Ndungane scoops top Bulls awards

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iol spt dec6 Akona Gallo Images Bulls veteran winger Akona Ndungane was named the Bulls' Super Rugby Players Player of the Year. Photo by: Lee Warren

Johannesburg – Bulls veteran winger Akona Ndungane was named the Bulls' Super Rugby Players Player of the Year on Wednesday.

Ndungane was also named best back for the Currie Cup side, capping a fine season for the veteran while Willie Wepener walked away with the Currie Cup Players Player of the Year Award.

The accolades were among a host of awards given to players and staff at the Blue Bulls Company's annual lunch, which incorporated the awards.

Bulls chief executive Barend van Graan said while the Union did not achieve all their goals this season, there were some successes.

“We did not achieve our expected strike rate with regards to trophies and titles – with only our Under-21s, Women Sevens and Craven Week sides that won their tournaments – but it was still very successful in many ways,” Van Graan said.

The Super Rugby side made the top six and play-offs of the competition while the Currie Cup team played in the semi-finals and the Under-19's made their final.

“A host of our players also represented the Springboks and a number of our younger players starred for the Junior Springboks in the winning of the IRB Junior World Championships,” he said.

Van Graan said the senior teams did well in spite of the exodus of key coaching staff to the Springbok team. The biggest blow was the loss of Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer, who was their rugby executive.

The Bulls' brains trust was further depleted when forwards coach Johann van Graan, defensive coach John McFarland, backline coach Ricardo Loubscher and Basil Carzis, their fitness coach, followed Meyer.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said he hoped the rewards would motivate his troops for the new season.

“We are blessed to have some truly professional players in our set-up and they work very hard,” Ludeke said.

“This creates a fantastic work ethic - one the Blue Bulls are very proud of.”

Blue Bulls players awards:

Super Rugby 2012 Players Player of the Year: Akona Ndungane

Most Promising Player of the Year: Arno Botha

Forward of the Year: Juandré Kruger

Back of the Year: Zane Kirchner

Currie Cup 2012 Players Player of the Year: Willie Wepener

Most Promising Player of the Year: Louis Fouché

Forward of the Year: Dewald Potgieter

Back of the Year: Akona Ndungane

Vodacom Cup 2012 Players Player of the Year: Ruan Snyman

Most Promising player of the Year: Jan Serfontein

Forward of the Year: Cornell Hess

Back of the Year: Ruan Snyman

Blue Bulls Under-21 Players Player of the Year: Juan Schoeman

Most Promising Player of the Year: Marvin Orie

Forward of the Year: Wiaan Liebenberg

Back of the Year: Courtnall Skosan

Management Award: Andrè Volsteedt

Blue Bulls Under-19 Players player of the Year: Ruan Steenkamp

Most Promising Player of the Year: Andrew Beerwinkel

Forward of the Year: Jacques du Plessis

Back of the Year: Burger Odendaal – Sapa


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