The Vodacom Blue Bulls under 21 team recorded a nerve-racking 20-18 victory over the Vodacom Cheetahs in the ABSA Stadium on Saturday after Okkie Kruger sealed the match with a try in the 80th minute.
The BBRU official website reports that Kruger scored the decisive try after the reserve flanker Vince Gwavu made a turnover deep in the Cheetahs’ half, but this try leveled the score at 18-all and all the pressure was on the 19-year-old Francois Brummer to kick the winning conversion.
Brummer, who had an absolute stormer, nonchalantly added the two pointer and after this kick the final whistle sounded.
The Blue Bulls played some excellent rugby throughout the match but it has to be said that the Cheetahs, who lead 8-6 at the break, are also a very impressive outfit and they thoroughly deserved their place in the final. The difference maybe between the two teams was that the Bulls remained calm especially when the Cheetahs launched one onslaught after the other and when they had the opportunity to clinch the match they did it with surgical precision.
What stood out for the Bulls was the immense scrummaging power of Frik Kirsten, Brett Sharman and Corné Fourie while Fudge Mabeta, Bêrend Botha and the captain Gerrit-Jan van Velze did wonderful work in the line-outs.
Van Velze and his loose trio partners Kruger and Danie Crous played their hearts out for the full 80 minutes whilst the SA under 20 halfback pairing of Francois Hougaard and Brummer thrived under the enormous pressure of the final.
Due to the nature of the final the backs did not get a lot of attacking opportunities but Ruan Boshoff, Braam Gerber, Wynand Willis, Stephan Dippenaar, Stefan Watermeyer and Andillio Coutriers were solid on defence and their superb positional play were just too good for the team from Bloemfontein.
After an unbeaten season one has to take your hat off for Van Velze and his team but a lot of credit must also go to the under 21′s remarkable coaching staff and the magnificent structures that are in place at Loftus
Nico Serfontein together with Denzil Frans and Ricardo Loubscher has the ability to get the best out of these youngsters and they surely know how to coach unbelievably talented teams.
Blue Bulls u21:
Tries: Gerrit-Jan van Velze and Okkie Kruger.
Conversions: Francois Brummer (2).
Penalties: Francois Brummer (2).
Tries: Roché van der Westhuizen and Phillip Snyman.
Conversion: Sias Ebersohn.
Penalties: Divan van Zyl and Sias Ebersohn.