Vodacom Western Province’s junior teams had plenty to celebrate on Saturday after the Under-21s and Under-19s claimed silverware in their respective finals against the Vodacom Blue Bulls in Durban.
While their seniors conceded a 30-10 defeat in the Absa Currie Cup Final against The Sharks, the Cape rugby union still managed to salvage two of three trophies that were on offer at The Absa Stadium Durban.
Vodacom WP’s U21s recorded a 43-32 victory over the Vodacom Blue Bulls to claim the Absa Under-21 Championship while Province’s Under-19s were impressive during their well deserved 26-20 win over the Vodacom Blue Bulls as they secured the Absa Under-19 Championship title for 2010.
The Cape side captained by SA U20 scrumhalf Louis Schreuder were in superb form during their Absa Under-21 Championship final clash on Saturday. Eight tries were scored in this match with both sides running in four each.
Two of the Vodacom Blue Bulls’ five-pointers were scored in the last five minutes of the game after Vodacom WP had all but sealed victory during the first 30 minutes of the second half. The Cape side, who ended the league phase in pole position in Group A log, boasted a slender 15-13 half time lead, as both sides failed to build much momentum during the first 40 minutes.
However in the second half, it was Province who played an expansive brand of rugby, and in the process managed to dominate play at set-piece and at the breakdown.
Former Baby Boks centre Johan Sadie scored a brace of tries for the Vodacom WP U21s while Schreuder and flyhalf Gary van Aswegen also added five-pointers for the Cape side. Van Aswegen kicked five penalties and converted all four of his team’s tries.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls winger Gerhard van den Heever scored a brace for the Pretoria side while Jono Ross and Springbok Sevens flyer Sampie Mastriet added their names to the try scoring sheet. Flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff kicked two penalties and three conversions.
“This is a fantastic achievement as our victory is further proof that junior rugby at Western Province is moving in the right direction,” said Schreuder after the game.
“It’s been a tough season as there are good sides in this competition. But we managed to become a close as a group of guys during the last few months and focus on our one intention during this competition which was to win the Absa Under-21 Championship. We had a great setup at WP thanks to our coaches and management, so it always nice when these things falls into place by winning a trophy.”
Vodacom Western Province flyhalf William van Wyk scored 16 points to steer his side to silverware in the Absa Under-19 Championship final against the Vodacom Blue Bull in Durban on Saturday.
The Cape pivot, who represented the SA Schools in 2009, kicked two drop goals, two penalties and converted both tries scored by his captain Ricky Schroeder and hooker Siyabonga Ntubeni. Vodacom Blue Bulls U19 No 8 Arno Botha and lock JJ Breet scored tries for their side while Pieter van der Walt kicked two penalties and two conversions.
Province dominated much of the first half thanks to the physicality of their forward pack who laid the foundation to this impressive victory. While the score line suggested that there was only a six points’ difference between the two sides, WP was always in control of this game.
Flanker Nizaam Carr, lock Eben Etzebeth and prop Frans Malherbe were leading the way up front, while the tactical play of Schroeder and Van Wyk constantly kept the Vodacom Blue Bulls on the back foot during the match.
“I am really chuffed with the performance of my team who never stood back to the physical play of the Vodacom Blue Bulls,” said Schroeder after the game.
“We knew what we had to do to achieve the result and our players stuck to their guns. I would like to thank the guys, our management and coaches lead by Nazeem Adams for the excellent work they have put in this year.”
Absa Under-21 Championship Final:
Vodacom Western Province – Tries: Johan Sadie (2), Gary van Aswegen, Louis Schreuder; Conversions: Van Aswegen (4); Penalties: Van Aswegen (5).
Vodacom Blue Bulls –Tries: Gerhard van den Heever (2), Jono Ross, Sampie Mastriet; Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (3); Penalties: Boshoff (2).
Absa Under-19 Championship Final:
Scorers: Vodacom Western Province – Tries: Ricky Schroeder, Siyabonga Ntubeni; Conversions: William van Wyk (2); Penalties: Van Wyk (2); Drop goals: Van Wyk (2).
Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Arno Botha, JJ Breet; Conversions: Pieter van der Walt (2); Penalties: Van der Walt (2).