Vodacom Blue Bulls scoop million rand cup prize
May 16, 2008
The Vodacom Blue Bulls became South African rugby's first Million Rand champions when they beat the Vodacom Free State Cheetahs 25-21 at Loftus Versfeld on Friday evening to claim the 2008 Vodacom Cup.

Free State led 10-6 at the break.

Fans were kept on the edge of their seats in a pulsating final that was in the balance until the very end. Free State were denied a try after the hooter that would have given them victory when TMO, Jenny Bentel, correctly ruled that the ball had been held up.

The hero for the Bulls was exciting young flyhalf Burton Francis, who kicked six penalties and a conversion for a personal tally of 20 points.

He also created his sides only try when he put in a pin-point cross kick for winger Rocco Jansen run onto and score in the corner.

Jansen was the tournaments leading try-scorer with 14 - six more than his nearest challenger.

Francis ended second in the leading points scorers standings with 115.

Free State scored two tries via exciting fullback Wilton Pietersen and centre Phillip Snyman whilst scrumhalf Jandre Blom kicked a conversion and three penalties.

It was the Blue Bulls' second Vodacom Cup title in six attempts.

Captain Carel Hoffman collected the trophy and a cheque for one million Rand, half of which will go to the victorious squad and the balance to rugby development projects.

"I think we deserved it, we played well, and we're very happy, Hoffman said afterwards.

"We are a young and inexperienced bunch, and we were obviously nervous. But full credit to the guys, I think we forced our game plan on them."

A disappointed Free State captain, Ashley Johnson praised the Blue Bulls on their victory.

"All credit to the Blue Bulls. It is obviously disappointing to lose, but we did well to get to the final."


Blue Bulls: Try: Rocco Jansen. Conversion: Burton Francis. Penalties: Burton Francis (6).

FS Cheetahs: Tries: Wilton Pietersen, Phillip Snyman. Conversion: Jandre Blom. Penalties: Jandre Blom (3)

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