Pretoria on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 at 14h00.

Plum resists Bok temptation


Jean Deysel will win his 50 Absa Currie Cup cap for The Sharks in Saturday’s semi-final when they host the Blue Bulls at Mr Price KINGS PARK for the 4.30pm kick-off.

Blue Bulls unchanged for semi’s


Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar made no changes to his side that beat the MTN Lions last weekend for their Absa Currie Cup semi-finals clash against The Sharks in Durban.

Blue Bulls 26, WP 13


We kick of this weekend’s fixture with the Blue Bulls hosting WP in their continued fight for Currie Cup survival.

WP makes one change for Blue Bulls


DHL Western Province head coach Allister Coetzee has named his team for Friday’s Absa Currie Cup clash against the Vodacom Blue Bulls in Pretoria (19h10).

Basson back for Blue Bulls


Try-scoring record holder Bjorn Basson is back to bolster the Vodacom Blue Bulls ahead of their Absa Currie Cup match against the DHL Western Province at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Sharks 13 v Blue Bulls 12


This weekend’s Currie Cup actions kicks off with a cracker down in Durbs where the Sharks will host the Blue Bulls who are fighting to keep up with the semi-final contenders.

Stander back for Blue Bulls


Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar named CJ Stander at number eight in a reshuffled loose trio combination for his side’s Absa Currie Cup match against The Sharks in Durban on Friday.

Pine rings the changes


Returning Springboks Jano Vermaak and Jacques Potgieter has been included in the Vodacom Blue Bulls team that will play the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in an Absa Currie Cup match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Griquas 49, Blue Bulls 34


The Blue Bulls find themselves on the bottom of the Currie Cup log and it won’t be easy to change this as they head to Kimberly.

Blue Bulls drop Sadie


Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar made three changes to his backline to play Griquas in an Absa Currie Cup fixture Kimberley on Saturday.

Blue Bulls 23 v Golden Lions 32


The Blue Bulls are hurting from their smacking they received at Newlands last week and will look to fix things when they host the Lions at Loftus.

Blue Bulls include Tecklenburg


Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar included Tuks flanker Warwick Tecklenburg in his starting team to play defending Absa Currie Cup champions, the MTN Golden Lions, at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The difference between winning and losing


He is only going into his 6th test as Springbok coach having yet to taste defeat, but Heyneke Meyer already finds himself under enormous pressure in the lead up to the test against Australia this weekend.

Bulls extends young stars’ contracts


The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd is delighted to announce that Wiaan Liebenberg and William Small-Smith both extended their current contracts and will be available to the Vodacom Bulls and Vodacom Blue Bulls in the foreseeable future.

JJ makes Blue Bulls debut


Utility back JJ Engelbrecht will make his Vodacom Blue Bulls debut on Saturday when the team plays Western Province in an Absa Currie Cup match at Newlands in Cape Town.

Willemse joins Blue Bulls


The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd is pleased to confirm that lock Paul Willemse has agreed terms with them and will join the Vodacom Bulls ahead of next year’s Vodacom Super Rugby season.

Sadie makes debut for Blue Bulls


Johann Sadie will start in his first Absa Currie Cup match for the Vodacom Blue Bulls.

Still no Sadie for Blue Bulls


Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar made one enforced change to his line-up for Friday’s Absa Currie Cup match against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs.

Potgieter leads young Blue Bulls side


Dewald Potgieter will lead the Vodacom Blue Bulls in their Absa Currie Cup opener against Griquas at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.

Blue Bulls team for Lions friendly


New signing Grant Hattingh will be running out in Vodacom Blue Bulls colours for the first time on Friday night when his new side faces the MTN Golden Lions team in a friendly match at Wits University.

Bulls also confirm Sadie move


The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd confirmed media reports on Wednesday that Johann Sadie will leave the franchise at the end of October 2012, after the player negotiated a successful release of his contract this week.

Eccentric genius, or space cadet?


Is Rassie the trailblazing technical guru so many make him out to be, including players and peers? Or, is he the self-centered, obnoxious chameleon?

Are we ready for professionalism?


I have touched on this topic often in the past, but recent events yet again reminded me that rugby, or rather, rugby supporters, might not be ready for the professional game.

Blue Bulls tops at U/13 Craven Week


The Blue Bulls cemented their reputation as the best team at the 41st Coca-Cola Under-13 Craven Week when they came from behind to beat Western Province 19-8 (halftime 5-8) in the final match of the tournament played at Grey College in Bloemfontein.

Serfontein to make Blue Bulls debut


Schoolboy star Jan Serfontein will make his debut for the Blue Bulls Vodacom Cup team against the Pumas in Nelspruit on Saturday.

The SA Schools star has fully recovered from a quad strain and will be ready for his senior debut in the Mbombela Stadium.

Coach Pine Pienaar was forced into more changes to the side that performed so disappointingly against Griquas in the season opener last weekend.

Ruan Snyman is back from Super Rugby duty with the Vodacom Bulls and replaces Lohan Jacobs at scrum half, Arno Botha recovered from a back strain to replace fellow SA u.20 team mate Jean Cook at flank (injured) and Daniel Adongo moves into lock in place of the injured Cornell Hess.

“We played poorly against Griquas and worked hard to cut out the numerous unnecessary mistakes we made,” coach Pienaar said.

“It does not get easier having to travel to Nelspruit and take on the Pumas, but we will have to make the step-up if we want to be successful. It is a young side, but one with lots of promise,” Pienaar said.

The Blue Bulls team to play the Pumas is:

Jurgen Visser, Sampie Mastriet, Ulrich Beyers, Jan Serfontein, Clayton Blommetjies, Wesley Dunlop, Ruan Snyman, Jono Ross ©, Arno Botha, Warwick Tecklenburg, Franco Mostert, Daniel Adongo, Rayno Gerber, Bongi Mbonambi, Dawie Steyn. Replacements: Robbie Coetzee, Basil Short, Marvin Orrie, Lean Schwartz, Lohan Jacobs, Tony Jantjies/Courtnall Skosan, Jean du Plessis.

Blue Bulls VC side announced


The Vodacom Cup kicks off this weekend and the Blue Bulls have announced their side to take on Griquas at Loftus.

Bulls, SA Rugby official statement(s) on Meyer


The Blue Bulls have released an official statement on the issue of Heyneke Meyer and the Bok coaching job.

Bulls announce Puma as new sponsors


The Vodacom Bulls has signed a five year partnership with renowned sports brand Puma. The clothing brand is the official kit supplier to every team under the Blue Bulls Company’s auspices.

‘Shadow’ signs with WP


Vodacom Bulls and Vodacom Blue Bulls utility player Gerhard van den Heever has transferred to Western Province and the Stormers.

Potgieter back for Bulls


Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar took no time to recall fit again Springbok loose forward Dewald Potgieter to his side to take on the Natal Sharks in an Absa Currie Cup clash at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Try or no try, you be the ref


So here we were watching the game on Friday night between the Leopards and the Blue Bulls when 5 minutes into the second half the Blue Bulls mauled the ball for about 30 meters to score a try, or was it?

Fudge back for Blue Bulls


There is only one change to the starting line-up of the Vodacom Blue Bulls for their Absa Currie Cup clash against the Leopards in the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Friday, with Fudge Mabeta taking over the lock berth from injured Juandré Kruger.

Bulls select new loose-trio


Nineteen year old loose forward Arno Botha will make his run-on debut in the Absa Currie Cup competition on Friday when the Vodacom Blue Bulls take on Griquas in one of four changes to the starting line-up of the side that won against the Pumas last weekend.

Basson, Olivier back for Bulls


Returning Springboks Wynand Olivier and Bjorn Basson will be amongst the four new faces in the Vodacom Blue Bulls backline for their Absa Currie Cup clash against the Pumas in Nelspruit on Friday.

Jano already a Bull


The Blue Bulls Company Pty (Ltd) is pleased to announce that Jano Vermaak has signed a contract to play for the Vodacom Blue Bulls for the remainder of the Currie Cup season.

Kirchner, Basson & Chili starts for Blue Bulls


Twenty year old Francois Venter is set to make his first Absa Currie Cup start for the Vodacom Blue Bulls in their fixture against the Golden Lions at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Potgieter signs with Bulls


The Blue Bulls have hauled out the chequebook to increase the depth at the union for 2012 and on-wards.

Bulls sign Jano


The Blue Bulls Company Pty (Ltd) is pleased to announce that Jano Vermaak has signed a contract to play for the Vodacom Bulls in 2012.