Francois Hougaard

Francois Hougaard

Like last year, the Vodacom Blue Bulls Under-21 side is the national champions again. They defeated Western Province 22-13 in the final of the Absa Under-21 Provincial Championship final in Durban on Saturday and won the title for the second year in a row.

This win was not only the second in as many tears for coach Nollis Marais, but also a second title for the coach, as Tuks won the Varsity Cup earlier this season.

The Under-21 side played great rugby all year. With captain Wiaan Liebenberg leading from the front, the team overcame obstacles like losing pivot Tony Jantjies early in the season and regular call-ups to the Currie Cup side to the likes of Arno Botha, Jean Cook and Jan Serfontein.

Ultimately the team’s attacking mind set, great tactical skills and awareness and a special bond amongst the players resulted in the Under-21 Cup returning to his berth in the trophy cabinet.

The following 43 players represented the team in 2012:

Backs (22): Damian van Wyk, Riaan Britz, Andile Jho, Richard Dean Gorrah, Craig Pheifer, Travis Ismaiel, Courtnall Skosan, Ulrich Beyers, Burger Odendaal, William Small-Smith, Christiaan Rust, Francois Venter, Christopher Bosch, Jan Serfontein, Tony Jantjies, Clinton Swart, Tian Schoeman, Mornè Hugo, Lohan Jacobs, Emile Temperman, Xander Redelinghuys, Abrie Griesel

Forwards (21): Arno Botha, Victor Hechter, JJ Breet, Jean Cook, Lean Schwartz, Cloete Wessels, Wiaan Liebenberg, Shaun Adendorff, Gerno Eksteen, Mike Williams, Schalk van Heerden, Marvin Orie, Stephan Pretorius, Du Toit Genis, Basil Short, Juan Schoeman, Hencus van Wyk, Bongi Mbonambi, Jacques Momberg, Jaco Visagie, Jason Thomas.

The leading points’ scorers were Tian Schoeman (115 points), Ulrich Beyers (67) and Tony Jantjies (63). Die leading try scorers were Courtnall Skosan (7), Damian van Wyk (6) and Travis Ismaiel (6).