The Vodacom Blue Bulls earned a bonus point as they beat the Toyota Free State Cheetahs 34-12 (halftime 7-7) in a hard fought Currie Cup match at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein on Friday evening.


It was the home team who made their intentions known early in the match as wing Rabs Maxwane drew in the defence before offloading to hooker Joseph Dweba who crossed the whitewash. Former Blue Bulls pivot, Tian Schoeman, slotted the conversion for the Free Staters.


The men in blue eventually got themselves into the match as they applied pressure on their opponents and the dam wall was breached in the 13th minute as wing Jamba Ulengo passed to flyhalf Manie Libbok who dived under the posts to score a brilliant try that he converted.


Free State had to pull in their defence three minutes later as prop Ox Nche was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle and credit needs to be given to the men from Bloemfontein as they shut out the Blue Bulls to prevent any points from being leaked.


The match dissolved into a dull affair as neither team could break the deadlock but it was Free State who would be left scratching their heads at halftime as they enjoyed the majority of possession and territory but just could not convert that pressure into points.


The second half proved to be much better for both teams as they regularly bothered the scoreboard. Free State started the second half in the same fashion they did in the first half as scrumhalf Shaun Venter broke away from the back of a ruck and out sprinted the defence to score an unconverted try in the 41st minute.


The visitors continued to be nuisance on attack but were thwarted by Free State before opting to kick a penalty goal courtesy of Libbok.


The successful kick galvanised the Blue Bulls who were awarded a penalty try in the 55th minute due to Free State deliberately collapsing the maul.


Lock Justin Basson was shown a yellow card for the infringement and the home team were made to pay six minutes later as wing Jade Stiglingh capitalised on the one man advantage to dot down in the corner.


It was the visitors who brought the curtain down on a hard fought match as fullback Divan Rossouw scored the bonus point try on the stroke of full time. Man of the Match, Libbok, added the extras to hand his charges a 34-12 win away from home.




Toyota Free State Cheetahs – Tries: Joseph Dweba, Shaun Venter; Conversion: Tian Schoeman.


Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Manie Libbok, Penalty try, Jade Stiglingh, Divan Rossouw; Conversions: Libbok (3); Penalties: Libbok (2).


Vodacom Blue Bulls Coach, Pote Human, named an exciting squad for his 2018 Currie Cup campaign, with experienced loose forward, Hanro Liebenberg, named skipper and outside back, Johnny Kotze, the vice-captain.

Liebenberg is no stranger to the captaincy role, having lead the Vodacom Blue Bulls in this capacity before, and is welcomed back after missing the 2017 tournament due to injury.

The squad includes Springboks in Marnitz Boshoff and Jamba Ulenbo, while Blitzboks Heino Bezuidenhout and Stedman Gans were also named amongst the backs and former Blitzbok, Boom Prinsloo, amongst the loose forwards.

New additions to the squad include some stand-outs from the recent SuperSport Rugby Challenge, like Earll Dowrie and Mornay Smit, while youngsters like Josh Aldermann and Reagan Oranje are promoted from the junior ranks. Adding to the new faces during the warmups are Carel du Preez, Dan Kasende and Viktor Sekekete, three young men that will be included in the system on a trial.

Toyota Cheetahs recruit, Paul Schoeman, is also in the squad. The flanker moved from Bloemfontein after the GUINNESS PRO 14 season.

The men in blue will be without a number of senior players, seven at national duty with the Springboks and three playing in Japan for the remainder of the year. The Springboks are RG Snyman, Trevor Nyakane, Marco van Staden, Jesse Kriel, Embrose Papier, Handré Pollard and Ivan van Zyl with Jason Jenkins, Jannes Kirsten and Burger Odendaal playing in Japan.

The squad will also be missing Gerhard Steenekamp, Tim Agaba, Lizo Gqoboka, Roelof Smit, Nqoba Mxoli, Travis Ismaiel and Warrick Gelant, due to long term injuries.

One of the main focuses of this Currie Cup campaign will be to ensure the system builds towards the 2019 Vodacom Super Rugby, while increasing our depth and junior player development. It will also be used to make sure that the overall ‘blue-print’ implemented by Executive Rugby, John Mitchell, is executed throughout all the teams, including juniors.

Coach Pote Human will also be looking to expose a few of the u19s and u21s to senior level.

The squad is: Divan Rossouw, Earll Douwrie, Duncan Matthews, Jamba Ulengo, Xolisa Guma, Irvin Ali, JT Jackson, Heino Bezuidenhout, Franco Naude, Christopher Hollis, Stedman Gans, Jade Stighling, Johnny Kotze, Marnitz Boshoff, Manie Libbok, Boeta Hamman, Tony Jantjies, Garrick Matthews, Tinus de Beer, Andre Warner, Theo Maree, Josh Allderman, Raegan Oranje, Thembelani Bholi, Denzil Hill, Jano Venter, Abongile Nonkontwana, Hanro Liebenberg (c), Paul Schoeman, Nic de Jager, Ruan Steenkamp, Boom Prinsloo, Roelof Smit, Ryno Pieterse, Hendre Stassen, Ruben van Heerden, Aston Fortuin, Ruan Nortje, Eli Snyman, Matthys Basson, Frans van Wyk, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Conraad van Vuuren, Madot Mabokela, Mornay Smith, Jaco Visagie, Edgar Marutlulle, Johan Grobbelaar, Corniel Els, Jan-Henning Campher.

The Vodacom Blue Bulls warm ups:

Friday, 10 August 2018: Vodacom Blue Bulls vs Griffons in Welkom, 13:00 and 15:00

The Vodacom Blue Bulls fixture list is (times TBC):

17 August – Toyota Free State Cheetahs (Bloem)

25 August – Cell C Sharks (Durban)

1 September – Xerox Golden Lions (Pretoria)

8 September – Tafel Lager Griquas (Kimberley)

15 September – iCOLLEGE Pumas (Pretoria)

13 October – DHL Western Province (Pretoria)