U21 Absa Junior championship final: Western Province v Vodacom Blue Bulls
The Vodacom Blue Bulls U21 side faces off against Western Province in the final of the Absa Junior Championship at Newlands on Saturday. The match will be a curtain raiser for the Absa Currie Cup final and it should be a hotly contested affair.
2013 form guide
Western Province were the standout side of the U21 season comfortably topping the log and losing just once in 11 matches. They scored an outstanding 67 tries while conceding only 26 in booking a home semifinal against the Lions last week. The Lions had been well beaten both home and away by WP and the home side appeared to have the match won heading into the final quarter with a 14 point lead. The Lions fought back to force extra time at 34-34 before Province eventually ensured their spot in the final with a 44-41 victory.
The Blue Bulls finished 2nd on the log 13 points behind WP. They were also prolific try scorers with 60 and conceded just 34. They hosted the Sharks at Loftus in the 2nd semifinal last weekend and with the likes of Pollard and Serfontein in the line-up they turned a narrow halftime lead into a comfortable 36-13 victory with Pollard banging over 7 penalties.
Head to Head
Province won both league encounters but each match was a relatively close affair.
27 July 2013: WP 14 - Blue Bulls 6
14 Sep 2013: Blue Bulls 21 - WP 32
This should be a really exciting and tense final. Based on league form WP may start slight favourites but the Lions showed they were far from invincible last week and the Blue Bulls will fancy their chances.
The Blue Bulls have a stronger side than the one which went down by 9 points at Loftus back in September and the return to the team of Pollard and Serfontein will in my view tip things slightly in the visitors favour.
It is the sort of match where the lead may change on multiple occasions but when the final whistle blows expect the Bulls to win by under 10 points.
Rugby Betting Prediction: Blue Bulls win by 1-10 points.