Vodacom Cup Review - The Final
May 09, 2010
South African rugby history was once again rewritten on Friday night when Loftus Versfeld received its third trophy within 12 months after the Vodacom Blue Bulls claimed the 2010 Vodacom Cup following their 31-29 victory over the Vodacom Free State Cheetahs in Pretoria.

The hosts claimed the grand prize of R 1 million sponsored by SARU and Vodacom, and ensured that the Blue Bulls Rugby Union became the first provincial union to possess the Vodacom Super 14, the Absa Currie Cup and the Vodacom Cup at one time. The victorious team will receive R 500 000 while their provincial union will receive R 500 000 for rugby development in their region.

“We never plan to stumble along the way, especially when you work for the Bulls. You are not allowed to lose here,” said the Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Nico Serfontein after his side recorded their 10th consecutive win in the 2010 Vodacom Cup competition.

“You are not allowed to lose finals and you are not allowed not to get into finals. That pressure is always going to be on us here. But it’s probably something that our fans demand from us and that’s probably why we are such a great union. We have structures that are in place and we never plan to fail.”

Flyhalf Francois Brummer was the hero for the Vodacom Blue Bulls on Friday after he kicked an injury-time drop goal to steer the hosts to their third Vodacom Cup triumph in the history of the competition. The former SA Under-20 pivot contributed 16 points with the boot despite missing two kickable penalties and a conversion.

Gerrit-Jan van Velze, Deon Helberg and Ernst Dinkelman were the try-scorers for the Pretoria outfit.

The Vodacom Free State Cheetahs boasted a 16-8 half time lead, but a spirited fight back by the hosts which saw them score two quick tries after the break ensured that the Pretoria side held a 25-19 lead after 60 minutes of play. However with four minutes remaining in the match Riaan Vermeulen crashed his way over the try line to score the visitors’ second try which was converted by Louis Strydom to steer the Bloemfontein side to a 26-25 lead.

Strydom who kicked five penalties and also converted Barry Goodes’ try; and Brummer then exchanged penalty kicks as the score reached 29-28 in favour of the Free State side.

The hosts were then awarded a penalty in the dying seconds of the match, but instead of taking the option of kicking for goal, they kept the ball in hand. As the hooter sounded at the Loftus Versfeld B Field, the Vodacom Blue Bulls made one final attempt to break the rock solid defence of the visitors in the final stages of the match.

However their efforts and hopes of winning a second Vodacom Cup were dashed when Brummer slotted a 35-metre drop goal to steer his team to their third Vodacom Cup title in the history of the competition.

The victory for the Vodacom Blue Bulls also ensured that they maintained their excellent home record in the 2010 season. They Pretoria outfit who ended the competition as the only unbeaten side in the competition, have also only lost two home games in the last three years; against GWK Griquas (19-28) in last year’s final and against Vodacom Western Province (35-37) in 2008.

“That kick, was magical. But I don’t think you could say we didn’t deserve to win this game as we have enjoyed a great season,” added Serfontein.

“We all would have loved to see a better final, but at this stage there are no complaints. This is how finals are played. We are happy with the win and happy that the Vodacom Cup is back in Pretoria.”

Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Gerrit-Jan van Velze, Deon Helberg, Ernst Dinkelman; Conversions: Francois Brummer (2); Penalties: Brummer (2); Drop goals: Brummer (2).
Vodacom Free State Cheetahs – Tries: Barry Goodes, Riaan Vermeulen; Conversions: Louis Strydom (2); Penalties: Strydom (5).

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