DHL Western Province U21 started their SA Rugby U21 Championship campaign against the Vodacom Blue Bulls U21 at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Sunday.
Head Coach Jerome Paarwater’s team fought valiantly until the final whistle, with wing Angelo Davids running in a second-half hat-trick, but it was not enough to avoid a 36-25 defeat against the defending champions who beat them in the final last year.
Their opening match was played at midday in sweltering heat, up against an imposing Vodacom Blue Bulls U21 outfit. DHL Western Province U21 went into half-time within striking distance at 12-6 down, but a few quick tries from the Pretoria side early in the second half put them under significant pressure.
Despite those difficulties, the team pulled together well and with replacement flyhalf Kade Wolhuter making an immediate impact to unleash the devastating strike potential of the mercurial Davids, they finished the stronger team.
All of the SA Rugby U21 Championship matches will be played at Emirates Airline Park, with the team travelling up to Johannesburg for each of their matches as per SARU’s tournament structure, with all COVID-19 protocols strictly adhered to throughout.
DHL Western Province U21’s next fixture will be against Cell C Sharks U21 on Monday, with kick-off at 12h00. All SA Rugby U21 Championship matches will be streamed live on DSTV Now channel 245.