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Ken Borland

Jake well-pleased with his young Bulls assets 0

Posted on March 17, 2021 by Ken

Bulls coach Jake White has been able to run the rule over his young assets in the last two games and he declared himself well-pleased after they secured an impressive 48-31 win over the Pumas in Nelspruit on Tuesday night.

Only eight members of the squad that won the Currie Cup final have been involved in the preparation series matches against Eastern Province and now the Pumas, as White has chosen largely youthful line-ups comprising the fringe talent at Loftus Versfeld.

“What I’ve enjoyed the most is that this team has an average age of 22. A guy like Jan-Hendrik Wessels [prop] is still U20, Reinhardt Ludwig [lock] was still in matric last year at Affies. So I’m chuffed we have some nice depth going forward and this will be a good team if we can keep them together.

“There was some over-agerness, with tighthead props and scrumhalves taking tap-and-goes and then knocking on, but that’s the thing with youthfulness and having a young side – they can make mistakes,” White said afer the match.

The Buls led 27-17 at halftime and stretched that lead to 41-17 on the hour mark, before conceding two late tries, but White said he still valued the defensive effort in the second half.

“I’m sure neither defence coach will be that happy with the first half. We gave them 17 points in the first 21 minutes, but then they did not score again until the 70th minute, even though I’m sure [coach] Jimmy Stonehouse gave them a rev at halftime and it was always going to be difficult for us in te second half. Our defence was much stronger in the scond half,” White said.

Varsity Cup once again in troubled waters 0

Posted on April 21, 2016 by Ken


The Varsity Cup once again finds itself in troubled waters with claims that champions Pukke fielded an ineligible player, breaking the same complex rule that led to the University of KwaZulu-Natal being docked a massive 12 points, scuppering their chances of being promoted from the Varsity Shield into the big league.

Pukke won the tournament, which was disrupted by unrest at universities across the country, by beating Maties 7-6 a week ago in Stellenbosch, with front-ranker Bart le Roux excelling.

Unfortunately for the Potchefstroom university, Le Roux played previously for the UKZN Impi in 2014 and, due to the arcane regulations for the tournament, had to sit out a certain period of time before representing another university side.

UKZN were found guilty of fielding an ineligible player when a former University of Johannesburg and Lions U-19 player appeared for them in six matches this season, Varsity Cup organisers saying they were deducted two points per game. But tournament auditors KPMG cleared both Le Roux and the UKZN player as being eligible, leaving Varsity Cup organisers in a quandary.

Having set a harsh precedent in punishing UKZN, Varsity Cup is faced with the embarrassing decision to strip Pukke of their title, more than a week after the final.

The situation has led many of the competing teams to question the efficiency of KPMG, whose advice was taken in fielding the ineligible players, and whether it is fair for them to be punished for mistakes by the tournament’s auditors.

The lack of a centralised database comprising all participating players’ tournament histories and educational background so they can be checked before the tournament starts has also been criticised.

UKZN management have also queried the timing with opposition teams seemingly waiting until the final stages of the season, when there is no time for a team to recover from losing points, before making their accusations.

Varsity Cup organisers did not return messages asking for comment yesterday.


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