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Vodacom Blue Bulls

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Blue Bulls (21) 40 / 41 (17) FS Cheetahs (Final Score)

The Vodacom Blue Bulls and Toyota Free State Cheetahs did battle in the Currie Cup 2017 at

Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, South Africa at 14:05 SA Time (12:05 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.

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The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd have named New Zealander John Mitchell as the new Executive of Rugby at the franchise.

Mitchell, currently in charge of the United States Eagles, will assume the role in Pretoria in July – following the Eagles’ June Tests and World Cup 2019 qualifying matches.

Nollis Marais will continue a head coach of the Bulls through to the end of the Super Rugby season and will also coach the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup.

The former All Black, Western Force and Emirates Lions coach said he feels “privileged” and will look to implement the same strong team culture he introduced within the Eagles player pool.

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Free State CheetahsVodacom Blue BullsFS Cheetahs (18) 36 / 16 (9) Blue Bulls (Final Score)

The Toyota Free State Cheetahs and Vodacom Blue Bulls did battle in the Currie Cup Premier Division 2016 Final at

Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein at 16:00 SA Time (14:00 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.

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Vodacom Blue BullsDHL WPBlue Bulls (16) 36 / 30 (10) Western Province (Final Score)

The Vodacom Blue Bulls and DHL Western Province did battle in the Currie Cup Premier Division 2016 Semi-Finals at

Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria at 18:00 SA Time (16:00 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.

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Free State CheetahsVodacom Blue BullsFS Cheetahs (24) 43 / 20 (10) Blue Bulls (Final Score)

The Toyota Free State Cheetahs and Vodacom Blue Bulls did battle in the Currie Cup Premier Division 2016 at

Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein at 17:10 SA Time (15:10 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.

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JJ Engelbrecht

JJ Engelbrecht

The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd on Thursday confirmed the release of JJ Engelbrecht to the Ospreys in Wales.

Engelbrecht, who played 65 times in the Vodacom Bulls jersey since joining the team in 2012, was due to link up with his Pretoria team mates upon returning from Japan, where he is playing for Toyota Industries Shuttles.

The Ospreys offer resulted in a release request by Engelbrecht, which has been granted by the BBC with immediate effect.

According to the BBC High Performance Manager, Xander Janse van Rensburg, the decision to release Engelbrecht was based on the depth they have in the midfield, where the likes of Jesse Kriel, Dan Kriel, Burger Odendaal, Jan Serfontein and Dries Swanepoel will be contesting starting spots.

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Morné Mellett

Morné Mellett

Vodacom Bulls prop Morné Mellett has retired from rugby with immediate effect due to medical advice.

The prop suffered vertebral artery dissection in July and was ruled out of rugby for the remainder of the year. Recent medical advice suggested that the 26-year old player calls it a day.

“It is sad to end my career like this, but I have no regrets,” Mellett said on Thursday. “I had a good career with an unbelievable group of guys and was part of the best union in the world since I left school. We have achieved so much together and although I would have wanted to go on and play test rugby in the future, my health and family remains most important.  I would like to take this opportunity to specifically thank my wife, Claudine, for her unconditional love and support throughout my career and especially now, as well as my brother Leon.” he said.

Mellett represented the Valke at Craven Week in 2006 and 2007 and started playing for the Vodacom Blue Bulls Under 19’s in 2007 already.

He represented the Vodacom Bulls in 37 matches in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition and 10 times in the ABSA Currie Cup. He also played for UP-Tuks in the Varsity Cup and represented the Junior Springboks at the 2009 Junior World Championship.

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ABSA Currie CupWith just 2 knockout Rounds left until the 2015 ABSA Currie Cup champions are crowned this year, the 4 remaining teams in the country’s oldest and most prestigious domestic rugby competition have it all to play for in the 2 Semifinals this weekend.

DHL Western Province, the 2014 champions, travel to Pretoria for their clash on Friday evening against the Vodacom Blue Bulls. The Blue Bulls, who finished 2nd on the Log, will host their 1st ABSA Currie Cup Semifinal since 2008, with the match starting at 19:00 SA Time (17:00 GMT).

The in-form Xerox Golden Lions, meanwhile, have so far swept aside every challenge before them this season and they are currently on a 10-match unbeaten run in the competition. They are playing in the 2nd Semifinal at home in Johannesburg at Emirates Airline Park against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs. This Saturday fixture kick-off is at 13:45 SA Time (11:45 GMT).

The clash in Pretoria will mark the 3rd time that the 2 great North vs South rivals meet this season, and they currently share the spoils between them with a home victory each. Last year, the Cape side defeated their rivals 31 / 23 in the Semifinal at Newlands.

Western Province eventually went on to lift the coveted ABSA Currie Cup trophy in front of their home crowd, after former coach Allister Coetzee’s charges edged the Golden Lions 19 / 16 in the 2014 final.

The Xerox Golden Lions scored a runaway 73 / 31 victory over the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in their round-robin meeting last month in Bloemfontein and they should be fresh and rejuvenated after fielding a new-look side for last weekend’s last league fixture against the ORC Griquas.

However, the Free State Cheetahs will approach the meeting with the Golden Lions knowing that previous form will count for nothing in the knockout phase. They managed to escape defeat against the Cell C Sharks last Saturday thanks to a gritty fightback in Bloemfontein and this week they will have to show that fighting spirit from the start against the team that have so far have thrived on their high-tempo, fast attacking style of play.

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Jacques du Plessis

Jacques du Plessis

Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais named Jacques du Plessis at lock for Friday night’s Absa Currie Cup semifinal match against DHL Western Province at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

Du Plessis was a late withdrawal to the team that out-edged Steval Pumas 25-24 in Nelspruit last weekend, but is ready to take his regular number four spot in the team.

RG Snyman, who replaced Du Plessis for the Pumas match, moves back to the bench for his regular role as impact player, but his replacement in Nelspruit, Jason Jenkins, retains his spot on the bench.

Jenkins will take over from Ruan Steenkamp as the fourth loose forward as Marais opted for more bulk and size coming from the bench.

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ABSA Currie CupThe South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Monday confirmed the kick-off times and match officials for the semi-finals of the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division and the various junior competition playoff fixtures.

The Vodacom Blue Bulls host the DHL Western Province this coming Friday at Loftus Versfeld and the starting time for the 1st Premier Division Semi-final in Pretoria is 19:00 SA Time (17:00 GMT).

On Saturday, the Xerox Golden Lions host the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in the 2nd playoff match at the Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg. Kick-off time is 13:45 SA Time (11:45 GMT).

Referee Marius van der Westhuizen will take charge of the Pretoria encounter while Jaco van Heerden will referee the Johannesburg match.

Both ABSA Currie Cup Semi-finals clashes will be televised live on SuperSport 1.

The 2 ABSA Under 19 A-Division playoff matches are scheduled for this coming Friday, while the 2 playoff matches in the ABSA Under 21 A-Division are scheduled for Saturday.

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ABSA Currie CupThe Toyota Free State Cheetahs clinched a dramatic 34 / 34 draw on Saturday against the Cell C Sharks in Bloemfontein to finish 4th on the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division Log, and in doing so, they booked themselves a Semifinal clash against the Xerox Golden Lions next weekend in Johannesburg.

The Free State Cheetahs scored 2 converted tries in the in last 5 minutes at the Free State Stadium, while replacement fullback Neil Marais slotted the vital conversion after the final hooter to draw the 2 teams level in Bloemfontein and at the same time shatter the Cell C Sharks’ playoff hopes. The Free State Cheetahs finished 2 points above the Cel C Sharks on the final Log with 24 points.

The Vodacom Blue Bulls finished 2nd on the Log after they edged the Steval Pumas 25 / 24 in Nelspruit on Friday and they now meet 3rd-placed DHL Western Province in Pretoria in the playoffs. The Blue Bulls versus WP clash is set for this coming Friday evening at Loftus Versfeld.

In Cape Town, DHL Western Province finished their league commitments with a bonus-point 45 / 14 win over the Eastern Province Kings. Runaway Log leaders, the Xerox Golden Lions, completed the round-robin phase unbeaten with 10 wins after their much changed side defeated the ORC Griquas 29 / 19 in Johannesburg.

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Steval PumasVodacom Blue BullsSteval Pumas (7) 24 / 25 (13) Blue Bulls (Final Score)

The Steval Pumas and Vodacom Blue Bulls did battle in the ABSA Currie Cup at

Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit at 18:00 SA Time (16:00 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.

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(We have given score updates of the DHL Western Province vs EP Kings clash, which took place at the same time!)

DHL WP 45 / 14 EP Kings (Final Score)

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ABSA Currie CupThe final Round, Round 10, of league fixtures in the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division takes place this weekend and all eyes will be on the Free State Rugby Stadium in Bloemfontein, where the Toyota Free State Cheetahs and the Cell C Sharks will battle it out for the remaining Semifinal spot.

Unbeaten Log leaders, the Xerox Golden Lions, are already assured of a home Semifinal, while the Vodacom Blue Bulls and DHL Western Province are also through to the Semifinals.

However, with only 2 points separating the Free State Cheetahs and Cell C Sharks on the Log standings, the 2 teams have everything to play for in what is effectively a Quarterfinal in Bloemfontein on Saturday afternoon.

The Free State Cheetahs currently have 21 points and the Cell C Sharks 19, and both teams know that a victory will book a meeting with the competition’s in-form and most prolific team this season, the Golden Lions, in Johannesburg. The losing team, meanwhile, will crash out of the competition.

DHL Western Province and the Vodacom Blue Bulls also have a lot to play for. Both teams are in action on Friday and their respective matches in Cape Town and Nelspruit kick off at the same time at 18:00 SA Time.

The Blue Bulls, 2nd on the Log with 34 points, face the Steval Pumas at the Mbombela Stadium and the Pretoria side knows that a win, even without a bonus point, will be enough to guarantee them a home Semifinal in the capital. Steval Pumas stalwart Marius Coetzer will deservedly earn his 100th cap when he takes to the field from the bench, while skipper Stefan Watermeyer will earn his 50th cap.

Western Province, in turn, face an injury-hit EP Kings side at DHL Newlands and the Capetonians will run out knowing that a bonus-point win is a must if they want to keep alive their slim hope of hosting a playoff match. However, for that to happen they must hope for a Blue Bulls defeat in Nelspruit.

Meanwhile, the free-scoring Golden Lions will round off their league commitments with a home clash against the bottom-of-the-log ORC Griquas in a 16:00 SA Time kick-off at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg.

Interestingly, the Nel-brothers, Ruhan of ORC Griquas and Jacques of the Golden Lions, will line up opposite each other, with both playing in the No 13 jersey for their respective teams. Ruhan, a Springbok Sevens international, plays outside centre for Griquas after playing on the wing against the Cell C Sharks last weekend. The brothers played together for the Golden Lions in the Vodacom Cup, but this will be the 1st time they will play against each other.

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Deon Stegmann

Deon Stegmann

Vodacom Blue Bulls openside flanker Deon Stegmann returns to the starting line-up to take on the Steval Pumas in the Mbombela Stadium on Friday.

Stegmann was a late withdrawal from the team that beat the EP Kings at Loftus Versfeld last weekend. That prompted the call-up of Clyde Davids to the bench and Jacques du Plessis moving to the flank, but with Stegmann fit again, it is back to the regular starting pack for the match in Nelspruit.

Du Plessis and Marvin Orie will start at lock, with RG Snyman dropping back to the bench in place of Davids.

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ABSA Currie CupThe Xerox Golden Lions produced their most impressive display of the season when they demolished DHL Western Province 62 / 32 in their ABSA Currie Cup match at Emirates Airline Park on Friday evening in Johannesburg.

The Golden Lions stretched their unbeaten run to 9 games and their prolific form saw them stack up 135 points in their last 2 games. They are 9 Log Points clear of 2nd-placed Vodacom Blue Bulls, who outplayed the Eastern Province Kings by 48 / 27 also on Friday evening in Pretoria.

Although WP suffered their 3rd loss of their campaign against a rampant Golden Lions team, their 30 Log points means they are assured of 3rd place on the standings, irrespective of the outcome of their last Round clash this coming Friday against the EP Kings in Cape Town.

ORC Griquas were no match for the Cell C Sharks in Kimberley on Saturday as the Durban-based side ran in 6 tries for a 45 / 20 victory to move within 2 points of the 4th-placed Toyota Free State Cheetahs on the Log.

The Steval Pumas and the Toyota Free State Cheetahs played to a thrilling 37 / 37 draw in their encounter at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Saturday after the visitors led 24 / 16 at halftime.

Currently, the Xerox Golden Lions lead the way on 43 Log points, followed by the Vodacom Blue Bulls on 34, DHL Western Province are 3rd on 30, the Toyota Free State Cheetahs 4th on 21, followed by the Cell C Sharks on 19, Steval Pumas on 16, EP Kings on 12 and ORC Griquas are stone last on 8.

This coming weekend sees the Toyota Free State Cheetahs host the Cell C Sharks in Bloemfontein and the winner of this encounter will play the Xerox Golden Lions in 1 of the Semi-finals in Johannesburg. The Vodacom Blue Bulls just need a win in Nelspruit to set up a home meeting in the semi-finals against DHL Western Province.

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Bandise Maku

Bandise Maku

Vodacom Blue Bulls hooker Bandise Maku will play in his 50th ABSA Currie Cup match for his team when they face EP Kings at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.

The former Springbok hooker made his Blue Bulls debut way back in 2006 and after stints with the Xerox Golden Lions and Eastern Province, now reaches this milestone in his 73th career Currie Cup appearance.

Maku started in last weekend’s win over the Cell C Sharks, with coach Nollis Marais changing 1 in the pack that fronted up in Durban. RG Snyman starts at lock in his 1st run-on for the senior side, swopping places with Marvin Orie, who will play off the bench. In another change, Corniel Els is on the bench for Jaco Visagie, with the latter out with an ankle sprain.

At the back, Dries Swanepoel is back at centre, replacing Jan Serfontein who received a Rugby World Cup call-up for the Springboks.

His place on the bench will be filled by William Small-Smith.

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Jack Parow

Jack Parow

One of South Africa’s most loved rugby teams, the Vodacom Blue Bulls, have partnered with Movember and their long-term ambassador Jack Parow this year to help raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues including prostate and testicular cancer, as well as male mental health.

In support of the annual Movember campaign which sees men grow moustaches to raise awareness and funds the team have set up a Blue Bulls network on Movember.com and are encouraging fans to support them and join their team on the website. To raise funds, the Vodacom Blue Bulls will also be selling raffle tickets in aid of Movember in conjunction with ticket sales for the upcoming ABSA Currie Cup home game at Loftus against Eastern Province Kings on Friday 2 October 2015.

Along with a variety of prizes including a weekend away for 2 at a Tsogo Sun resort, an SAB hamper, an AFGRI hamper and signed Vodacom Blue Bulls merchandise, rapper Jack Parow has donated a bespoke limited edition Parow Pythons Rugby jersey.

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Lappies Labuschagne

Lappies Labuschagne

Lappies Labuschagne will on Friday play in his 50th ABSA Currie Cup match when he leads the Vodacom Blue Bulls on the field in Durban for their clash against the Cell C Sharks.

The flanker reverts back to the side of the scrum due to the wrist injury to Roelof Smit (see below), with Arno Botha, who started on the bench against DHL WP last week, back in the No 8 jersey.

This is the only change to the pack made by Vodacom Blue Bulls coach, Nollis Marais, with 2 rotational switches in the backline made for the Durban clash.

Tian Schoeman and Jan Serfontein will start at flyhalf and centre respectively, switching places with Louis Fouché and Dries Swanepoel, who both move to the bench for this clash.

Ruan Steenkamp is on the bench for Botha, in what could be a Vodacom Blue Bulls and ABSA Currie Cup debut, should the former Junior Springboks captain take to the field.

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ABSA Currie CupThe Trans-Jukskei derby is the highlight of Round 6 and a sneak preview of a possible Currie Cup Final.

The undefeated neighbours, the Vodacom Blue Bulls and the Xerox Golden Lions, have been the standout teams and also the 2 most entertaining sides.

Johan Ackermann’s Golden Lions are leading the standings on 25 Log points – having collected a full-house 5 points in all 5 their outings this season.

The Blue Bulls are a solitary point behind, also winning 5 from 5 but won the last Round’s game without a bonus point.

The weekend’s action starts in Port Elizabeth on Friday where the winless Eastern Province Kings host a vastly-improved Toyota Free State Cheetahs team.

Saturday’s early match will see another winless team, ORC Griquas, host a struggling Steval Pumas outfit in Kimberley. Although the Pumas have 2 wins to their credit, including beating the Cell C Sharks in Round 1, they have struggled to maintain their early momentum.

The 3rd-placed DHL Western Province, who are a full 9 points behind the Golden Lions, face the Cell C Sharks in Durban in Round 6 – both desperate for some consistency in a season where promising victories have been soured by disappointing defeats.

Then, of course, we head to Pretoria for what may well be 1 of the best matches of the season.

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Dean Greyling

Dean Greyling

Jan Serfontein

Jan Serfontein

Jan Serfontein will start at inside centre for the Vodacom Blue Bulls when they take on the Xerox Golden Lions in an ABSA Currie Cup match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Serfontein earns a 1st start in the competition and teams up with Dries Swanepoel in the midfield, swopping places with Burger Odendaal, who moves to the bench.

Prop Dean Greyling is also fit again following a knee strain and he slots back into the starting line-up, replacing Pierre Schoeman, who swings back into Under 21 action. It will be Greyling’s 50th appearance for the Vodacom Blue Bulls in the ABSA Currie Cup competition.

Another player returning is Werner Kruger, who will play off the bench and replaces Dayan van der Westhuizen, with the young prop also moving back to the Vodacom Blue Bulls Under 21’s.

In the 3rd change to the squad that fronted up against the Toyota Free State Cheetahs last weekend, Deon Stegmann returns from a cheekbone injury in place of Jannes Kirsten.

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Recent Comments

  • grootblousmile 14 Oct 2017, 19:13 SAST - So, the 4 traditional BIG Unions are the semi-finalists! But credit to the Toyota Free State Cheetahs for almost making...
  • grootblousmile 14 Oct 2017, 19:10 SAST - By no means easy semi-finals coming up!! With the Vodacom Blue Bulls finally starting to understand and play according to...
  • grootblousmile 14 Oct 2017, 19:05 SAST - Xerox Golden Lions (13) 44 / 17 (10) Toyota Free State Cheetahs (Final Score)
  • grootblousmile 14 Oct 2017, 19:03 SAST - Still the game continues... Robert Kruger intercepts and scores for the Golden Lions!
  • grootblousmile 14 Oct 2017, 19:01 SAST - Cheetahs penalty, high tackle...
  • grootblousmile 14 Oct 2017, 19:00 SAST - Time is now up on the clock, as the last restart kick is taken.


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