Steval Pumas vs Vodacom Blue Bulls

The pick of the Vodacom Currie Cup rugby matches in the North Section is between last year’s runners-up, the Steval Pumas, and three-time champions, the Vodacom Blue Bulls, in Nelspruit. The Mpumalangans started the season with a solid win, but the team from Pretoria came up short last weekend and will be desperate to get their first win of 2014 against a side that beat them by two points last year.

Vodacom Cup Rising Star – Ruwellyn Isbell (Steval Pumas):

With speed to burn and a great swerve, winger Ruwellyn Isbell could be the Steval Pumas’ go-to man in the coming weeks as the men from Mpumalanga look to build on their impressive start to the Vodacom Cup this year.

Isbell, who turned 21 on 17 February, has been around for a while but only got his first taste of senior provincial 15-a-side rugby last weekend in Kempton Park.

He was born in Somerset East in 1993, where Isbell attended Gill Primary School before moving north to the famous Grey College in Bloemfontein, from where he made the Free State side to the Coca-Cola Under-18 Craven Week in 2011.

Isbell and his Grey College team-mate Jan Serfontein were two of the Cheetahs’ stars at the Coca-Cola Craven Week and the speedy winger even ran in a try in the final match as the Free Staters were crowned unofficial champions of the tournament.

After the Craven Week in Kimberley, Isbell was selected for the SA Schools team in 2011, but sadly missed out on representing his country against France that year because of an untimely injury.

A year later though, Isbell – who starred for the Vodacom Blue Bulls Under-19s in 2012 – made his Springbok Sevens debut. He has three HSBC Sevens World Series tournaments under the belt – in 2012 in Gold Coast, Dubai and Port Elizabeth – and was one of the stars of the team who won the gold medal at the 2013 World Games in Cali, Colombia.

At 1.78m tall and weighing in at just under 90kg, Isbell is just slightly smaller than Springbok wing Bryan Habana (1.80m and 94kg). Like Habana, he is also a very strong and balanced runner with ball in hand.

Round 2 fixtures – Saturday, 15 March:

  • Golden Lions vs Valke. Kick-off: 12h40 at Ellis Park, Johannesburg. Referee –  Christie du Preez
  • GWK Griquas vs Down Touch Griffons. Kick-off: 14h00 at GWK Park, Kimberley. Referee –  Oregopotse Rametsi
  • Cell C Sharks XV vs DHL Western Province. Kick-off: 14h30 at Growthpoint Kings Park, Durban. Referee –  Jaco van Heerden
  • EP Kings vs Border Bulldogs. Kick-off: 15h00 at Great Field, Rhodes University, Grahamstown. Referee –  Pro Legoete
  • Steval Pumas vs Vodacom Blue Bulls. Kick-off: 15h00 at Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit. Referee –  Tahla Ntshakaza
  • Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls vs Leopards XV. Kick-off: 15h00 at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane. Referee –  Gerrie du Bruyn
  • Regent Boland Cavaliers vs Toyota Free State XV. Kick-off: 16h00 at Wesbank, Malmesbury. Referee –  Quinton Immelman
  • Tusker Simba XV vs SWD Eagles. Kick-off: 16h45 at City Park, Cape Town. Referee –  Stephan Geldenhuys
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About Alan

My ethos is espoused in the words of Nelson Mandela: “I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the idea of a democratic and free society. If need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

You will always find me standing on the side of the underdog OR HERE.