The fixtures for the sixth edition of the Gold Cup — SA Rugby’s flagship national championship for non-university clubs — have been confirmed, with eight eagerly-awaited matches kicking off the popular tournament in cities and towns across the country on Saturday 9 March.As part of wider changes to South African rugby’s competition landscape, this year’s event will revert to the pre-season time-slot that was a feature of the first three editions from 2013-2015. A leaner 16-team, six-week format is expected place a greater emphasis on strength versus strength, while the recent success of the past weekend’s #SuperHeroSunday event at Cape Town Stadium will be replicated at grassroots level with a number of double-header match days planned.
With defending champions DirectAxis False Bay having failed to qualify after a semifinal loss to Durbanville-Bellville in the 2018 Western Province Super League, the 2019 Gold Cup will see a new champion crowned and looks set to be the most closely fought edition in years.
KZN champions College Rovers – finalists in 2013 and 2017 – will start the tournament as one of the favourites, while the presence of 2014 and 2016 Cup winners Newrak Rustenburg Impala (Leopards), 2015 champions Durbanville-Bellville (WP) and 2014 runners-up RotoTank Roodepoort (Golden Lions), amongst others, will ensure arguably the strongest field yet assembled.
Boland champions OneLogix United Bulk Villagers Worcester, established in 1883 and celebrating their 136th anniversary this year, have the honour of being the oldest club in this year’s Gold Cup. They will get their campaign underway at their Boland Park fortress against Northam Platinum Rhinos, the Limpopo mining club who celebrate their 25th anniversary milestone this year.
Club rugby’s rich history and heritage is further illustrated by the fact that College Rovers will celebrate their 120th anniversary – having been formed during the Anglo Boer War in 1899 – while Roodepoort are 75 years old this year. A number of other teams are also household names in SA club rugby.
“Club rugby is a national treasure and it’s a testament to everyone involved at this level of the game, from dedicated administrators and players to diehard fans and loyal sponsors, that it remains vibrant and relevant despite ongoing challenges,” said SA Rugby CEO, Jurie Roux.
“Nowhere on the planet does amateur rugby attract the crowds that it does in South Africa, especially in the Western and Eastern Cape.
“Last year alone, iconic venues such as Outeniqua Park in George, Boland Stadium in Wellington and Esselen Park in Worcester sold out for big club matches, while more than 10,000 people crammed into the Bridgton Sports Ground in Oudtshoorn for a second year running to watch a televised Gold Cup qualifier as part of the SuperSport Rugby Challenge.
“We expect similarly large crowds in the Gold Cup this year, none more so than at historic community venues such as Boland Park in Worcester, Rosemore Stadium in George, Reigerpark on the East Rand and Derrick Ferreira Stadium – better known as ‘Die Hok’ – in Uitenhage.
“Let’s also not forget that Durbanville-Bellville drew more than 5,000 people for a televised Gold Cup semifinal in 2016, while our broadcast partners SuperSport have televised club and provincial rugby from Impala Rugby Club in Rustenburg every year since 2015 thanks to its big crowds and vibrant, platteland atmosphere.”
Roux said that a sponsor for the 2019 Gold Cup had been secured and that an announcement in this regard would be made before the start of the tournament.
“It is also encouraging to see the number of clubs in this year’s field that have managed to secure naming-rights sponsors,” he said.
“It shows that club rugby holds a certain appeal, especially at a local or community level, and it is here that sponsors are recognising the value of being associated with their local team, who are often supported by thousands of people in the area in which they do business.”
The seedings for the four pools are based, amongst other things, on teams’ final positions in the last Gold Cup. The top two teams from each pool will progress to the quarterfinals on the weekend of 30 March, with the remaining eight teams eliminated.
The Gold Cup final, as well as a playoff for third and fourth place, is scheduled for the weekend of 13/14 April. Fixture venues and kick-off times, including those of planned double-headers, will be confirmed in due course.
2019 GOLD CUP POOLS:
Pool A: Stiles Progress George (SWD), Durbanville-Bellville (WP), OneLogix United Bulk Villagers Worcester (Boland), Northam Platinum Rhinos (Limpopo).
Pool B: Multisure Gardens (EP), Sasol Digi Mag Secunda (Pumas), College Rovers (Sharks), Phakisa Holdings East Rand United (wildcard, Falcons).
Pool C: ABE Midas Naka Bulls (Blue Bulls), CT Hydraulics Sishen (Griquas), Welkom (Griffons), Recall Security Bloemfontein Police (Cheetahs).
Pool D: RotoTank Roodepoort (Golden Lions), Newrak Rustenburg Impala (Leopards), KWV Springs (Falcons), Hollywoodbets Swallows (Border).
2019 GOLD CUP FIXTURES (all kick-off times & venues to be confirmed):
Round 1 – Sat 9 March:
Stiles Progress George v Durbanville-Bellville
OneLogix United Bulk Villagers Worcester v Northam Platinum Rhinos
Multisure Gardens v Sasol Digi Mag Secunda
College Rovers v Phakisa Holdings East Rand United
ABE Midas Naka Bulls v CT Hydraulics Sishen
Welkom v Recall Security Bloemfontein Police
RotoTank Roodepoort v Newrak Rustenburg Impala
KWV Springs v Hollywoodbets Swallows
Round 2 – Sat 16 March:
Durbanville-Bellville v Northam Platinum Rhinos
Stiles Progress George v OneLogix United Bulk Villagers Worcester
Phakisa Holdings East Rand United v Sasol Digi Mag Secunda
Multisure Gardens v College Rovers
CT Hydraulics Sishen v Recall Security Bloemfontein Police
ABE Midas Naka Bulls v Welkom
Newrak Impala v Hollywoodbets Swallows
Rototank Roodepoort v KWV Springs
Round 3 – Sat 23 March:
OneLogix United Bulk Villagers Worcester v Durbanville-Bellville
Northam Platinum Rhinos v Stiles Progress George
Sasol Digi Mag Secunda v College Rovers
Phakisa Holdings East Rand United v Multisure Gardens
Welkom v CT Hydraulics Sishen
Recall Security Bloemfontein Police v ABE Midas Naka Bulls
KWV Springs v Newrak Impala
Hollywoodbets Swallows v Rototank Roodepoort
Quarterfinals – 30/31 March:
Quarterfinal 1 – Winner Pool C v Runner-up Pool D
Quarterfinal 2 – Winner Pool B v Runner-up Pool A
Quarterfinal 3 – Winner Pool D v Runner-up Pool C
Quarterfinal 4 – Winner Pool A v Runner-up Pool B
Semifinals – 6/7 April:
Semifinal 1 – Winner QF1 v Winner QF2
Semifinal 2 – Winner QF3 v Winner QF4
Final & 3rd/4th Playoff – 13/14 April:
Winner SF1 v Winner SF2
Gold Cup Champions:
2013 – Despatch (bt College Rovers in final)
2014 – Newrak Impala (bt RotoTank Roodepoort in final)
2015 – Durbanville-Bellville (bt Newrak Impala in final)
2016 – Newrak Impala (bt DirectAxis False Bay in final)
2017/18 – DirectAxis False Bay (bt College Rovers in final)
Article Source: SA Rugby
The final line-up for the 2019 Gold Cup has been confirmed following a nailbiting conclusion to the domestic club season in the Boland town of Worcester on Saturday.An intercept try deep into injury time gave Onelogix United Bulk Worcester Villagers a 36-29 win over defending champions Roses United in the Boland Grand Challenge final, held in front of an estimated 12,000 fans at one of the country’s most iconic and historic venues, Esselen Park.
Villagers’ victory brought the curtain down on one of the longest club seasons on record, with both the Boland and Western Province leagues, at one stage threatened with cancellation, only kicking off in June due to the drought that devastated the Western Cape. The 2018 season was also one of the most memorable in years, with large crowds commonplace across the country as club and community rugby showed a remarkable resurgence in popularity.
The newly-crowned Boland champions, established in 1883 and celebrating their 136th anniversary in 2019, will having the honour of being the oldest club in next year’s Gold Cup. They will join the 15 other teams already confirmed for South Africa’s flagship national championship for non-university clubs, amongst them 2017 finalists College Rovers, who will be celebrating a milestone 120th year of existence, having been formed during the Anglo-Boer War in 1899.
The line-up includes two former champions in Newrak Impala of Rustenburg, who won the Gold Cup in 2014 and 2016, and Durbanville-Bellville, who claimed the 2015 title in fairytale fashion having only qualified for the tournament as a lucky loser.
The most remarkable omission is that of current champions DirectAxis False Bay, who lost to Durbell in the semifinals of the WP Super League. A decision taken in 2016 to no longer extend an automatic invite to the defending champions means that Bay will unfortunately not be able to defend their title in 2019.
Changes to domestic and international season calendars will see the Gold Cup henceforth occupy a pre-season slot, with the 2019 edition kicking off on Saturday 9 March and concluding with the final on Sunday 14 April.
The Gold Cup’s pre-Easter positioning is also part of a move to create an aligned and clearly defined national club season by 2020, which avoid any overlaps between the Gold Cup and the provincial unions’ club leagues, many of which reported an encouraging surge in popularity and attendances in 2018.
The 16 teams will be divided into four pools of four, with each team playing three pool matches.
The top two teams in each pool will proceed to the quarterfinals. The pool draw and fixtures will be confirmed by SA Rugby in the next few weeks, with a number of additional exciting announcements to be made before the start of the tournament.
The 16 teams are:
ABE Midas Naka Bulls (Blue Bulls)
Rototank Roodepoort (Golden Lions)
KWV Springs (Valke)
Phakisa Holdings East Rand United (wildcard, Valke)
Northam Platinum Rhinos (Blue Bulls Limpopo)
Sasol Digi Mag Secunda (Pumas)
Newrak Impala (Leopards)
Recall Security Bloemfontein Police (Cheetahs)
CT Hydraulics Sishen (Griquas)
College Rovers (Sharks)
Multisure Gardens (EP)
Onelogix United Bulk Worcester Villagers (Boland)
Stiles Progress George (SWD)
Article Source: SA Rugby
The revival of club rugby will receive another boost in 2019 when a pioneering amateur provincial competition is trialled in the Western Cape.The pilot project – a joint initiative between SA Rugby and the SWD Rugby Football Union – will see the best club players in SWD being given the opportunity to represent their municipal regions in an eight-team tournament that will take place across the length and breadth of the Garden Route (formerly Eden) and Central Karoo Districts.
The competition will be divided into two divisions, with representative teams from George, Oudtshoorn, Mossel Bay and Hessequa Local Municipalities contesting the Community Cup. Bitou, Knysna and Kannaland Local Municipalities will be joined by Central Karoo District in the Community Shield.
The pilot – which for the first time in South African rugby will see senior select teams representing their municipal regions – will kick off on 28 September 2019, with each team playing the other three sides in their division home and away. The top two teams in each division will contest the Community Cup and Shield Finals at Outeniqua Park, George, on 9 November 2019 – the weekend after the Rugby World Cup Final.
“Club and amateur grassroots rugby is undergoing a heartening revival, with the Gold Cup already providing a high-quality aspirational platform for the best non-university club sides and huge crowds flocking to clubs across the country to watch their local community heroes in action,” said SA Rugby CEO, Jurie Roux.
“Our provincial unions have asked for the reinstatement of some form of amateur provincial rugby to act as an aspirational platform for their club players, and we believe that this pilot could offer a blueprint for how future amateur representative rugby could look.
“Unlike the old amateur provincial competitions, which mostly accommodated only a single team from each provincial union, the aim of the Community Cup and Shield is to drill down as deep as possible into our talent base and provide as many players as possible, from even the smallest villages and clubs, with a platform to display their talents.
“Each of the eight ‘provincial’ teams will comprise players registered with clubs geographically located within their particular local or district municipality,” said Roux.
“The beauty of this concept is that a player does not have to play for a Premier League club to make his representative municipal team. If the star flyhalf of a second-league club such as Dysselsdorp is good enough, he could end up playing for Oudtshoorn against George or Mossel Bay in front of 10,000 people, including the SWD Eagles coaches and selectors.”
SWD President, Mr Hennie Baartman, said the Community Cup and Shield pilot would take club rugby in the province to another level and help spread the rugby gospel across the Garden Route and Central Karoo districts.
“The Gold Cup has raised the profile and standard of club rugby in SWD over the past few years,” Mr Baartman said.
“In 2018 alone, thanks to SuperSport no fewer than six of our clubs, including two second-division platteland teams in Prince Albert and Oudtshoorn, played live on TV. What the Community Cup and Shield is going to do is take things to a whole new level.
“Now every player in the province will have an additional pathway into provincial rugby. During the league season, players will be vying for selection for their region and, after that, hopefully catch the eye of the Eagles selectors.
“It will also be a great platform for us to develop the next wave of top coaches and administrators currently doing great things in SWD club rugby,” said Mr Baartman, who added that a competition would be held for school pupils across the Southern Cape to come up with badges and kit designs for their eight new teams, with prizes on offer for the winning learners and schools.
“We want our creative youth across the Garden Route and Central Karoo to come up with kit designs and badges that will symbolise the uniqueness of each region and instil community pride not only in those amateur players who will get to wear that badge, but all the supporters as well,” added Mr Baartman.
Roux said that the pilot project, if successful, could incorporate other unions as early as 2020 and ultimately provide the blueprint for a more relevant and sustainable national amateur provincial competition.
“The Community Cup will be a SARU competition but we want individual unions to run with the concept and see it as an opportunity to grow the game in their respective regions and to proactively secure sponsorship from municipalities and local businesses,” said Roux.
“Then it will become a self-sustaining venure which everyone in a particular community, from players and fans to sponsors and municipalities, feel they are a part of.
“The Central Karoo is a good example. A Central Karoo team playing in the Community Cup competition would provide the region with the perfect aspirational vehicle for players and clubs from Beaufort West to Prince Albert, and Laingsburg to Murraysburg.
“It will provide a perfect and timely springboard for future development and capacity-building joint initiatives. If successful, this concept could place club rugby at the forefront of development, not only in SWD but across the country.”
The fixtures for the 2019 Community Cup and Shield will be released in due course. In order to optimally align with the SARU pilot, the 2019 SWD Premier League will kick off on 30 March, with the Final scheduled for 21 September at Outeniqua Park in George.
Article Source - SA Rugby
Article by supersport.com
FNB Maties were crowned Varsity Cup 2018 winners when they beat FNB NWU 40-7 at the Danie Craven stadium on Monday evening.
The Danie Craven stadium was brought to its feet on Monday evening when Maties finally got the monkey off their back as they clinched their fourth Varsity Cup trophy. It has taken seven years and three consecutive finals for the Maroon Machine to finally break their trophy drought.
The boisterous sell-out crowd at the stadium on Monday sang NWU off the field in the 79th minute when replacement prop Ricky Nwagbara scored for the home team, taking the final score to 40-7 with the conversion by flyhalf Chris Smith.
Maties started their third consecutive final on a good note. The home team certainly were looking to catch NWU out wide and they did on numerous occasions, but were let down by their composure in crucial areas inside NWU’s territory.
For all their control, fans had to wait until the 19th minute for Maties to open the scoring. The home team’s dominant scrum, which has been a key feature all season, earned them a penalty try. Maties pinned themselves on NWU’s five-metre, and with three consecutive penalties, referee AJ Jacobs awarded the seven points FNB Maties’ way.
Maties extended their lead in the 31st minute through Smith, who slotted a drop goal, yet it would be NWU who would have the last say of the first half as they cut down their deficit to three via a Tiaan Bezuidenhout try. Schalk Hugo slotted the conversion and the visiting team went into the halftime break trailing 10-7.
Maties struck early in the second half. After the kickoff, NWU strung together a couple of phases before a looping pass was well read by winger Edwill van der Merwe, who intercepted for a seven-point try. Smith added the extras and all of a sudden Maties were 19-7 ahead.
Maties lock Johan Momsen would extend the home side’s lead to 26 points in the 53rd minute when he barged over from close range, and from there Maties looked on course to claim the Varsity Cup trophy, and that they did. From there on, it was a matter of game management for Maties.
The Maroon Machine kept their shape in attack and were equally good on defence. The home team didn’t stop probing though and would get just reward when Munier Hartzenberg sealed the deal for them, before Nwagbara confirmed the result: FNB Maties – Varsity Cup champions, 2018.
FNB Player That Rocks: Johan van Niekerk (Maties).
Maties: 40 - Tries: Edwill van der Merwe; Johan Momsen; Munier Hartzenberg; Ricky Nwagbara. Conversions: Chris Smith (4). Drop goal: Chris Smith
NWU: 7 - Tries: Tiaan Bezuidenhout. Conversion: Schalk Hugo
Maties: 15 Carlisle Nel, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 Michal Haznar, 12 Chris Smit, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Christopher Smith, 9 Remu Malan, 8 Marno Redelinghuys, 7 Chris Massyn, 6 Johan van Niekerk, 5 Johan Momsen, 4 Ernst van Rhyn, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Wilmar Arnoldi, 1 Chippie Oelofse (C)
Replacements: 16 HJ Luus, 17 Ricky Nwagbara, 18 Piet-Louw Strauss, 19 Brandon Valentyn, 20 Stefan Streicher, 21 Brandon Nel, 22 Munier Hartzenberg, 23 Jordan Chait
NWU: 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 Jimmy Mpailane, 13 Evardi Boshoff, 12 Akhona Nela, 11 Dean Stokes, 10 Schalk Hugo, 9 Chriswill September, 8 Tiaan Bezuidenhout, 7 Estehan Visagie, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Johan Retief, 3 Robert Hunt, 2 Louis van der Westhuizen, 1 Matimu Manganyi
Replacements:16 Percy Mngadi, 17 Nelius Theron, 18 Theodore Ferreira, 19 Jaco Swanepoel, 20 Wandile Mazibuko, 21 Nkosana Mbatha, 22 Henko Marais, 23 Justin Newman
The victory completed a dream season for Rustenburg Impala, who played in their third successive final, as they remained unbeaten and scored four tries or more in each of their matches.
They won the title in 2014, but stumbled against Durbanville-Bellville in a home final last season which saw them go down 31-30.
While DirectAxis False Bay will be disappointed by their defeat, they will draw immense confidence from the season, as their participation in the Gold Cup marked their maiden national tournament after claiming their first WP Grand Challenge title in 44 years.
The teams took a few minutes to find their rhythm after kick-off as the temperature lingered close to 40 degrees Celsius in Rustenburg, but once they hit their straps it was a matter of time before Rustenburg Impala ran riot on attack.
DirectAxis False Bay showed their intent early on by running hard at the hosts, and their dominance on attack earned them three opportunities to slot over penalty goals in first 11 minutes. However all three attempts were unsuccessful.
Their determined efforts to open up their account, however, paid off in the 17th minute thanks to a well-worked try by left wing Mustaqeem Jappie who kicked the ball through from a turnover and gathered it to score, which handed the Capetonians a 7-0 lead.
Rustenburg Impala, however, hit back with a try two minutes later as winger Dumisani Matyeshana crossed the try line after receiving the ball out wide, but the unsuccessful conversion left them trailing 7-5.
His team-mate, No 8 Leon du Plessis, added the team’s second try 10 minutes later as he crashed through a bunch of defenders to dot down the ball, but False Bay reduced the deficit to two points with their first penalty goal by fullback Adriaan Osman.
Impala had the final say in the half as Matyeshana rounded off another fantastic team try, which pushed them 17-10 ahead. They had an opportunity to score their fourth try on the stroke of halftime, but a knock-on denied them.
The hosts wasted no time adding to their score in the second half as flanker Justin Wheeler crossed the tryline two minutes after play resumed, which flyhalf Cecil Dumond backed up with two tries in three minutes.
The team built on this fine form which saw center Justin St Jerry and Wheeler added two more tries to take their tally for the match to eight.
In turn DirectAxis False Bay were only able to add two second-half tries compliments of Dylon Frylinck and Ashley Wells.
This secured a well-deserved 48-24 victory for Rustenburg Impala.
In a fitting end to the competition, meanwhile, the manager, coach, forward, back and club player of the year were named before the trophy handover.
Durbanville-Bellville’s Peter Virgin was named the team manager of the year, Alrico Beukes of RSK Evergreens club coach of the year, Tythan Adams of Your Communications College Rovers backline player of the year, Siyaya Brakpan’s Ian Oosthuizen forward of the year, and Leon du Plessis of Rustenburg Impala club player of the year. This is the second year in a row that Du Plessis wins the player of the year award.
All of the winners with the exception of Du Plessis will spend time at a top UK Club as part of an international exchange program sponsored by the British High Commission. Du Plessis spent six months overseas last year after winning his award.
Gold Cup final result and scorers:
Rustenburg Impala 48 (17) DirectAxis False Bay 24 (10)
Rustenburg Impala – Tries: Cecil Dumond (2), Dumisani Matyeshana (2), Justin St Jerry, Justin Wheeler (2), Leon du Plessis. Conversions: Cecil Dumond (3). Penalty Goals: David van Biljon.
DirectAxis False Bay – Tries: Ashley Wells, Dylon Frylinck, Mustaqeem Jappie. Conversions: Adriaan Osman (2), Andri Claassen.
Article by SA Rugby
Rustenburg Impala will host Saturday’s Gold Cup final against DirectAxis False Bay after both teams recorded nailbiting semifinal victories on a watershed Sunday afternoon of televised club rugby.
In the first semi, False Bay, who went unbeaten this year en route to their first Western Province Grand Challenge title since 1972, beat defending champions Durbell 41-35 in a nine-try thriller played in front of 4 000 fans in Durbanville.
The drama continued into the second match of the historic double-header when Brakpan staged a near- miraculous recovery before eventually going down 44-32 to Impala, the 2014 champions and last year’s runners-up, who advance to their third final in a row.
The closeness of the two contests were beautifully illustrated in the match stats: both games produced exactly 76 points and nine tries – 152 points and 18 tries in two matches and you get an idea just why the Gold Cup has struck such a chord this year with rugby fans across the country.
The decision by SA Rugby and Supersport to televise both semifinals on a Sunday was also a huge success, with the biggest crowd to ever watch a match at Durbanville turning out for the ground-breaking lunchtime match, whose social media #SundayShowdown tag certainly lived up to its pre-match billing.
This Saturday’s final will be an intriguing contest between unquestionably the two best sides in SA Rugby’s three-nation non-university club championship. On the one side, Impala will be playing in their third final, having already drunk from the iconic Gold Cup two years ago when former Springbok Hugh Reece-Edwards coached them to the title.
On the other side, False Bay will look to continue a fairytale season under their young coach Johnathan van der Walt, during which they have lost just once – against Siyaya Brakpan in round two of the pool stages.
The match will take place at the Impala Rugby Club, with kick-off time to be confirmed later in the week, but expected to be around 15h30, live on Supersport 1/HD.
Article by SuperSport
After 40 pool matches at 20 venues across South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe over the past five weeks, there is precious little to choose between the eight remaining Gold Cup teams contesting this coming weekend’s eagerly awaited quarterfinals.
SA Rugby’s three-nation championship for non-university clubs has exploded into life following a dramatic final round of the group stages and only a brave pundit would be prepared to put big money on any of the teams in the belief they are a sure bet.
For the truth of the matter is that there is very little to choose between the sides, the competitiveness of club rugby at the top level having increased exponentially over the past three years and especially during a landmark 2016 season which saw the Gold Cup move to a more logical post-season time-slot.
Saturday’s big televised match sees Pretoria Police – who last won a national title 20 years ago – take on DirectAxis False Bay in a mouthwatering Blue Bulls v Western Province club clash. Fittingly, the match takes place at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, as a curtain-raiser to the Currie Cup semifinal between the same two unions (kick-off 3:10pm, DStv channel 197).
SA Rugby CEO, Jurie Roux, touched on the significance of club rugby’s newfound raised profile when he said: “Last week we had a Gold Cup pool match in Rustenburg that was a broadcast curtain-raiser to a Springbok-All Black test and this week things have gone up another notch.
“A north-south Gold Cup quarterfinal is big enough, but playing it as a curtain-raiser to a Currie Cup semifinal presents us with a unique double-header and provides yet more fantastic exposure for the clubs, their sponsors, and the Gold Cup brand itself. Once again I call on all rugby fans who want to watch some ‘feel-good’ rugby to tune in and be part of the amazing revival currently happening in club rugby.”
Fans across the country who cannot get to Loftus would do well to heed Roux’s call and tune in – club rugby is fast regaining its popularity of years gone by.
Police come into the game with a full house of 20 points, meaning that they are well set to host a home semifinal and final should they get that far. Having said that, they have not quite hit their straps in this year’s Gold Cup and Saturday could be the day they turn it on. In turn, False Bay lost to Brakpan in the pool stages but will have learned a lot from the ‘Battle of Brakpan’ and should push the Policemen all the way.
Pretoria Police (15-1):
Phumudzo Tshiovhe, Pieter Botha, Willem Odendaal, Pieter Strydom, Ivan Venter, Dillon Laubscher, Hendrik van der Nest, Louis van Biljon, Vincent Gwavu, Johan van Deventer, Divan Steenkamp, Jerry Sefoko, Rayno Wasserman (c), Johan Pieterse, Hannes Ludik. Replacements: Marthinus Hoffman, Boris van Jaarsveld, Imilius Keyser, Sam Niemand, Morne Hugo, Hendrik Pieterse, Tlhabana Motsepe.
DirectAxis False Bay:
Adnaan Oesman, Danie Roux, Byron Mohr, Riaan O’Neill, Mustaqeem Jappie, Andri Claassen, Dylon Frylinck, Ryan Olivier, Justin van Winkel, Brent Stevens, Brandon Wood, Graham Knoop (c), Ashley Wells, Andre van Vuuren, Wesley Chetty. Replacements: Dasch Barber, Wesley Futter, Willie Coetzee, Aiden Monk, Ridhaa Damon, Jason Pretorius, Roemark Smith.
The winner of the Police-False Bay quarterfinal will play a semifinal against the winner of the match in Cape Town between defending champions Durbanville-Bellville and SWD champions RSK Evergreens, who pulled off three dramatic come-from-behind victories in a row, including a famous win against FNB Wanderers in Windhoek last weekend, to reach the last eight for the second time in four years.
The champions have rebuilt themselves remarkably quickly under new coach Bobby Joubert and look well set to defend their title, especially if, as some believe, False Bay beat Police and next Sunday’s semifinal is at Durbell’s headquarters, where ‘Durbies’ rarely lose. But anyone who writes off Evergreens does so at their peril. They are expertly coached by Alrico Beukes, have the physicality to mix it with bigger teams, and have class backs including the brothers C-Than and Leegan Moos. And not forgetting one of the players of the tournament, flanker Freginald Africa.
Raymond Olivier, Roderick Moses, Francois Malherbe, Janco Gunter, Jason Kriel, Angus Cleophas, Gideon Thiart, Karl Liebenberg, Brendon Esterhuizen, Andrew Picoto, Michael Badenhorst, Daneel-Hermann Botes, Ashston Constant, Arend Brink, Ashley Kohler. Replacements: Albert van der Linde, Eduard Loubser, Stephen Potgieter, Conway Pretorius, Denzel Willemse, Cheslyn Roberts, Etienne Swarts.
Leegan Moos, Dowayne Smart, Divandre Strydom, Deon Stoffels, Clint Miller, C-Than Moos, Rudi Michaels, Gerschwin Muller, Buran Parks, Freginald Africa, Marvin November, Arden Wesso, Glenwyne Vaaltyn, Layle Delo Anvor Prins. Replacements: Byron November, Anston Bernardo, Isaac Treurnicht, Llewellyn Treurnicht, Mario Noordman, Chadley Stride, Gideon Lambrechts.
On the other side of the draw, Valke champions Siyaya Brakpan host Don’s Pawn Shop PE Police, who this year have surprised friend and foe alike after finishing 16th in 2015. Police have been very impressive this year, winning three of their four matches, but Brakpan have Bosman Stadium as their fortress and, as False Bay found out when the WP champions lost their first match of 2016 there a few weeks ago, it will take a flawless performance from the PE Bobbies to upset the Brakke.
Hagen Mumba, Thinus Ueckermann, Ronnie Roets, Christo Joubert, Leon Potgieter, Raydall Walters, Clayton Gindan, Theo Mynhardt, Francois Robbertse (c), Jaco Lotter, Dwane Morrison, Theo Becker, Jason Arundel, Ian Oosthuizen, Pierre Foord. Replacements: Izak Moller, Armandt Jordaan, Ricky Menezes, Wikus van der Berg, Shaun Botes, Gido Horn, Luzuko Ndanda.
Don’s Pawn Shop PE Police:
Ruan Allerston, Eben Barnard, Echard Jacobs, Alwyn Jordaan (c), Sebastiaan Loxen, Justin Peach, Daniel Vosloo, Lyle Walters, Frans Gerber, Ferdie Gerber, Hannes Huisamen, Wayne van Heerden, Dwayne Kinghorn, Stephan Deyzel, Lyle Lombard. Replacements: Marius Olivier, Matthew Moore, Chris Zeelie, Dewald Meyer, Kevin Plaatjies, Damien Moultrie, Kyle Scott.
The winner of the battle of Bosman Stadium will then have to negotiate a semifinal against either 2014 champions and last year’s runners-up, Rustenburg Impala, or KZN champions Your Communications College Rovers, who clash in Rustenburg in the final quarterfinal.
College Rovers have mixed memories of playing in Rustenburg. They won the last-ever club championships there four years ago, but lost twice over last year’s Community Cup Easter weekend to finish sixth out of eight at the tournament. But this is a different Rovers side compared to years gone by, with a bigger emphasis on team spirit and the collective, for which young coaches Derek Heiberg and Mike Vowles must take a lot of credit.
But this young Rovers side will have to be at their best to trouble Impala, who for 50 minutes were in imposing form against Pirates during last week’s 57-31 win over the men from Johannesburg, and who possess some of the best players in the tournament, including a deadly loose trio spearheaded by eighthman Leon du Plessis and flanker Justin Wheeler.
Xolani Nkosi, Dumisani Matyeshana, Justin St Jerry, Gysbert van Wyk, Aubrey McDonald, Cecil Dumond, Nico Kruger, Leon du Plessis, Justin Wheeer, Johan Engelbrecht, Tiaan Nel, Robbie Rawlins, Zander de Kock, Bruce Muller, Louis Hollamby. Replacements: Gavin Williamson, Ivann Espag, Henro Huyser, JP le Grange, Stefan Kruger, Francois van Biljon, McDonald Duma.
Your Communications College Rovers:
Gavin Scott, Mark Richards, Matt Phillips, Brandon Bailing, Tythan Adams, Chris Jordaan, Warren Randall, Kelvin Adam, Mesuli Mncwango, Jean Pretorius, Sanele Sibanda, Paul Bester, Luciando Santos, Jandre Jacobs, Jarrett Crouch. Replacements: Chris Kemp, Njabulo Mkize, Witness Mandhiza, Le Roux Viljoen, Dumisani Dyonase, Kyle Wilkinson, Gary Collins.
Knockout fixtures & Teams (15h30 unless otherwise indicated):
Saturday 15 October:
QF1 – Siyaya Brakpan v Don’s Pawn Shop PE Police (Bosman Stadium, Brakpan)
QF2 – Rustenburg Impala v Your Communications College Rovers (Impala Rugby Club, Rustenburg)
QF3 – Pretoria Police v DirectAxis False Bay (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, 15h15 – SuperSport Channel 197)
QF4 – Durbanville-Bellville v RSK Evergreens (Durbell RFC, Cape Town)
Sunday 23 October (both matches live on SuperSport 1/HD):
SF1 – Winner QF1 v Winner QF2 (Time & Venue TBC)
SF2 – Winner QF3 v Winner QF4 (Time & Venue TBC)
Saturday 29 October (live on SuperSport 1/HD):
Winner SF1 v Winner SF2 (Time & Venue TBC)
Article by Duane Heath - SuperSport
The Gold Cup – SA Rugby’s three-nation championship for non-university clubs – kicks off on Saturday with eight eagerly-awaited first-round matches being hosted at club venues across the length and breadth of South Africa.
In the Western Cape, all roads will lead to the Cape Winelands town of Worcester, where a capacity crowd is expected at Boland Park for the official opening match between Boland champions OneLogix United Bulk Worcester Villagers and Griffons title-holders Tiger Wheel & Tyre Welkom Rovers.
The Pool A match will be broadcast live on SuperSport1 & HD at 14h30 – directly after the Castle Rugby Championship test match in Brisbane between Australia and South Africa.
The Gold Cup format is simple and identical to that of the Rugby World Cup: 20 clubs are divided into four pools of five, with each team playing two home and two away matches over a five-week period from 10 September to 8 October. The top two clubs in each pool advance to the quarterfinals, scheduled for 15 October. All knockout matches, including the televised semifinals (22 October) and final (29 October) will be hosted at participating clubs.
In other first-round action, Pool A’s other match sees Durbanville-Bellville open their title defence at home against Border’s Mike Pendock Motors Old Selbornians.
In Pool B, Golden Lions representatives Pirates host Namibia’s top non-university club, FNB Wanderers Windhoek, in the first-ever international match in the Gold Cup, while the Limpopo town of Setaria will host the “Platinum derby” between Northam Platinum Rhinos and 2014 Gold Cup champions Rustenburg Impala.
DirectAxis False Bay, who are unbeaten this season having won their first Western Province Grand Challenge title since 1972, will host KZN Murray Cup champions SA Home Loans Durban Collegians in Constantia in a heavyweight Pool C clash. In the Pool’s other match, Zimbabwe champions Old Georgians make their historic Gold Cup debut in Mpumalanga against White River.
And in Pool D, three of the group’s four Police sides are in action, with Pretoria Police travelling to the Northern Cape town of Kathu to face Griquas champions Belaz Sishen. And a thousand kilometres away in Port Elizabeth, home side PE Police face Bloemfontein Police in the first of a number of intriguing Police derbies.
Round 1 fixtures (all matches 15h30 unless otherwise indicated):
OneLogix United Bulk Worcester Villagers v Tiger Wheel & Tyre Welkom Rovers (Boland Park, Worcester, 14h45)
Durbanville-Bellville v Mike Pendock Motors Old Selbornians (Durbell Rugby Club, Cape Town)
Pirates v FNB Wanderers Windhoek (Pirates Rugby Club, Johannesburg)
Northam Platinum Rhinos v Rustenburg Impala (Northam Platinum Recreation Club, Setaria)
DirectAxis False Bay v SA Home Loans Durban Collegians (Phillip Herbstein Field, Constantia, Cape Town)
White River v Old Georgians Harare (White River Rugby Club, Mpumalanga)
Belaz Sishen v Pretoria Police (Sivos Stadium, Kathu)
Don’s Pawn Shop PE Police v Bloemfontein Police (Kemsley Park, Port Elizabeth)
Article by Supersport
CLUB rugby’s revival will enter a ‘Golden’ era from 2016 with a host of exciting changes to the popular Community Cup national championship for non-university clubs, following a decision of the Executive Council of the South African Rugby Union (SARU).
The Community Cup, which replaced the old national club championships in 2013, will move from its pre-season timeslot to provide a more logical post-season climax to the South African club season and will henceforth be known as the Gold Cup – named after its iconic, solid-gold winner’s trophy.
The Gold Cup will also have an international flavour from 2016, with the non-university champions of Namibia and Zimbabwe joining 18 of South Africa’s best open clubs in the 20-team tournament.
“When we launched the Community Cup three years ago, club rugby wasn’t in a good space,” said SARU CEO Jurie Roux. “The old Club Championships did not have a sponsor, television coverage was virtually non-existent, crowds were poor, players weren’t well conditioned and the standard of play was average at best.
“We hoped the Community Cup would be a catalyst for the revival of the club game at all levels, and I’m happy to say we’ve achieved those initial goals and can now move on to the next phase.”
“We’ve had a great sponsor in Cell C for the past three years, during which we’ve seen a tournament that has had 42 matches broadcast live. A total of 9,000 people attended this year’s Easter play-offs in Rustenburg where the standard of play was among the highest seen from open clubs.
“There has also been a knock-on effect at provincial level. The competitiveness of domestic leagues has increased significantly and clubs have become far more professional in their approach as they go all out to qualify for the Community Cup,” Roux added.
He said the addition of clubs from Namibia and Zimbabwe would expand the Gold Cup into a true African club tournament. “Strategically this decision is in line with our commitment to assist our neighbours so that they have the best possible chance of qualifying alongside South Africa for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
“Namibia’s best players will benefit from playing in the expanded Currie Cup in 2016 and the incorporation of their champion club into our tournament structures will help strengthen their next tier of players. Zimbabwe came within a whisker of qualifying for the World Cup and participation in the Gold Cup will likewise revive their top domestic league and expose their players to a higher level of competition.”
The Gold Cup will kick off on Saturday, 10 September 2016, with 20 clubs once again competing in a Rugby World Cup-style format, with five weeks of pool stages and the top two from each group progressing to the knockout stages. The tournament will feature 47 matches in all.
In a departure from the Easter weekend play-off format which was a hallmark of the Community Cup era, the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the Cup final itself will be hosted by participating clubs.
“From a player welfare point of view, having to play three matches in five days was no longer feasible and we have listened to our club players and coaches in this regard,” said Roux. “We also believe that moving away from a central play-off venue is a great carrot for clubs to perform. Now every one of the 20 teams can go into the tournament knowing they have a chance to host prestigious play-off matches, including the all-important televised final, at their home ground.”
Durbanville-Bellville, who capped a fairytale 2015 season by winning the Community Cup having qualified through the back door of the repechage rounds, will return in 2016 to defend the Gold Cup trophy they lifted in Rustenburg earlier this year.
They, together with the Namibian and Zimbabwean teams, will be joined by the best non-university clubs of the 14 provincial unions plus Limpopo from the 2015 season.
A full list of the participating teams will be confirmed early in the New Year.
The remaining two qualifier slots will be decided by 2016’s provincial leagues, with those teams who finish as the best open clubs in their leagues next year, having not done so in 2015, playing off for the last two Gold Cup slots.
“We have the once-off situation whereby there will have been two club seasons between the last Community Cup and the Gold Cup,” said Roux. “We therefore had to strike a balance between rewarding those clubs who performed in 2015, and ensuring that the 2016 season has meaning and that clubs across the country have no shortage of motivation to perform in their domestic leagues.”
Roux added that further significant announcements around the Gold Cup would be made in the New Year.
FNB UFS-Shimlas beat FNB NWU-Pukke 63-33 in an epic final in Bloemfontein on Monday to claim their first FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International title.
The hosts outscored their old rivals by nine tries to four in a breathless match to end the season unbeaten and hand NWU-Pukke their second consecutive final defeat.
The visitors made a determined start to the match, and drove UFS-Shimlas deep into their own territory where they were able to force a penalty which was slotted by Rhyno Smith.
However, they were reduced to 14 men shortly afterwards when flank Marno Redelinghuys was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle, and the home side took advantage immediately with lock Johan van der Hoogt barging over for the opening try which put them 8-2 up once converted by flyhalf Niel Marais.
They did not have that lead for long though, as Marais’ clearance from the restart was charged down by NWU-Pukke scrumhalf Malherbe Swart who scored under the poles to put his side back in front.
The Potchefstroom students were not done there and added a second try straight away, with inside centre Johan Deysel running a great line off a line-out in their own half to race away and score to stretch their lead out to 18-8 despite being a man down.
UFS-Shimlas hit back just after the first strategy break, with big No.8 Niell Jordaan crashing over from a driving maul to cap a sustained period of pressure, but the visitors were able to respond with another Smith penalty which took their lead out to 20-13.
The drama continued as NWU-Pukke captain Jeandre Rudolph was sent to the sin bin on the half-hour mark for repeated breakdown infringements and the home side duly capitalised with wing Maphutha Dolo stepping through a gap for a try that gave them the lead.
They were not done there though and came up with a fantastic counter-attack from their own half which was sparked by Vuyani Maqina who found Marais on the inside and the flyhalf produced a sensational offload to put flying flank Daniel Maartens away for a try which put them 26-20 ahead at half-time.
The hosts scored their fifth try just after the break with Marais central once again as he collected a partially charged kick and got the ball away to Dolo who released outside centre Nico Lee to surge over the whitewash.
At 34-20 down NWU-Pukke were right up against it and their forwards produced the perfect response with Rudolph scoring a pushover try from a dominant atacking scrum.
The seesaw battle continued as UFS-Shimlas hit back with a second try from Lee who hit a well-timed pass from Marais at pace to burst through and score under the poles.
That left NWU-Pukke with it all to do in the last 20 minutes, but it was not to be as tries from Marais, Dolo and Maartens piled more misery on the Potchefstroom side, and although the visitors had the last say with a late try from Rowayne Beukman it mattered little as the hosts claimed an emphatic victory in the end.
FNB Player that Rocks: Niel Marais
For FNB UFS-Shimlas:
Tries: Van der Hoogt, Jordaan, Dolo 2, Maartens 2, Lee 2, Marais
Cons: Marais 6
For FNB NWU-Pukke:
Tries: Swart, Deysel, Rudolph, Beukman
Cons: Smith 3
Pens: Smith 2
Yellow cards: Marno Redelinghuys (NWU-Pukke, 5 mins – Dangerous tackle) Jeandre Rudolph (NWU-Pukke, 30 mins – Repeated infringements)
FNB UFS-Shimlas: 15 AJ Coertzen (captain), 14 Vuyani Maqina, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Tertius Kruger, 11 Maphutha Dolo, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Renier Botha, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Gerhard Olivier, 6 Daniel Maartens, 5 Johan van der Hoogt, 4 Henco Venter, 3 Conraad Van Vuuren, 2 Elandre Hugget, 1 Ox Nche.
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Theunis Nieuwoudt, 18 Boela Venter, 19 De Wet Kruger, 20 Nhlanhla Hlongwane, 21 JP Coetzee, 22 Refuoe Rampete, 23 Dolph Botha.
FNB NWU-Pukke: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Dalen Goliath, 13 Rowayne Beukman, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 Dillon Smit, 10 Jonny Welthagen, 9 Malherbe Swart, 8 Jeandre Rudolph (captain), 7 Marno Redelinghuys, 6 Armandt Liebenberg, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Loftus Morrison, 3 John-Roy Jenkinson, 2 Wian Fourie, 1 Johan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Wilmar Arnoldi, 17 Mogau Makobela, 18 Daniel Jordaan, 19 Molotsi Bouwer, 20 Johannes Briers, 21 Bouke Tack, 22 Juandre Williams, 23 Cayle Denner.
Referees: Stephan Geldenhuys, Tahla Ntshakaza
Assistant referees: Oregopotse Rametsi, Lourens van der Merwe
TMO: Johan Greeff
April 13, 2015 , by Michael De Vries