The Vodacom Blue Bulls u/21 team will start the SARU u/21 Championship as the favourites against DHL Western Province after they finished first on the log with nine league points more than second-placed Western Province.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls will have to use their forwards to dominate the possession and will have to man-up in defence out wide otherwise the ever-improving DHL Western Province will score the tries needed to win this game.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls almost lost their game (42-41) against the Cell C Sharks in the semi-finals after allowing the Cell C Sharks to run riot in the second half, while DHL Western Province claimed a convincing 52-10 semifinal win against third-placed Toyota Free State last weekend.
DHL Western Province head coach Jerome Paarwater has kept the same combinations for the final and made only one change to the starting XV. Dian Bleuler at loosehead prop replaces the injured Leon Lyons, with Hugo Pienaar on the replacements bench along with fit-again scrumhalf Gerardo Jaars.
Paarwater said that having built up some good momentum towards the end of the season, his side is determined to put their best foot forward in the final. "It is great to have some consistency in selection and the combinations have really started working well over the last few weeks.
We want to take that momentum into the final and execute our skills as accurately as possible in what will be a tough match,"
Vodacom Blue Bulls head coach Nollis Marais made only one change to the starting team that narrowly beat the Cell C Sharks U21 in the semi-final last week with Marnus Potgieter recovering from his training injury to resume his role as the outside centre. Sango Xamlashe drops to the bench and is joined by flyhalf Vaughen Isaacs, who made his Currie Cup debut against the Cell C Sharks two weeks ago.
Vodacom Blue Bulls U21 – 15 Richard Kriel, 14 Gershwin Mouton, 13 Marnus Potgieter, 12 Wian van Niekerk, 11 Sebastiaan Jobb, 10 Theo Boshoff, 9 Keagan Johannes, 8 Muller Uys (capt), 7 Hanru Sirgel, 6 Stephan Smit, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Ryno Pieterse, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Werner Fourie, 1 Kudzwai Dube. Replacements: 16 Llewellyn Classen, 17 Etienne Janeke, 18 Carl Els, 19 Ewart Potgieter, 20 Johan Mulder, 21 Vaughen Isaacs, 22 Sango Xamlashe, 23 Cabous Eloff.
DHL Western Province U21 – 15 David Kriel, 14 Sihle Njezula, 13 Lyle Hendricks, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Angelo Davids, 10 David Coetzer, 9 Vusile Dlepu, 8 Adrian Paarwater, 7 Shaine Orderson, 6 Gift Dlamini, 5 Ben-Jason Dixon (capt), 4 Marcel Theunissen, 3 Sazi Sandi, 2 Schalk Erasmus, 1 Dian Bleuler. Replacements: 16 Daniel Jooste, 17 Hugo Pienaar, 18 Dandre Degenaar, 19 Ian Kitwanga, 20 Jesse Johnson, 21 Gerardo Jaars, 22 Abner van Reenen, 23 Sako Makata.