Excitement peaks ahead of Vodacom Bulls and Munster clash tomorrow

The excitement of playing in front of a home crowd at Loftus Versfeld when the Vodacom Bulls take on Munster Rugby in a Vodacom United Rugby Championship has reached a peak as the clash approaches.

After beginning their Vodacom URC campaign with four matches on tour in Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, the Vodacom Bulls are eager to face their European opponents in their own backyard, and a tough Munster Rugby side will be the first to visit Fortress Loftus tomorrow.

A thrilling encounter is expected, and Vodacom Bulls No8, Elrigh Louw, has been keeping a close eye on the visiting Irish side that has claimed four wins out of five games so far in their campaign.

“I rate them quite highly. They are a top-class side, and with a coaching staff like they have, you can never underestimate them,” is Louw’s assessment.

“I think they will bring a good kicking game, and a very good game on the ground, in the rucks. But we also have our own plans, and we are not focusing on them more than we are focusing on our own game.”

Talk ahead of the clash has suggested that the Vodacom Bulls will have a point to prove and attempt to stamp their authority as one of the front-runners among the South African contingent in the Vodacom URC. This follows their dominance in recent domestic competitions.

However, the 22-year-old Louw has downplayed suggestions that the Tshwane-based side has anything to prove.

“We wouldn’t say we have a point to prove. I think we just owe ourselves a good performance. We just need to show what we can do here at Loftus,” he said.

“We are now back at Loftus, our fortress, so it’s going to be a good game.”

Following his arrival at the Vodacom Bulls at the end of 2020, Louw has given some consistent, stellar performances for the side which has placed him among the list of young players expected to don the green and gold of the Springboks one day.

The versatile loose-forward indicated that his focus is on ensuring that he remains in good physical shape, and he contributes to the Vodacom Bulls’ cause before his career is catapulted to the next level, international rugby – a dream that remains for him.

“Personally, I’m feeling very good, I’m in good shape. We have been working hard on our individual skills and sharpening them up over the past few weeks. I think the team will be a lot sharper now that we all know what’s coming,” he said.

“I think every day, for the rest of my career, I will always have ambitions of playing for the Springboks. I will never throw that ambition and dream of mine out of the window, no matter how long it takes.”

The match between the Vodacom Bulls and Munster Rugby will kick off at 19h45 tomorrow.


Limited tickets available for Vodacom Bulls home match

Loftus Versfeld was a hive of activity as we returned to some form of normality with a limited number of spectators during the recent Carling Champions Match.

Having spectators at the stadium has increased the excitement ahead of the Vodacom Bulls’ first two home matches of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.  Irish side, Munster Rugby, will be the first opposition to play the Vodacom Bulls (on Saturday, November 27) and they will be followed by a visit from Welsh outfit, Scarlets, on December 3.

The Vodacom Bulls have noted the increasing interest from supporters who want to be part of the first group of fans to cheer their side on when they return to Vodacom URC action.  However, due to the restricted numbers of people allowed at sporting venues, as per the Government Gazette and Disaster Management Act, Loftus Versfeld is only able to make available a limited number of tickets for general public sales.

There are a limited number of tickets that will be sold for the Vodacom Bulls’ match against Munster Rugby, at R150.00 for a seat on the Main Stand, on a “first come, first served” basis.  Buyers will be limited to a maximum of four (4) tickets per person.

Ticket sales opened at 09h00 today, Wednesday, November 24.  Purchases can be made online on www.ticketpros.co.za or at the Loftus Versfeld ticket office which trades Monday to Friday, between 09h00 and 16h00.

Blue Bulls Company CEO, Edgar Rathbone, explained: “We have been overwhelmed with queries and requests for tickets to our upcoming home fixtures, and we deeply appreciate the support and interest from Vodacom Bulls and general rugby fans.  However, it is important to firstly note that we are still facing and maneuvering our way around the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As such, we are restricted to accommodate only 2 000 spectators per match.  After 20 months of not having fans at our Vodacom Bulls home matches, it is understandable that there would be a desire to flock to the stadium.  We are pleased to be able to open ticket sales for our general supporters, while we are also able to offer tickets to our commercial partners – those being our sponsors, suite owners, and season ticket holders.

“We remain hopeful that we will soon see an increase in the number of people permitted at sporting venues, and we too will be able to accommodate more of our supporters as we slowly work towards returning to full capacity in future.”

It is important to note and adhere to the following guidelines, as per the Government Gazette and Disaster Management Act:

  • Spectators will be required to be fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or 14 after receiving the second PFIZER vaccine.
  • Only persons with a valid ticket, valid ID, and valid vaccination certificate will be permitted to enter the facility.  Vaccination certificates can be downloaded on: https://vaccine.certificate.health.gov.za
  • No unvaccinated children between the ages of 12 and 18 years will be permitted to enter the facility.
  • Children under the age of 12 are allowed at the venue.
  • No alcohol consumption will be allowed to be consumed at any sports events.
  • Full COVID 19 protocols will be observed: no mask no entry, social distancing must be maintained at all times.

The match will be played at 19h45 (SA time) on Saturday.

Vodacom Bulls return to training after deserved break

The Vodacom Bulls immediately hit the ground running as they returned to training this week after a deserved break ahead of the resumption of their Vodacom United Rugby Championship campaign.

After close to a year of non-stop rugby for the Jake White-coached side, the players enjoyed a break at the end of their opening European tour, including tough encounters against Leinster Rugby, Connacht Cardiff Rugby, and Edinburgh Rugby.

With the home leg of the Vodacom URC kicking off with a clash against the Irish side, Munster Rugby, on November 27, the side began their preparations for the continuation of their 2021/22 season campaign.

“The break came at the right time for us after a grueling year of rugby. The body and mind needed some time away from rugby for everybody to refresh and connect with their loved ones. That is important for us,” said White.

“We are now back to focus on the work that lies ahead. We have two important matches before the end of the year against Munster and Scarlets (on December 3). We look forward to playing some rugby again, especially playing at home at Loftus Versfeld.”


BBCo looking forward to hosting Carling Champions Match at Loftus

The Blue Bulls Company is excited to host spectators at Loftus Versfeld when the Carling Champions Team takes on Kenya on Saturday.

The stadium had a successful test run last week after hosting the Carlton Cup final between ABE Midas Naka Bulle, who were crowned champions, and Northam Rhinos.

BBCo chief executive, Edgar Rathbone, said: “After an extended period of playing matches with no crowds at Loftus Versfeld, we are thrilled to be able to accommodate spectators again.  Having the government allow us to accommodate 2 000 people is a step in the right direction, and we are confident that in the near future we will see this number increase and we will soon be able to see a full Loftus Versfeld again.

“Before we get there, however, it is imperative that we, as the hosts, and the spectators adhere to all guidelines and protocols, as per the recent Government Gazette. The future and having full stadia lies heavily on how we observe and follow these regulations.

“We look forward to welcoming our spectators, the Carling Champions Team, and the Kenyan team to Loftus.”

All spectators will need the following to enter the stadium on match-day:

  1. Valid Ticket
  2. Vaccination certificate
  3. Your ID document or Driver’s license
  4. Mask

It is also important to note and adhere to the following:

  • No consumption of alcohol will be allowed at the stadium
  • Social distancing needs to be adhered to
  • Spectators are to be seated in their allocated seats
  • Spectators are to enter the relevant gates for entry and parking
  • Spectators are encouraged to arrive between two to three hours ahead of kick-off

The match will kick off at 13h00.


Vodacom Bulls confirm Morné Steyn contract extension

The Vodacom Bulls confirm that experienced flyhalf, Morné Steyn, has signed an extension of his contract which will see him remain at Loftus Versfeld until the end of June 2023.

Steyn, who recently retired from international rugby after amassing 68 test matches for the Springboks, including the feat of appearing in two British & Irish Lions tours.

The 37-year-old began his professional career at the Vodacom Bulls in 2003 where he played until 2013. After plying his trade at Stade Français from 2013 until 2020 when he rejoined the Tshwane-based side.

Vodacom Bulls director of rugby, Jake White, expressed his delight at Steyn’s contract extension: “We are really pleased that Morné has agreed to extend his time with us at the Vodacom Bulls.

“Following his international retirement, he has indicated his hunger to contribute and get as much game time in the Vodacom Bulls jersey as possible. We are also thrilled that we will be utilising his skills as well as his leadership until June 2023.”