Defending champions the Blue Bulls and 2007 winners Griquas will contest the ZAR1-million Vodacom Cup Fin Pretoria next weekend.
It will be the Blue Bulls’ third consecutive appearance in the Final and their seventh overall. Griquas will be playing in their sixth Final. The match is a repeat of the 2007 Final, which was won 33-29 by Griquas.
Rugby 365 reports that the Blue Bulls have won the title twice previously whilst Griquas have been winners on three occasions since the inception of the Vodacom Cup in 1998.
The Blue Bulls won through to the final with a 45-34 win over the Leopards at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.
Both teams scored four tries in an exciting encounter, but Blue Bulls’ flyhalf Francois Brummer’s performance with the boot proved decisive. The young pivot kicked five penalties, two conversions and two drop goals to contribute 25 of his team’s points.
Brummer will end up as the tournament’s leading points scorer – he has so far scored 139 points with none of his challengers being involved in the Final.
Griquas reached the Final with a 36-25 victory over the tournament’s form team, the Sharks XV, who were unbeaten in seven matches going Saturday’s semifinal at the Absa Stadium in Durban.
Two first half tries by wing Trompie Nontshinga helped Griquas to a 21-9 lead at the break and they never looked back despite a tighter second half. Flyhalf Riaan Viljoen scored two tries and kicked two conversions and two penalties for a personal contribution of 20 points.
It was a disappointing finish for the Sharks XV who won all six of their league matches to convincingly win the South Section of the tournament. The Sharks’ defeat paved the way for the Blue Bulls, who won the North Section, to host the Final.
Nontshinga’s two tries for Griquas in the semifinal keep him on course to becoming the tournament’s leading try scorer. He currently trails leader Cecil Afrika of the Griffons by one try.
Griquas’ Egon Seconds and the Blue Bulls’ Rocco Jansen would need to score twice in the final to grab a share of the spoils.
Leading points scorers:
139 – Francois Brummer (Blue Bulls); 17 conversions, 31 penalties, four drop-goals
125 – Naas Olivier (Griquas); five tries, 26 conversions, 16 penalties
99 – Johan Pietersen (Western Province); three tries, 15 conversions, 17 penalties, one drop-goal; Jandré Blom (Free State) one try, 17 conversions, 20 penalties
94 – Ricardo Croy (Eagles); two tries, 12 conversions, 19 penalties, one drop-goal
76 – Clayton Durand (Leopards); 11 conversions, 16 penalties, two drop-goals; Monty Dumond (Sharks XV); 8 conversions, 20 penalties
Leading try scorers:
7 – Cecil Afrika (Griffons)
6 – JW Jonker (Free State), Trompie Nontshinga (Griquas), Allistair Kettledas (Pumas), Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks XV), Norman Nelson (SWD Eagles)
5 – Rocco Jansen (Blue Bulls), Naas Olivier (Griquas), Egon Seconds (Griquas)