The hosts clinched the game by outscoring their Gauteng neighbours by six tries to four.

The young men from Pretoria were leading 24-12 at halftime and despite a strong start in the second half by the Lions, the Vodacom Bulls regained momentum to race away for a well-deserved 41-26 triumph.

It was sweet revenge for the hosts, who lost 27-20 to their Cup final opponents at the end of last month in the league phase of the competition.

Junior Springbok hooker Tiaan Lange had another good game in the No 2 jersey for the Vodacom Bulls and scored two of his team's six tries, each time dotting down after powerful lineout mauls.

The home side raced into a 24-7 lead just before the break thanks to tries from Lange, fullback Franco Knoetze and Junior Springbok utility back Compion von Ludwig, this time playing flyhalf for the Vodacom Bulls.

Knoetze also added a snap drop goal, while scrumhalf Tiaan Fourie added the extras with conversion kicks.

The Joburg side scored two tries in the opening spell through skipper and No 7 flank Jarod Cairns, while another loose forward Renzo du Plessis went over following a nice, flowing Lions move. Pivot Sam Francis slotted the conversion to reduce the halftime deficit to 12 points.

In the opening part of the second half, it was the white and red jerseys who came out more determined in an effort to wipe out their deficit.

Du Plessis rounded off another counter-attack and when No 8 Connor van Vuuren went over for the Lions' fourth try, the Joburg side edged into the lead at 26-24, with a lot of rugby still to be played in the second half.

However, the Vodacom Bulls side composed themselves to regain the momentum, and they ran out comfortable winners in the end thanks to three more second half tries – two by Marco de Witt - while their opponents were kept scoreless late in the game.


Vodacom Bulls U21 41 (24) - Tries: Tiaan Lange (2), Franco Knoetze, Compion von Ludwig, Marco de Witt (2). Conversions: Tiaan Fourie (4). Drop goal: Knoetze.

Lions U21 26 (12) - Tries: Jarod Cairns, Renzo du Plessis (2), Connor van Vuuren. Conversions: Sam Francis (3).