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BLUE BULLS AND BALKANS HONEY BADGERS LIFT SILVERWARE AT LOFTUS VERSFELD STADIUM

After two days of action in Pretoria it was the Blue Bulls who won the Men’s Cup Final, while the Balkans Honey Badgers won the Women’s Cup Final in impressive fashion.

PROFESSIONAL – POOL PLAY

 Men | Serengeti Elephants 7 – 14 San Clemente Rhinos

In the first of their two games in the morning session, San Clemente Rhinos started day two at Loftus Versfeld Stadium with victory. Waisale Serevi’s team opened scoring early on thanks to the quick feet of Branco du Preez.

Before the half was up, San Clemente had another score on the board through the hard-carrying of Cyrille Cama. Early in the second half, Elephants started strongly with a try for the always threatening Biselele Tshamala but any hopes of a victory were put to bed by Eric Deuchle’s score.

Women | Balkans Honey Badgers 17 – 7 Serengeti Elephants

After such strong performances at Harlequins Rugby Club the day before, the Balkans Honey Badgers showed no signs of slowing down. Held up twice over the line before eventually scoring through Sweden Sevens player Minonna Nunstedt prior to the half-time whistle.

Striking again in the second period through Australian duo Georgia Hannaway and then Kaitlin Shave, the final play of the game resulted in the Elephants’ only score. A penalty try, Serengeti were awarded their effort after a high tackle, Pleuni Kievit sent to the bin for the challenge and the Elephants on the board at the full-time whistle.

Men | Blue Bulls 12 – 7 Cape Town Wild Dogs

Two of the strongest teams on display the day prior, the Blue Bulls and Cape Town Wild Dogs played out a close encounter. Strong from the very start, the Bulls pressed ahead through a converted Masilu Lemekwane score, although that try was wiped out by Rosco Syster’s superb score, the back chipping and collecting the ball to dive over unopposed.

Ryno Combrinck and Dan van Zyl’s side’s first defeat of the weekend as JP Alberts try secured a victory for the Bulls that sent them to the upper echelons of the playoffs.

Women | Blue Bulls Daisies 0 – 41 Cape Town Wild Dogs

To begin the day, the Cape Town Wild Dogs left the Blue Bulls Daisies scoreless in their first ever game at Loftus Versfeld. Natalia Pamieta was the first to cross the try line, before Monique Coffey and Judith Okuma did likewise before half-time.

It was much of the same cast that got in on the action in the second-half too. The only exception was Felicia Jacobs, the South Africa Sevens international using her dancing feet to confound opponents once more. The game was secured when Coffey dotted down once again, the scoring concluded by Pamieta after powerful running by Kaitlyn Broughton.

Men | Balkans Honey Badgers 17 – 12 San Clemente Rhinos

Breaking their losing streak with this win over the San Clemente Rhinos, the Balkans Honey Badgers scoring three tries to the Rhinos two. Henco Martins scored directly from the kick-off, the underdogs having an early advantage by virtue of the lightning-quick South African.

Le Roux Malan dotted down next, before Eugene Hare got San Clemente on the board. Chester Duff extended the Badgers’ lead even further and Watson Filikitonga’s effort made for a tense final two minutes.

Women | San Clemente Rhinos 10 – 15 Serengeti Elephants

San Clemente had the better of the whole first-half of their final Pool Play game, with Chiharu Nakamura scoring two tries to send the her team into the break with a 10-0 advantage.

Undeterred by the challenge in front of them, Aimee Sutorius’ side scored three unanswered tries to put them in contention for a place in the final. This included a try for New Zealand hopeful Harmony April, diminutive Mexico back Zoe Tuyu and Black Ferns stalwart, Shakira Baker.

PROFESSIONAL – PLAYOFFS

Men’s 4th Place | Serengeti Elephants 7 – 31 Balkans Honey Badgers

It was almost entirely one-way traffic as the Balkans Honey Badgers clinched fourth-place at Loftus Versfeld Stadium. Scoring five tries across the 20 minute period it was clear their daemons from the day before had been vanquished.

Prior to the break, all of Kyle Meadows, Kelegh Moutome and Donovan du Randt had crossed over, their lead only intensifying as a result of Le Roux Malan and Dave Busby’s scores.

Women’s 4th Place | San Clemente Rhinos 45 – 0 Blue Bulls Daisies

To finish in fourth, San Clemente scored six unanswered tries against the Blue Bulls. The opening two scores were registered by the team’s captain, Grace Kukutai, the New Zealander doing the double shortly after Snelitha Noxeke’s yellow card.

Before the half was up, Valentine Baker and Sativa Tarau-Peehikuru also crossed the whitewash, as the Bulls received another yellow card. To confirm the win, France international Marie Saluzzo put her Gallic flair on display to cross the try line twice.

Men’s 2nd vs 3rd | Cape Town Wild Dogs 7 – 0 San Clemente Rhinos

In a repeat of their game the day before at Harlequins, the Cape Town Wild Dogs beat the San Clemente Rhinos by 7-0, and in the process landed themselves in the Cup Final against the Blue Bulls.

Their try was scored in the first half by USA international Devereaux Ferris, the playmaker’s effort astutely defended for the rest of the game to send the side that had only lost once up to this point.

Women’s 2nd vs 3rd | Cape Town Wild Dogs 12 – 19 Serengeti Elephants

Clearly buoyed by their earlier success against the San Clemente Rhinos, the Serengeti Elephants booked a place in the Cup Final with a win over a stubborn Cape Town Wild Dogs side. Reunion Island captain Valentine Husser opening the scoring for the Elephants, before the scores were made level by Felicia Jacobs’ individual score.

Just prior to half-time, Cape Town took the lead. It was Poland’s Anna Klichowska with the score, sent through by Isabela Berazueta and to add insult to injury, Elephants were without Carys Dallinger who was shown yellow for a previous infringement. Gaining their place in the Final thanks to tries for Rhiarna Ferris and Shakira Baker, they would be taking on the Balkans Honey Badgers in the final game of the day.

Men’s Cup Final | Blue Bulls 28 – 5 Cape Town Wild Dogs

It was Cape Town Wild Dogs’ Devereaux Ferris that lofted the ball into the Pretoria night sky in the Men’s Cup Final. Across the two days, and at the conclusion of the 20-minute game, it was the Blue Bulls that walked away with a trophy.

Thanks to some early ill-discipline, Blue Bulls found themselves deep inside enemy territory and took advantage of that fact with Jack Hart running over from close range as too many yellow and black shirts were attracted to the ball.

JP Alberts was the next to crash over for the Bulls, the forward dotting down with his opposition hanging from his body. As the half approached, the Bulls were reduced to nine as Gaybrin Smith was shown a yellow card, but the Wild Dogs were unable to take advantage, knocking the ball moments after the South African’s omission from the field and ending the half.

Prodding and probing in the second half, Cape Town struggled to make possession count. As they had done countless times already, they relied on the worldly talents of Rosco Syster’s, who after having mis-controlled a kick through the defensive line, scored in the corner to breathe new hope into his team’s efforts.

To confirm their win, the Blue Bulls would score thanks to a Curtly Brinkhuis interception and a final try through Jack Hart, the local crowd at Loftus Versfeld rising to their feet in celebration as their local players lifted silverware.

Women’s Cup Final | Balkans Honey Badgers 17 – 7 Serengeti Elephants

Throughout two days’ play, the Balkans Honey Badgers had been unbeaten in Pretoria. And they were not going to slow down in the Cup Final.

Having been under pressure in the opening minutes, the Honey Badgers responded in fine fashion. Their opening score came largely thanks to the hard running of Rebekah Cordero Tufuga, the New Zealand charging straight down the middle of the field, the ball worked to the left wing for Veroeshka Grain to score.

There would be two more tries for Balkans before the opening half was up, the second one of the Final coming just moments after the first as Janet Okulu also scored on that left touchline. While the first two scores had been all about skill, Anna Caplice’s try was all about power. The former Ireland international running through orange shirts as if she were a steam train to place across the whitewash.

In the second half, there was a lot less free flowing action as the Elephants attempted to wrestle back momentum. Georgia Hannaway had a burst through that was thwarted, it taking until Aimee Sutorius’ grubber kick and Harmony Ioane’s control to dot down to break the deadlock.

The Elephants’ score was the final of the afternoon, the Pleuni Kievit lifting the Cup into the black sky to end the Rugby Tens Championships’ time in Pretoria.        

    

ACADEMY – POOL PLAY

Boys | Serengeti Elephants 21 – 29 San Clemente Rhinos

Girls | Balkans Honey Badgers 17 – 7 Serengeti Elephants

Boys | Blue Bulls 5 – 17 Cape Town Wild Dogs

Girls | Blue Bulls Daisies 30 – 0 Cape Town Wild Dogs

Boys | Balkans Honey Badgers 7 – 36 San Clemente Rhinos

Girls | San Clemente Rhinos 15 – 0 Serengeti Elephants

 ACADEMY – PLAYOFFS

Boys 4th Place | Balkans Honey Badgers 10 – 19 Blue Bulls

Girls 4th Place | Cape Town Wild Dogs 0 – 15 Balkans Honey Badgers

Boys 2nd vs 3rd | San Clemente Rhinos 24 – 0 Cape Town Wild Dogs

Girls 2nd vs 3rd | Blue Bulls Daisies 12 – 0 Serengeti Elephants

Boys Cup Final | Serengeti Elephants 12 – 19 San Clemente Rhinos

Girls Cup Final | San Clemente Rhinos 12 – 5 Blue Bulls Daisies

Learn more about the competition by visiting rugbytens.com, or on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Media release issued by Terras Communications on behalf of Rugby Tens Championship

For press assistance contact Lauren Terras on +27 82 785 2644 or e-mail lauren@terrascomms.com . For further information on Terras Communications visit www.terrascomms.com  

Jacques was the founder & webmaster of TheYellowCap.com and was a sports lover of note. He liked writing opinion pieces that matter. In honour of his legacy we will keep posting and keeping his dream alive. RIP 1977 - 2022

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