Sign-up for the latest, breaking news!


    Bulls v Lions in Soweto

    2013-01-24 15:31
    Orlando Stadium (Gallo Images)

    Soweto - The Bulls will return to the venue where they were they last claimed the Super 14 title in 2010 when they take on the Golden Lions in a Gauteng Rugby Cup match at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Saturday, February 2.

    While the match will be the Bulls' first warm-up match ahead of this year’s Super Rugby season it also forms part of the union’s 75-year anniversary.

    Just months after Orlando Pirates celebrated their 75-year history in South African football, the Blue Bulls Rugby Union will kick off theirs at the home ground of the PSL champions.

    Orlando Stadium was the venue of euphoric scenes when Bulls fans invaded Soweto for the semi-final against the Crusaders and final against the Stormers the following week on May 29.

    “In 2010 we had two sold out matches for the Bulls matches against the Crusaders and the Stormers at Orlando Stadium,” Gauteng MEC for Sports and recreation Lebogang Maile said on Thursday.

    “There was excitement and enthusiasm about the return of rugby to Soweto. I’m hoping that our community supports the Gauteng Rugby Cup with the same euphoria and anticipation as they did for the Super Rugby matches back in 2010.”

    The Northern Transvaal Rugby Union as the Blue Bulls were known when it was established in 1938 lost their first match as an independent union against the Lions, the then Transvaal.

    The Gauteng Rugby Cup therefore features a historic clash that will bring back memories of the first ever encounter between these unions.

    Blue Bulls chief executive Barend van Graan highlighted the significance of the venue in the history of the union.

    The Bulls were forced to sacrifice its spiritual home, Loftus Versfeld for their important semi-finals and finals of the 2010 Super Rugby season and were forced to use Orlando Stadium as their new adopted home-base.

    While the stadium in Soweto was unfamiliar to Bulls and rugby fans alike, the rugby supporters were welcomed to the area with open arms and proved to be an ally in their pursuit of their third Super14 title.

    “When we decided to play in Orlando, Soweto in 2010 we did not know Orlando, I’m not going to elaborate on what happened in those two weeks but it was one of the highlights in the history of the Blue Bulls,” Van Graan said.

    “This time we have a choice to come here, at that stage Loftus Versfeld were part of the 2010 Soccer World Cup and we couldn’t play there.”

    Van Graan said the match was the kick-off of a number of celebrations in their 75 year anniversary.

    “The Gauteng Rugby Cup represents the very beginnings of our Union and that in itself is a special moment,” he said.

    “The team is looking forward to returning to Orlando Stadium and experiencing that unreserved Soweto support once again. This is also a great opportunity for our fans and the public to help us honour our past heroes and to motivate our team for their upcoming Super Rugby campaign.”

    Golden Lions Rugby Union president Kevin de Klerk said he hoped matches such as this one would spike interest in rugby with fans that did not traditionally support the sport.

    “The more we can endeavour to bring rugby to Soweto and previously disadvantaged areas on a big scale that is the message we need to get across to the youngsters, to excite them and motivate them to play rugby,” De Klerk said.

    Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    Comments have been closed for this article.
    Live Video Streaming
    • Blitz
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
    • SS1
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
    • SS2
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
    • SS3
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    04 July 2015
    27 June 2015
    20 June 2015
    13 June 2015
    12 June 2015
    06 June 2015
    05 June 2015
    30 May 2015
    29 May 2015
    23 May 2015
    22 May 2015
    16 May 2015
    15 May 2015
    09 May 2015
    08 May 2015
    02 May 2015
    01 May 2015
    26 April 2015
    25 April 2015
    24 April 2015
    18 April 2015
    17 April 2015
    11 April 2015
    10 April 2015
    04 April 2015
    03 April 2015
    28 March 2015
    27 March 2015
    22 March 2015
    21 March 2015
    20 March 2015
    14 March 2015
    13 March 2015
    07 March 2015
    06 March 2015
    28 February 2015
    27 February 2015
    21 February 2015
    20 February 2015
    15 February 2015
    14 February 2015
    13 February 2015


    “Craig Joubert deserves plaudits for making a gutsy call against the home side in the Super Rugby semis, writes Herman Mostert.”

    Opinion Poll

    Super Rugby is a thing of the past. Next up: The Rugby Championship. Who will emerge victorious this season?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.