Taking a collated look at Border Club Rugby after three rounds in the leagues. It’s refreshing to see new comers to the elite league of Border Rugby, the Super League, Ncerha Leopards stamping their authority and is one of only four teams with an unbeaten record thus far. Early indicators clearly show Police and Swallows as the early pace setters for a Gold Cup spot. Is it early days to suggest that once powerhouses of Border Rugby Fort Hare Blues finding themselves languishing at the bottom with no wins in three outings, more surprising that two of those defeats came at their Davidson Stadium graveyard.
It is also clear, judging from results that Berlin Tigers is no walk over and is here to compete. Should we read too much in Old Boys performances which suggest that they can compete, but against the so-called championship contenders seems to battle. Police have already got one over them, WSU All Blacks too. Their biggest test will arguably come against the rampant Swallows. Have Old Boys just become a mere ordinary team content of playing for a top four position and is already out of title race ?
Breakers continue to struggle with Ocean Sweepers merely holding on. The departure of some key technical and managerial personal at Ntlaza Lions have a serious impact on the team’s performances. It seems like internal politics have boiled over to the field of play. It’s a well-known fact that there was a rift in management in the Ntlaza camp. To further put claim to that motion Buffs went to Ntlaza and beat Lions at their own ground, which is unheard of in years.
Well just over the bridge at WSU Eagles it seems everything is going to plan with Asanda Simoyi and Philile Bohlimali combinations doing the trick. Eagles is unbeaten in the Premier League and hot favourites for promotion to the Super League. Will the travesty of Young Leopards set to continue this season with the motion of quot; so close but so far" ringing in their ears for several years. Clearly title contenders but continue to be eclipsed at the final hurdle for promotion.
Winter Rose have started well in the lower league but lost their first outing this weekend, which suggest that their ambitions for a return to the elite league must be long term and not this season. Its worrying time for former Super League team Old Collegians who find themselves with zero points
after 3 matches, more worrying is the fact that they have been on the receiving end of heavy defeats, especially at home. Komani teams in the league is a sorry tale, with all three of them winless so far this season. Breakers have played two and lost both. Shining Stars have played three and lost. Old Collegians woes continued last weekend when they arrived late for their match against Evergreens. This come after two heavy defeats.
Border Club Rugby is alive and kicking.
Fort Hare Blues 23-38 Police
Breakers 10-15 Ncerha Leopards
Buffalo 7-93 Swallows
Black Eagles 25-12 Ntlaza Lions
Ocean Sweepers 0-42 WSU All Blacks
Old Selbornians 16-8 Berlin Tigers
Wallabies 22-22 Young Leopards
Cambridge 16-18 Bussy Boys
Shining Stars 10-16 Ngculu Zebras
WSU Eagles 37-18 Winter Rose. United Brothers vs Africans (no referee)
Evergreens vs Old Collegians (OC arrived late).
Ntlaza Lions vs Fort Hare Blues
Ncerha Leopards vs Buffalo
Berlin Tigers vs Breakers
Black Eagles vs Old Selbornians
WSU All Blacks vs Swallows
Police vs Ocean Sweepers
Africans vs Wallabies
Old Collegians vs Shining Stars
Bussy Boys vs Evergreens
Young Leopards vs United Brothers
Winter Rose vs Cambridge
Ngculu Zebras vs WSU Eagles
Defending SuperSport Rugby Challenge champions, the iSG Pumas, former champions, DHL Western Province and runners up in 2017 and 2018, Tafel Lager Griquas, all remain on track to repeat their previous heroics after good wins this weekend.
The three heavyweights in this exciting tournament, which saw an average of 70 tries per weekend in the first month, are the only undefeated teams left after four rounds of action and look set to again be involved in the play-offs next month.
The iSG Pumas (beat the Xerox Golden Lions XV 51-33 in Johannesburg) and Tafel Lager Griquas (beat the Vodacom Blue Bulls 38-17 in Kimberley, remain the top teams in the North Section, while DHL Western Province (beat the Zimbabwe Academy 33-13 in Cape Town) are opening up a huge lead in the South Section.
The Sunday Rugby Festival, held at Impala Rugby Club in Rustenburg, again delivered two massively competitive matches, with the Down Touch Griffons downing the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias by 34-24, and the Valke claiming a first win the competition by beating the Leopards 52-50. In this match, both Edmund Rheeder and Eugene Hare scored hat-tricks for the North West team.
Tafel Lager Griquas top the log with a full house of 20 points, but only edge the iSG Pumas (20 log points) due to a better points’ difference. The Kimberley side (+109) are sitting pretty, but the defending champs (+43) will push hard to overhaul them.
They play each other next week in what will be a repeat of last year’s final and could end up determining which team take the top spot on the log.
The iSG Pumas raced away to a 27-7 lead at halftime against their hosts at Emirates Airline Park, and never looked back, while in Kimberley, the home side outscored their visitors from Pretoria by five tries to two at Tafel Lager Park.
The Xerox Golden Lions XV (16 log points) are still in touch, but the Vodacom Blue Bulls (10) and Down Touch Griffons (10) will need a massive effort if they want to remain contenders for the top spot.
It looks like the Leopards, Valke and Windhoek Draught Welwitschias will be bridesmaids again, but they can still play a huge role in the tournament by tripping up one of the front runners.
DHL Western Province (20 log points) look unstoppable at the moment as they outplayed Zimbabwe Academy to claim a fourth full house of log points, but Boland (15 log points) clearly have their own ambitions this year.
The Cavaliers had their flags lowered for the first time in Durban on Friday evening when the Cell C Sharks XV (11 log points) kicked a penalty goal after the hooter to win this exciting encounter by 29-28.
The Toyota Free State Cheetahs XV (15 log points) have the advantage of players coming back into the squad after their Guinness PRO14 campaign and they showed no mercy to SWD in Bloemfontein on Saturday, beating them 64-17. Jasper Wiese, one of those who played in the European showpiece earlier in the season, bagged three tries in the romp.
Multisure EP Elephants and Border will be the spoilers for the remainder of the tournament and will be out to trip up those ahead of them on the log. They clashed in Port Elizabeth earlier this afternoon and the home side came up tops 52-3.
Zimbabwe Academy remain the only winless and prop up the log in the South.
The SuperSport Rugby Challenge log can be viewed here:https://www.springboks.rugby/tournaments/league?lid=9
Results and scorers (click on score for match report):
Tafel Lager Griquas 38 (21), Vodacom Blue Bulls 17 (7)
Tafel Lager Griquas – Tries: Ederies Arendse (2), AJ le Roux, Andre Swarts, Sias Koen. Conversions: George Whitehead (5). Penalty goal: Whitehead.
Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Travis Ismaiel, JT Jackson. Conversions: Fiela Boshoff (2). Penalty goal: Jackson.
Xerox Golden Lions XV 33 (7), iSG Pumas 51 (27)
Xerox Golden Lions XV – Tries: Reuben Schoeman, Sylvian Mahuza, Prince Nkabinde, Jan-Louis la Grange, Pieter Jansen. Conversions: Dillon Smit, Mahuza (2), Ruan Combrinck.
iSG Pumas – Tries: Neil Maritz (2), Alwayno Visagie (2), Phumzile Maqondwana, Chris Smith. Conversions: Smith (4). Penalty goals: Smith (2).
Down Touch Griffons 34 (19), Windhoek Draught Welwitschias 24 (14)
Down Touch Griffons – Tries: Ezrick Alexander, Domenic Smit, Jean Pretorius, Niell Stannard, Duan Pretorius. Conversions: Jaywinn Juries (3). Penalty goal: Danrich Visagie.
Windhoek Draught Welwitschias – Tries: Johannes Tromp, AJ de Klerk, Louis van der Westhuizen. Conversions: Cliven Loubser (3). Penalty goal: Loubser.
Leopards 50 (24), Valke 52 (24)
Leopards – Tries: Eugene Hare (3), Edmund Rheeder (3), Schalk Hugo, Andre Fouche. Conversions: Hugo (5).
Valke – Tries: Rodney Damons (2), Coert Cronje, Friedle Olivier, Andrew van Wyk (2), Errol Jaggers. Conversions: Anrich Richter (4), Andre du Plessis (3). Penalty goal: Richter.
DHL Western Province 33 (19), Zimbabwe Academy 13 (3)
DHL Western Province – Tries: Godlen Masimla (2), Chad Solomon, Johan du Toit, Edwill van Der Merwe. Conversions: Abner van Reenen (4).
Zimbabwe Academy – Try: Jafnos Chiwanza. Conversion: Brendon Mandivenga. Penalty goals: Mandivenga (2).
Toyota Free State Cheetahs XV 64 (45), SWD Eagles 17 (17)
Toyota Free State Cheetahs XV – Tries: Jasper Wiese (3), Adriaan Carelse, Boan Venter, Darren Adonis, Jamba Ulengo, Keanen Murray, Niell Jordaan, Carel Coetzee. Conversions: Ernst Stapelberg (6), Lubabalo Dobela.
SWD Eagles – Tries: Leighton Eksteen, Shario Rosenkrantz. Conversions: Divan Nel (2). Penalty goal: Nel.
Cell C Sharks XV 29 (19), Boland 28 (15)
Cell C Sharks XV – Tries: Penalty Try, Sicelo Tole, Lwazi Mvovo, Rhyno Smith. Conversions: Smith (2). Penalty goal: Smith.
Boland – Tries: Shilton van Wyk, Valentino Wellman, Shirwin Cupido. Conversions: Garrick Mattheus (2). Penalty goals: Mattheus (3).
Multisure EP Elephants 52 (31), Border 3 (3)
Multisure EP Elephants – Tries: Tries: Rynhard van Wyk, Zingisa April (2), Ntabeni Dukisa, Athenkosi Mayinye, Mikey Botha (2), Diego Williams. Conversions: Ntabeni Dukisa (6).
Border – Penalty goal: Aphiwe Stimele.
Top points’ scorers:
52: JT Jackson (Vodacom Blue Bulls), Abner van Reenen (DHL Western Province)
46: George Whitehead (Tafel Lager Griquas)
44: Ernst Stapelberg (Toyota Free State Cheetahs XV)
42: Chris Smith (iSG Pumas), Rhyno Smith (Cell C Sharks XV)
6: Jamba Ulengo (Toyota Free State XV)
5: Marquit September (SWD Eagles), Edwill van der Merwe (DHL Western Province), Jo-Hanko de Villiers (Xerox Golden Lions XV)
Issued by SA Rugby Communication
The third Rugby Festival of the SuperSport Rugby Challenge will be crucial to the fortunes of the four teams playing at Impala Rugby Club in Rustenburg on Sunday, while Saturday’s action will see two of the front-runners in the highly competitive North Section battle it out.
The North West venue will see the Down Touch Griffons face the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias in the opening clash at the Festival, while the second match, between hosts, the Leopards, and the Valke will see the losing side without a win halfway through the competition.
All four teams are on the wrong side of the log, and will have to start building winning momentum in the Platinum Belt or face the prospect of dropping out of the play-off race.
After three rounds of North Section action, the Tafel Lager Griquas, Xerox Golden Lions XV and iSG Pumas are yet to taste defeat, but this will change in Johannesburg Saturday, when the defending champions travel to Emirates Airline Park for their clash against the home side.
The other big clash in the North Section will be at Tafel Lager Park where the home team’s unbeaten status will be tested by a Vodacom Blue Bulls side boosted by a number of players who participated in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition this year.
Regular South Section leader, DHL Western Province, is again setting the pace and appears to be in a comfortable position to top the log again. They will play at DHL Newlands for the first time this season when they line up against the Zimbabwe Academy, who will make the short trip north from False Bay Rugby Club to the historical rugby venue.
The clashes in Durban and Bloemfontein respectively could also determine the participating teams’ further progress. The Cell C Sharks XV will host the undefeated Boland Cavaliers in Durban on Friday, and on Saturday, the Toyota Free State XV take on the SWD Eagles in a match that will decide which side keeps their play-off hopes alive.
Sunday’s South Section match where the Multisure EP Elephants host Border in Port Elizabeth in an Eastern Cape derby, will be more about bragging rights than log positions, as both teams are currently languishing in the bottom half of the log.
The latest standings are here: https://www.springboks.rugby/en/tournaments/matchcenter
Round Four fixtures are:
17 May 2019:
Cell C Sharks XV vs Boland Cavaliers
Venue: KP2, Durban
Referee: Stephan Geldenhuys
Saturday, 18 May 2019
Xerox Golden Lions XV v iSG Pumas
Venue: Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg
Referee: Quinton Immelman
DHL Western Province v Zimbabwe Academy
Venue: DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Referee: Vusi Msibi
Toyota Free State Cheetahs XV v SWD Eagles
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein
Referee: Divan Uys
Tafel Lager Griquas v Vodacom Blue Bulls
Venue: Tafel Lager Park, Kimberley
Referee: Egon Seconds
Sunday, 19 May (Rugby Festival, Impala Rugby Club, Rustenburg)
Down Touch Griffons v Windhoek Draught Welwitschias
Referee: Ben Crouse
TMO: Johan Greeff
TV: SuperSport 10
Leopards v Valke
Referee: Paul Mente
TMO: Johan Greeff
TV: SuperSport 10
Multisure EP Elephants v Border
Venue: Wolfson Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Referee: Archie Sehlako
Issued by SA Rugby Communications
Louis Koen, SA Rugby’s high performance manager and Junior Springbok assistant coach, said on Thursday the SA Under-20s team have taken big strides in their preparation in the last two weeks as their departure date for the World Rugby U20 Championship in Argentina inches closer.
The Junior Boks wrapped up their training camp on Wednesday and will have a short break in the coming days. They will re-assemble in Stellenbosch on Tuesday, 21 May, for a holding camp, where the coaches will put the final touches in place before the international showpiece.
Koen said the team were on track with where they wanted to be two weeks before departing for Argentina. The SA U20s will depart for Rosario on Wednesday, 29 May.
“We made huge gains in the last two weeks in terms of our conditioning and our systems, so we are exactly where we wanted to be at this stage,” said Koen.
“The boys will have a break now, which I think they really need, and when they come back, we can put some detailed preparation into our first World Rugby U20 Championship match.”
Their World Rugby U20 Championship opener is against Scotland on Tuesday, 4 June in Rosario. After that clash, the Junior Boks face Georgia (Saturday, 8 June) and New Zealand (Wednesday, 12 June) in their remaining pool games.
Koen said the focus at their training camp since returning from their warm-up tour the UK was on conditioning and he was satisfied with the results.
“Our training has been very good since we arrived back from the UK,” said Koen.
“The focus was on conditioning and scrum conditioning for the forwards, and we also put a huge amount of work into the set pieces, so it has been a challenging two weeks for the players. But I think we succeeded in increasing their mental strength.
“This is a tough tournament, with five games in total and matches every four days, so you need to be well conditioned and you need to be mentally tough to win it.
“When the players get back from their break we will go into the last stretch of our preparation where we will put the final blocks in place before we leave for Argentina.”
Koen said the players were excited about the challenge that awaits in Argentina, especially following the announcement of the 28-man squad that will represent South Africa in the prestigious event.
“Announcing the U20 Championship squad made a big difference because all it erased all the uncertainty about selection and the players could focus on being a team,” said the coach.
“There was definitely a change in execution and the mind-set once the team was announced, and one can see the players are excited. They just want to play now, and that is a good sign.”
Issued by SA Rugby Communications
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The Spanish Women’s team will visit South Africa later this year in a groundbreaking tour where they will provide stiff opposition to the Springbok Women, a South African Invitational XV and the Eastern Province XV in Port Elizabeth in September.
It will be the Spanish side’s first visit to South Africa and will culminate in a Test against the Springbok Women on Saturday, 21 September.
The visitors will travel to South Africa with a squad of 26 to 28 players, and will play the first two matches as a Spanish Invitational XV, and the Test against the Springbok Women as Spain. The match venues in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality will be confirmed in due course.
The Test will be the first of three internationals in two weeks for Springbok Women’s coach Stanley Raubenheimer’s team.
Raubenheimer’s charges will host Scotland in back-to-back Tests at the City Park Sports Grounds in Cape Town on Monday, 30 September, and Saturday, 5 October in their other Tests.
The opening match of the tour will be on Saturday, 14 September, against the SA Invitational XV, which will be followed by a clash against the Eastern Province XV on Tuesday, 17 September. The Spanish and South African national teams will then battle it out in the grand finale of their tour.
Spain is no stranger to the Springbok Women, with the teams last crossing paths in November inVillajoyosa, where the South Africans went down 17-5, while they also met in the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup in France.
“We are excited about this opportunity to face Spain at home,” said Raubenheimer.
“The more internationals we play the better it is for the development of our players, while it will also be good to market the women’s game in different provinces, since we will be facing Spain in Port Elizabeth and Scotland in Cape Town.”
Raubenheimer said he is expecting a thorough Test against the Spanish: “They are an experienced Rugby World Cup team and we finished the game against in them November with a few good learnings, so it will be good to see how much we have developed since then when we meet here.
“Spain won the European Championship again this year after defeating the Netherlands, and we they have been together for a while as a squad. We haven’t defeated them yet, so it will be good to see if we can do it this time around.”
Raubenheimer was also pleased about the SA Invitational XV and Eastern Province XV receiving the opportunity to test themselves against international opposition and said: “These matches will serve as a good opportunity for some of the junior players and the Eastern Province provincial players, and it will give them an idea of what it takes to get into the senior national side. The intensity of the matches will be high, so it will be good for them to see if they can match that.”
Fixtures (match venues TBC):
Saturday, 14 September:
SA Invitation XV vs Spain Invitation XV
Tuesday, 17 September:
Eastern Province XV vs Spain Invitational XV
Saturday, 21 September
Springbok Women vs Spain
Issued by SA Rugby Communication
In the Super League, Police continue their good start to the season with a resounding 46-8 victory against Ocean Sweepers to go top of the log. Ncerha Leopards had the biggest win of the weekend when they won 49-36 against Fort Hare Blues. Fort Hare have been struggling with two heavy defeats in as many outings. WSU All Blacks defeated Old Boys 31-26 to go joint top of the log on 9 points. Ntlaza Lions lost 27-26 to Buffaloes on their home turf.
Berlin Tigers got the better of Black Eagles, winning 23-10. The match between Breakers and Police was cancelled due to a bereavement in the Breakers camp, instead Police played against Ocean Sweepers as a curtain raiser to the Border Bulldogs match. Other results in the Premier League, Winter Rose showed class in their 43-14 win over Evergreens. Young Leopard shoot to the top of the log with 10 points after collecting another maximum haul of points in their clinical 34-8 win over Cambridge. Ngculu Zebras got their first win of the season with a 14-12 victory over United Brothers. Africans failed to
travel to Bussy Boys.
Old Collegians were simply played out of the park in their humiliating 67-0 drubbing at the hands of an unforgiving Wallabies side. It will go down as one of the most embarrassing moments in the proud club’s history, conceding nine tries and failing to score a single point in two consecutive matches. Last week they were smashed 36-0 away at United Brothers which now give them a points differential of -103. OC is currently rooted at the bottom of the Premier League log. Coaches must do extensive soul searching with the players or else alarm bells will start ringing with the fear of playing First Division next year.
Shining Stars travelled to Mthatha to lock horns with WSU Eagles. They were annihilated 55-11 by a rampant Eagles side who are clearly well drilled and have taken the Premier League by storm. It is also the second match in a row that Stars have conceded over 50 points after their 50-24 loss to Young Leopards last week.
Breakers is at home to Ncerha Leopards this coming weekend at Thobi Kula Stadium. It is a perfect opportunity for the Mlungisi side for a first win this season. Fort Hare Blues host Police at Davidson Stadium in Alice. Swallows make the short trip from Mdantsane to Buffalo Stadium to lock horns with Buffs. Ntlaza Lions make the four-hour trip to Mpongo Village in Chalumna to take on Black Eagles. Ocean Sweepers host WSU All Blacks in Nxaruni with Old Selbornians welcoming Berlin Tigers at Nashua Park.
Old Collegians make the trip to Mpongo Village to take on Evergreens which will see a double header on the same field with Black Eagles taking on Lions. Wallabies is at home to Young Leopards with Bussy Boys travelling to Cambridge. Shining Stars take on Ngculu Zebras at Mlungisi Stadium. United Brothers host Africans with top of the table clash as unbeaten sides WSU Eagles taking on Winter Rose.
Only five teams are still undefeated after three rounds in the highly competitive SuperSport Rugby Challenge after another weekend of high drama, tries and yet another successful Sunday Rugby Festival.
The Rugby Festival took place at D'Almeida Stadium in Mossel Bay earlier on Sunday and saw South Section competitors SWD Eagles beat Zimbabwe Academy 31-30, while the Toyota Free State Cheetahs XV outplayed Multisure EP Elephants by 49-12.
The hordes of people who attended the Rugby Festival in the Southern Cape were entertained to the tune of 18 tries in the two matches, with the result in the main match in the balance until the last minutes.
However, the two undefeated sides in the South Section nailed their colours to the mast earlier in the weekend.
First up, DHL Western Province travelled to Durban on Friday to deliver an ominous warning to their competitors by beating Cell C Sharks XV 47-20 to remain top of the standings with a full house of 15 points, while Boland Cavaliers also scored a good win away from home, beating Border Bulldogs 52-0 in East London to move into second position on the log.
The North Section had some nail biters with a number of tight results.
The Xerox Golden Lions XV (43-40) almost had their undefeated status removed by the Valke, who came back strongly in the second half on Saturday.
Tafel Lager Griquas (61-24 over the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias on Saturday) and the iSG Pumas (40-30 over the Leopards on Friday) remained unbeaten with hard-fought wins.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls scored a good victory at Loftus Versfeld on Friday, beating the Down Touch Griffons 35-20 in a tight match.
With tries galore across all the match, another hat-trick was no surprise, with Boland flanker Tapiwa Tsomondo getting three against Border.
One of the hat-trick scorers from last week, Jo-Hanco de Villiers (Xerox Golden Lions XV), is joint-top try-scorer with Springbok wing Jamba Ulengo (Toyota Free State Cheetahs XV), with five apiece.
JT Jackson (Vodacom Blue Bulls) and Abner van Reenen (DHL Western Province) are the leading points' scorers with 44 each. Both have kicked 15 conversions and three penalties.
The full log after three rounds of action is here: https://www.springboks.rugby/tournaments/league?lid=9
A summary of results and scorers (and links to match reports) are:
Windhoek Draught Welwitschias 24 (10), Tafel Lager Griquas 61 (19)
Windhoek Draught Welwitschias – Tries: Daryl de la Harpe, Thomasau Forbes, Chrysander Botha. Conversions: Cliven Loubser (3). Penalty: Loubser.
Tafel Lager Griquas – Tries: Cody Basson, Godfrey Ramaboea, Wilmar Arnoldi, Anthony Volmink, George Whitehead, Michal Haznar, Sias Koen, Gideon van der Merwe, Penalty Try. Conversions: Tinus de Beer (3), Whitehead (4).
Xerox Golden Lions XV 43 (31), Valke 40 (14)
Xerox Golden Lions XV – Tries: Jo-Hanko de Villiers (2), Stean Pienaar (2), Ruben Schoeman, James Venter, Madosh Tambwe. Conversions: Jeanluc Cilliers (4).
Valke – Tries: Anrich Richter (2), Marco Klopper, Friedle Olivier, Errol Jaggers, Hardus Pretorius. Conversions: Richter (5).
iSG Pumas 40 (26), Leopards 30 (10)
iSG Pumas – Tries: JP Lewis (2), Stefan Willemse, Devon Williams, Francois Kleinhans, HP van Schoor. Conversions: Chris Smith (5).
Leopards – Tries: Jimmy Mpailane, Edmund Rheeder, Keagan Tait, Shane van Rooyen. Conversions: Schalk Hugo (2). Penalty: Hugo. Drop Goal: Hugo.
Vodacom Blue Bulls 35 (14), Down Touch Griffons 20 (13)
Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Duncan Matthews, Fiela Boshoff, Ruan Steenkamp (2), Diego Appollis. Conversions: JT Jackson (5).
Down Touch Griffons – Tries: Jean Pretorius, Arthur Williams. Conversions: Jaywinn Juries (2). Penalties: Juries (2).
Border Bulldogs 0 (0), Boland Cavaliers 52 (14)
Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Valentino Norman (2), Tapiwa Tsomondo (3), Patrick O'Brien, Shilton van Wyk (2). Conversions: Garrick Mattheus (3), Joshua Vermeulen, Monty Dumond (2).
Border Bulldogs – None.
Cell C Sharks XV 20 (13), DHL Western Province 47 (21)
Cell C Sharks XV – Tries: Kwanda Dimaza, Wian Vosloo. Conversions: Rhyno Smith (2); Penalties: Smith (2).
DHL Western Province – Tries: Edwill van der Merwe (2), Paul de Wet, Marno Redelinghuys, Craig Barry, Penalty Tries (2). Conversions: Abner van Reenen (4).
Multisure EP Elephants 12 (12), Toyota Free State Cheetahs XV 49 (19)
Multisure EP Elephants – Tries: Mikey Botha, Michael Makase. Conversion: Oliver Zono.
Toyota Free State Cheetahs XV – Tries: Jamba Ulengo, Ernst Stapelberg (2), Tapiwa Mafura, Jasper Wiese, Marlou van Niekerk, Marnus van der Merwe. Conversions: Stapelberg (7).
SWD Eagles 31 (19), Zimbabwe Academy 30 (7)
SWD – Tries: Dillin Snel, Shario Rosenkrantz, Marquit September (2), Lwando Mabenge. Conversions: Gerhard Nortier (2), Leighton Eksteen.
Zimbabwe Academy – Tries: Kuzai Mashawi, Aiden Burnett, George Saungweme, Cleopas Kundiona. Conversion: Jeremiah Jaravaza, Kadakwashe Mudariki. Penalties: Jaravaza (2).
Issued by SA Rugby Communication
The SuperSport Rugby Challenge delivers many outcomes to many people and the competition will again embrace a new venue, new players and leave a footprint in the communities where rugby is delivered every weekend when the third round kicks off on Friday.
It is not exclusively for small grounds though and this weekend will see a number of matches being played at big venues, as the tournament swings past the likes of Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg and Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek, Namibia.
The competition is also developing another core element of the game of rugby – the referees. No less than three debutants had their first taste of senior provincial rugby so far this year, with Christopher Allison, Divan Uys and Griffin Colby all showing why they were rated good enough to handle matches of this calibre.
And just like the use of bigger venues, there are also – on the other end of the scale of referees – ‘big stadium referees’ in action this weekend. Stuart Berry, for example, has officiated in six Test matches, 28 Vodacom Super Rugby matches and 22 Guinness PRO14 matches, and proudly adds his seven SuperSport Rugby Challenge appearances to his career tally.
Colby, in his third outing at senior provincial level, has a long way to go if he wants to emulate Berry, but will always remember the tournament where he started his senior career. He will be involved when some form of history is made when the Border Bulldogs take their home game to yet another club venue, this time the Police Rugby Club in East London, where they will face unbeaten Boland.
The second Rugby Festival – a unique element of the SuperSport Rugby Challenge – is also due, this time at D’Almeida Stadium in Mossel Bay, with two provincial matches and a club match all part of the televised action on Sunday. SWD, as hosts, will take on Zimbabwe Academy, while the EP Elephants and Toyota Free State XV will play in the earlier encounter of the afternoon.
The action starts on Friday already, with Berry in charge of the match between the Cell C Sharks XV and DHL Western Province in Durban.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls will take on the Down Touch Griffons in a match that will see two of the leading points’ scorers in the competition so far, JT Jackson and Jaywinn Juries, match up.
The third match on Friday evening will see defending champions, the iSG Pumas, host the Leopards in Nelspruit.
On Saturday, Colby will be strutting his stuff in East London, while the Xerox Golden Lions XV host the Valke in a Gauteng derby at Emirates Airline Park. The final match on Saturday takes place in Windhoek, where the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias and Tafel Lager Griquas will try and claim bragging rights.
The weekend’s fixtures are:
Friday 10 May:
Cell C Sharks XV v DHL Western Province
Venue: KP2, Durban
Referee: Stuart Berry
Vodacom Blue Bulls v Down Touch Griffons
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Referee: Paul Mente
iSG Pumas v Leopards
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Referee: Stephan Geldenhuys
Saturday 11 May
Border v Boland
Venue: Police Rugby Club, East London
Referee: Griffin Colby
Xerox Golden Lions XV v Valke
Venue: Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni
Windhoek Draught Welwitschias v Tafel Lager Griquas
Venue: Hage Geingob Stadium, Windhoek
Referee: Jaco Pretorius
Sunday 12 May (Rugby Festival at D'Almeida Stadium, Mossel Bay, live on SS 11)
EP Elephants v Toyota Free State XV
Referee: Ruhan Meiring
SWD Eagles v Zimbabwe Academy
Referee: Vusi Msibi
Issued by SA Rugby Communications
The much-anticipated Border Super and Premier Leagues kicked-off last weekend with 11 of the expected 12 matches played. There were some enterprising games, nothing bigger than the East London derby where Police put one over their neighbours as the won 11-7 in a closely contested tie against Old Selbornians. Defending champions Swallows made their intentions clear that they are the team to beat this season and have send a strong warning to all the other contenders with a strong showing away in Alice against Fort Hare Blues. They simply blew the students out of the park with a resounding and clinical 54-24 victory. Berlin Tigers returned home happy from East London after a tight 8-5 win at Buffaloes. Ocean Sweepers got the better of Ntlaza Lions, winning 18-5. It is a good start for new boys in the Super League as Ncerha Leopards won a close match 13-12 away at Black Eagles. Breakers could not make use of home ground advantage as they were defeated 13-8 by WSU All Blacks at the Thobi Kula Stadium.
In the Premier League, Cambridge got the better of Ngculu Zebras, winning 17-12. It was an exciting match in King Williams Town as the home team Africans narrowly won 23-22 against Evergreens. New comers to the league, WSU Eagles made the perfect start in their 14-11 win away at Wallabies. Bussy Boys could not field a team at home to Winter Rose. Old Collegians came unstuck against rampant United Brothers side, who annihilated the Komani side 36-0 to take maximum points. Young Leopards recorded the biggest victory in the division, thrashing Shining Stars 50-24 in their own backyard.