Van Heerden tops playing minutes, Gelant tries in Vodacom Blue Bulls season

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Vodacom Blue Bulls lock, Ruben van Heerden, started in all 13 matches for the Vodacom Blue Bulls in the 2017 Currie Cup season and saw 1021 minutes of action, by far the most productive performance of the season. The lock made his provincial debut for the Vodacom Blue Bulls in July in the season opener against Tafel Lager Griquas in Kimberley and played all but 19 minutes of the campaign.

He is followed by Pierre Schoeman, who played 875 minutes and started in 11 matches. Nic de Jager is the only other forward to start with Van Heerden in all matches.

Amongst the backs, JT Jackson played in all 13 matches, starting in eight, but Burger Odendaal (863) and Warrick Gelant (794) were the backline players who played longest.

Gelant also scored ten tries in ten matches to be the leading try scorer of the season, followed by Odendaal (7).

The top points’ scorer for the season was Marnitz Boshoff, who scored 66 points in eight matches, followed by Tony Jantjies, who scored 61 in ten starts.

The Vodacom Blue Bulls coaching staff used 46 players (23 backs and 23 forwards) during the campaign.

Amongst the backs, Manie Libbok, Stedman Gans, Duncan Matthews, Kefentse Mahlo, Sibahle Maxwane, Franco Naude, JT Jackson, Divan Rossouw, Tinus de Beer and Tony Jantjies all made their Currie Cup debuts.. Amongst the forwards, Abongile Nonkontwana, Ruben van Heerden, Marco van Staden, Aston Fortuin, Jano Venter, Matthys Basson, Jan-Henning Campher and Johan Grobbelaar tasted Currie Cup action for the first time.

No other teams scored more tries than the Vodacom Blue Bulls during the league stage of the campaign (67), but the team also conceded the most tries (52).

The squad used (with matches and points) were:

Forwards:  Nic De Jager (13, 5), Clyde Davids (2, 0), Boom Prinsloo (8, 5), Tim Agaba (7, 5), Freddy Ngoza (1, 0), Jannes Kirsten (9, 0), Jano Venter (9, 5), Shaun Adendorff (6, 0), Marco Van Staden (6, 5), Ruben Van Heerden (13, 15), Abongile Nonkontwana (6, 5), Aston Fortuin (7, 5), Irne Herbst (4, 0), Conraad Van Vuuren (8, 0), Matthys Basson (7, 0), John Roy Jenkinson (6, 0), Dayan Van der Westhuizen (5, 1), Pierre Schoeman (11, 10), Lizo Gqoboka (3, 0), Edgar Marutlulle (8, 10), Jaco Visagie (2, 5), Jan-Henning Campher (6, 0), Johan Grobbelaar (10, 15)

Backs: Warrick Gelant (10, 50), Manie Libbok (3, 15), Ulrich Beyers (3, 5), Divan Rososuw (1, 0), Travis Ismaiel (5, 20), Sibahle Maxwane (2, 5), Kefentse Mahlo (4, 10), Jamba Ulengo (4, 10), Duncan Matthews (8, 15), Johnny Kotze (7, 5), Franco Naude (3, 0), Stedman Gans (1, 0), Burger Odendaal (11, 35), Dries Swanepoel (5, 5), JT Jackson (13, 12), Joshua Stander (4, 13), Tinus De Beer (2, 11), Marnitz Boshoff (8, 66), Tony Jantjies (10, 61), Handré Pollard (1, 0), Andre Warner (7, 10), Ivan Van Zyl (8, 20), Piet Van Zyl (11, 15).

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