The Vodacom Blue Bulls U21’s had a stellar run in the 2017 SA Rugby U21 Championship regular season as they won all seven matches to qualify for a home semifinal where they emphatically despatched their Toyota Free State U21 counterparts.
The final proved to be a match too far though as a strong second half by DHL Western Province U21 was enough for the men from Cape Town to secure the trophy despite a late comeback by the Vodacom Blue Bulls U21’s.
Scrumhalf Embrose Papier had a memorable run in the final as the nifty halfback crossed the whitewash three times. His blossoming career will be watched with intrigue as he is set for higher honours while still being eligible for the U21 team next year.
Flyhalf Tinus de Beer finished the season as the top points scorer with a try, 29 conversions and 11 penalties for a combined tally of 96 points while wing Xolisa Guma scored 11 tries to claim top try scorer.
SA Rugby U21 Championship 2017 results:
Beat DHL Western Province U21 (35-33)
Beat Toyota Free State U21 (53-32)
Beat the Xerox Golden Lions U21 (49-25)
Beat the Cell C Sharks U21 (37-34)
Beat Eastern Province U21 (57-31)
Beat Leopards U21 (108-33)
Semifinal: Beat Toyota Free State U21 (83-17)
Final: Lost to DHL Western Province U21 (41-48)
Vodacom Blue Bulls U21 2017: Irvin Ali, Joshua Allderman, Heino Bezuidenhout, Jaco Bezuidenhout, Adriaan Burger, Jan-Henning Campher, Erich Cronjé, Mervano da Silva, Tinus de Beer, Earll Douwie, Duan Joe du Plessis, Aston Fortuin, Stedman Gans, Johan Grobbelaar, Erik Groenewald, Xolisa Guma, Christo Hamman, MJ Hayes, Dale Hendricks, Denzel Hill, Rickert Korff, Manie Libbok, Andell Loubser, Eduan Lubbe, Kgetho Mabokela, Simphiwe Matanzima, Garrick Mattheus, Franco Naude, Raegan Oranjé, Embrose Papier, IG Prinsloo, Divan Rossouw, Eli Snyman, Gerhard Steenekamp, PJ Toerien, Franco van der Burg, Dylan van der Walt, Dean van der Westhuizen, Luigy van Jaarsveld, Marius Verwey, Kurt Webster