Vodacom Bulls Travel To Durban With A Point To Prove

Cell C Sharks head coach Robert du Preez has made just two changes to the starting line-up for this week’s home derby against the Vodacom Bulls. Luke Stringer replaces Phepsi Buthelezi at flank and Lwazi Mvovo rotates on the wing with Sbu Nkosi.

There is also a first call-up this campaign for experienced loose forward Philip van der Walt who returned from Japan with an injury but is now back to full fitness, joining Craig Burden (hooker) in making an impact off the bench.

Meanwhile, stalwart prop Beast Mtawarira stands on the cusp of making history as the popular front ranker is set to equal Adriaan Strauss’ record of 156 competition appearances.

Strauss played for the Toyota Cheetahs and the Vodacom Bulls, but Mtawarira has accomplished his feat with just one team, the Cell C Sharks, since making his debut in 2007.


Vodacom Bulls coach Pote Human has rotated his scrumhalves for the visit to Durban, which sees Embrose Papier starting and fit-again lock Eli Snyman also making his return to the run on side.

The Pretoria side are coming off the back of a very disappointing 56-20 home loss to the Chiefs and they will be determined to return to winning ways against their South African rivals. While both teams have won three and lost two so far, it was the Vodacom Bulls who clinched a comfortable 37-14 triumph when the two sides met at earlier this month in Pretoria.

But the coastal outfit is a hard nut to crack at home and boasts with seven wins from their last eight games on home turf, losing only to the DHL Stormers in that period. And to add spice to the derby, the Pretoria visitors have won their last three local derbies in a row.

What they said:

Cell C Sharks flanker Jacques Vermeulen admits the crunch derby is going to require great patience if they want to replicate last week’s success over the Rebels: “The Vodacom Bulls will come to Durban looking to resurrect their campaign after last week (defeat to the Chiefs), but we pride ourselves on our efforts to win every home game.  This is a big game for us. Every team wants to make their home ground a fortress; it’s important for us to win this weekend.”

Vodacom Bulls coach Pote Human has challenged his side to show real hunger in Durban: “They know what we can bring and we know what to expect too. They have a number of Springboks in their pack and it’s going to be a battle. I’m really excited for this game and the players are all excited to go and show what they can do. We all know that we are better than what we produced last week.”



Cell C Sharks: 15. Aphelele Fassi, 14. Lwazi Mvovo, 13. Lukhanyo Am, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Makazole Mapimpi, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Louis Schreuder (c), 8. Daniel du Preez, 7. Jacques Vermeulen, 6. Luke Stringer, 5. Hyron Andrews, 4. Ruben van Heerden, 3. Coenie Oosthuizen, 2. Akker van der Merwe, 1. Tendai Mtawarira.


Replacements: 16. Craig Burden, 17. Thomas du Toit, 18. Khutha Mchunu, 19. Gideon Koegelenberg, 20. Philip van der Walt, 21. Grant Williams, 22. Kobus van Wyk, 23. Curwin Bosch.


Vodacom Bulls: 15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Handre Pollard (c), 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.


Replacements: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Conrad van Vuuren, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Tim Agaba, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Johnny Kotze.

Head to head:

Played: 31

Cell C Sharks won: 9

Vodacom Bulls: 19

Draws: 3

Cell C Sharks points: 646

Vodacom Bulls points: 683

Average score: 21-22

Match information:

Date: Saturday, 30 March

SA time: 15h05

Venue: Jonsson Kings Park, Durban

Referee: Mike Fraser

Assistant referees: Rasta Rasivhenge, Brendon Pickerill

Television Match Official: Christie du Preez

TV: SuperSport1


Source: thebulls.co.za


Midfielder Burger Odendaal and flanker Ruan Steenkamp will make a return to the Vodacom Bulls run-on team against the Chiefs at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday as coach Pote Human made minimal changes to his team’s fifth Vodacom Super Rugby match of the season.

The return to fitness for both regular starters results in Dylan Sage and Tim Agaba moving to the bench and Paul Schoeman dropping out of the squad altogether.

Eli Snyman, who missed the win against the Cell C Sharks two weeks ago, has also regained fitness and will take his place on the bench, with Tembelani Bholi dropping out. Divan Rossouw also comes straight into the starting line-up at fullback for the injured Warrick Gelant.

Handré Pollard retains the captaincy.

Human said it was important to keep on rewarding good performances, but the experience of Odendaal (45 matches) and the ability of Steenkamp as breakdown specialist was needed for this clash against the Chiefs.

“Both Burger and Ruan will have very important roles to play on Saturday as we expect the Chiefs to come from all angles. They have nothing to lose and we need to be very clinical in certain areas if we want to contain them,” Human explained.

“I expect Dylan and Tim to make significant contributions when they take to the field later in the match.”

Human said the squad is doing well.

“I am happy with the improvement and growth we have shown so far in the competition. It is still early days, but we managed to tick some boxes in the first month of the competition. The New Zealand challenge will test us in different ways though.”

For Pollard, the Chiefs remain a very tough opponent.

“They have this ability to make things look so easy at times and are very quick to turn defence into attack. Their ability to score from anywhere is assisted by a sound first phase game, so this is going to be a huge challenge for us.”

The captain, who scored a try against the Chiefs last year, called on the Loftus faithful for support.

“They cannot play on our behalf, but having a full Loftus behind you, does give the squad a lift. It would be nice to have a good crowd in, there can be no doubt that it is going to be a very entertaining match.”

The squad to play the Chiefs (with Super caps and points) is: Divan Rossouw (14, 15), Cornal Hendricks (30, 55), Jesse Kriel (65, 85), Burger Odendaal (45, 15), Rosko Specman (4, 20), Handre Pollard (50, 511), Ivan van Zyl (21, 0), Duane Vermeulen (113, 45), Jannes Kirsten (20, 10), Ruan Steenkamp (14, 0), Jason Jenkins (44, 35), Hanro Liebenberg (32, 15), Trevor Nyakane (95, 15), Schalk Brits (67,20), Lizo Gqoboka (41, 10).

Replacements: Corniel Els (4, 0), Simphiwe Matanzima (4, 0), Dayan van der Westhuyzen (14, 0), Eli Snyman (3, 0), Tim Agaba (3, 0), Embrose Papier (14, 5), Manie Libbok (9, 13), Dylan Sage (4, 0).


The Vodacom Bulls extended their winning streak over the Cell C Sharks to four straight wins with a 37-14 Vodacom Super rugby victory at their home ground of Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

The Vodacom Bulls led the scoreboard throughout the match forcing the Sharks to chase through from the third minute when Handre Pollard opened the scoring with a penalty. The victory means that the Vodacom Bulls remain unbeaten against South African sides as they have only lost to the Jaguares in the South African Conference.

The result moves the Vodacom Bulls up to first place in the South African conference and second in the overall conference behind tournament leaders the Crusaders. The home side outscored the Sharks by three tries to two in the contest so they earn four points from the match while the Sharks will return home without earning a point.

Next week the Vodacom Bulls have a bye. They return in round six with a match at home in Pretoria against the Chiefs while the Sharks are also at home where they will host the Rebels.


Vodacom Bulls 37 (19) – Tries: Jesse Kriel, Rosko Specman (2). Conversions: Handre Pollard (2). Penalties: Pollard (6). Drop Goal: Pollard.
Cell C Sharks 14 (0) – Tries – Jeremy Ward, Dan du Preez.Conversions: Robert du Preez (2)

Van Zyl to start for Vodacom Bulls

The Vodacom Bulls prepare to take on the Cell C Sharks this weekend at Loftus Versfeld in another much-anticipated Vodacom Super Rugby Marvel inspired derby.

Vodacom Bulls coach, Pote Human, made three positional changes to the team that left Johannesburg with a victory last weekend and three to the bench, where Paul Schoeman is set for a first appearance for the Vodacom Bulls.

Human swopped Ivan van Zyl and Embrose Papier at scrumhalf, with the more experienced Van Zyl starting and his fellow Springbok playing off the bench this time, while Tim Agaba and Jannes Kirsten will form a new loose trio with Duane Vermeulen.

Agaba and Kirsten played off the bench against the Emirates Lions last week and comes in for Hanro Liebenberg and Ruan Steenkamp. Liebenberg moves to lock in place of Eli Snyman though.

On the bench, Tembelani Bholi and Schoeman, who played for the Toyota Cheetahs 24 times in Super Rugby, will fill the empty seats left by Agaba and Kirsten.

Human said the team is keen to reproduce the form they showed in the opening match at Loftus Versfeld, when they outplayed the DHL Stormers.

“We did not play well the next weekend in Argentina, but delivered a much better effort last weekend, so I am confident that we will be up for this one as well. The local derbies certainly brings out the best in our teams, so this will be a physical, hard-fought affair again.”

For Pollard, the upward curve remains a priority. “We had a speed bump, but generally we are growing nicely and that’s what it is about. We have to adapt with one or two new faces coming into the starting team,but we all know what needs to be done on the day,” the captain said.

The Vodacom Bulls have lost, amongst others, Johnny Kotze, Burger Odendaal and Lood de Jager to injury already.

Kick-off is at 17h15.

The team (with caps and points) is: Warrick Gelant (37, 65), Cornal Hendricks (29, 55), Jesse Kriel (64, 80), Dylan Sage (3, 0), Rosko Specman (3, 10), Handré Pollard (c; 49, 489), Ivan van Zyl (20, 0), Duane Vermeulen (v/c; 112, 45), Tim Agaba (2,0), Jannes Kirsten (19, 10), Jason Jenkins (43, 35), Hanro Liebenberg (31, 15), Trevor Nyakane (94, 15), Schalk Brits (64, 20), Lizo Gqoboka (40, 10). Replacements: Corniel Els (3, 0), Simphiwe Matanzima (3, 0), Dayan van der Westhuizen (13, 0), Tembelani Bholi (32, 5), Paul Schoeman (24, 25), Embrose Papier (13, 5), Manie Libbok (9, 13), Divan Rossouw (14, 15).


The Vodacom Bulls are #TacklingCancer in the Vodacom Super Rugby for CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation:


PretoriaFM interview with Jacob de Villiers on the new AFGRI Support Fund

Listen to Henk Joubert of PretoriaFM speaking to AFGRI CFO, Jacob de Villiers, talking about the launch of the AFGRI Support Fund and the impact it will have on those in the agricultural sector in dire need of financial assistance.

AFGRI commits R3 million to the establishment of the AFGRI Support Fund

Centurion, 5 March 2019 – AFGRI, a leading agricultural services company with core competencies to enhance, support and guide the growth of agricultural enterprises in South Africa and further afield, has launched a not-for-profit company to assist those in dire financial need involved in the agricultural sector in South Africa. The Fund will operate in the geographic areas of the country where AFGRI operates but won’t be limited to AFGRI clients.

Tinus Prinsloo, CEO of AFGRI, indicated that “We want to make a meaningful difference in the areas we operate in, aside from our service and product offerings, as there are times that people just need a partner who cares. We have therefore established this Fund into which we have made an initial injection of R3 million.”

He went on to say that he hoped that those so inclined would also contribute towards the Fund, which has been established in order to extend financial support to beneficiaries in the agricultural sector, focusing on those operating within the AFGRI ecosystem and geographic areas. The aim is to grow the Fund to be sustainable into the future as a beacon of agricultural community support.

“The perils of farming are enormous, and to have an organisation that cares enough to lend a helping hand can mean a great deal,” said Jacob de Villiers, the CFO of AFGRI.

Farming is a profession with a myriad of moving parts and possibly thousands of decisions to be made and just as many possible impacts to manage. There are times that no matter how dedicated, diligent and committed a farmer is, the elements step in and upset the apple cart. During the past two years farmers across South Africa have had to contend with drought conditions, hail, foot and mouth disease, armyworm invasions and wildfires, to name but a few.

AFGRI stepping in to help is not a recent development but has been part of the company’s ethos since it was established over 95 years ago. More recently, in 2016 during one of the worst droughts ever recorded in South Africa, AFGRI donated R5 million in drought aid to farmers. It also offered a zero increase on storage fees for a period, knowing that these gestures would assist farmers caught in the grips of the drought.

Similarly, in 2017 AFGRI partnered with farmers in the Free State and the KZN Midlands, as far afield as Bothaville, Koppies, Danielsrus and Tweeling, to facilitate a process through which large-scale hay donations could be sent to farms in the Thornhill district in the Eastern Cape. The donation amounted to more than a 1 000 round bales. AFGRI Grain Producers further donated maize for trading, using the proceeds to support the project.

The AFGRI Support Fund is not a development fund or a sponsorship vehicle. “Within our service offering, we have Lemang Agricultural Services, a dedicated division focusing on new-era farmer development. Our Fund will focus purely on assisting people in need, based on the merits of each case,” explained Prinsloo.

De Villiers, along with Marion Shikwinya and Ross Simmonds, all senior executives within the AFGRI Group, are the directors of the Fund and will be responsible for the evaluation and disbursements of requests received. “As mentioned, the Fund is registered as a not-for-profit company, with all contributions treated in terms of the Tax Act and thus donations will be deductible,” said de Villiers.

Throughout the year AFGRI will make use of a host of events to raise money for the Fund, including golf and farmers days, as well as ad hoc opportunities, and will also be accepting contributions from external individuals and organisations. AFGRI itself has committed to an annual donation of a minimum of R3 million. In addition, AFGRI will continue to have an account into which farmers are able to donate grain for sale, the proceeds of which will be transferred to the Fund account.

When asked what drove the establishment of the Fund, Prinsloo explained that “We know all too well the publicised issues and get asked by so many to assist. We also want to ensure that support reaches those in need as much too often donations don’t reach those who truly need them.”

“We want control and to have a focused approach,” added de Villiers, saying that the Fund will be audited and reports published, not only to AFGRI’s shareholders but also to those donating money.

AFGRI is committed to and follows strict corporate governance procedures and the AFGRI Support Fund is no different. “Both the impact and the measurement of the difference we are making will be noted with the purpose of continual improvement to safeguard a growing and sustainable Fund.

“This will ensure that financial support is available to all involved in agriculture in the long-term. In this way AFGRI will continue to make a positive impact on the agricultural sector in our country, just as we have for the past nine decades and more,” concluded de Villiers.

Two e-mail addresses have been created for those in need of financial support to apply for funding, which are hulp@afgri.co.za and support@afgri.co.za. Please note that all requests will be subject to certain criteria, and due process. More information will be placed on the AFGRI website (www.afgri.co.za) from mid-March onwards.


The Vodacom Bulls produced a commanding performance to defeat the Emirates Lions 30-12 in Saturday’s trans-Jukskei Vodacom Super Rugby derby at Emirates Airline Park.

The visitors dominated the opening proceedings, pegging the hosts down in their half. It paid off, as Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard opened the Bulls’ account with a long-range penalty.

The Johannesburg siege continued as the Emirates Lions survived wave after wave of attacks until eventually No 8 Duane Vermeulen crashed over in the 29th minute.

The home side were forced to play with little ball from deep inside their half, but errors led to Pollard slotting two more penalties, giving the men from Pretoria a deserved 14-0 lead at half-time.

The Vodacom Bulls continued to turn pressure into points, earning a kickable penalty from a lineout drive and extending their lead out to 17-0.

But the home side would finally strike at their first real opportunity following a Vodacom Bulls’ handling error deep in their own half. They kept the ball amongst the forwards and eventually prop Carlu Sadie crossed the whitewash in the 47th minute.

Two more penalty attempts were slotted by Pollard – who produced a man-of-the-match performance – leaving the Joburg men with much work to do.

But again they capitalised on what little ball they had to work with. Replacement scrumhalf Ross Cronje made a sniping break around the ruck to put prop Dylan Smith under the poles with an offload. With the successful conversion, the Emirates Lions were clawing their way back into the contest at 23-12.

Chasing the game, a quick lineout attempt by the Lions 10 metres out from their own tryline proved disastrous. A pass was intercepted and the Vodacom Bulls would take the ball through the hands to see fullback Warrick Gelant go over in the corner untouched to seal the victory.


Emirates Lions: Tries: Carlu Sadie, Dylan Smith. Conversion: Elton Jantjies

Vodacom Bulls: Tries: Duane Vermeulen, Warrick Gelant. Conversion: Handre Pollard. Penalties: Handre Pollard (