The SA Rugby U21 Championship Final between the Vodacom Blue Bulls and DHL Western Province also proved to be an arm-wrestle, as both teams ran hard on attack, which saw them enter the break tied at 22-22 before DHL Western Province’s effective goal-kicking allowed them to secure a narrow 48-41 victory.
The Pretoria side out-scored the Capetonians six tries to five, with scrumhalf Embrose Papier earning a hat-trick, but DHL WP’s four conversions, three penalty goals and two drop goals handed them the edge on the scoreboard.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls struck first with a try by Papier – who scored two of his team’s three first-half tries – in the seventh minute, while DHL Western Province scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies, winger Duncan Saal and centre David Brits touched down for the Capetonians. Each side also kicked a penalty goal in the half to enter the break at 22-22.
DHL Western Province, however, took control of the second half thanks to their pressure on attack combined with their ability to convert their chances into points, which saw them score two drop goals and two penalty goals to add to their two second-half tries. The Vodacom Blue Bulls touched down three times in the half. But despite this they fell short on the scoreboard.
Vodacom Blue Bulls U21 – Tries: Embrose Papier (3), Andell Loubser, Stedman Gans, Johan Grobbelaar. Conversions: Tinus De Beer (2), Kurt Webster (2). Penalty Goal: Tinus De Beer.
DHL Western Province U21 – Tries: Juarno Augustus, Herschel Jantjies, David Brits, Duncan Saal (2). Conversions: Tiaan Swanepoel (4). Penalty Goal: Tiaan Swanepoel (3). Drop Goals: Tiaan Swanepoel, Herschel Jantjies.