The quest to be crowned the best team in Border Rugby starts tomorrow. Excitement is at an all-round high with all 24 teams in the Border Super and Premier Leagues in action. Who will dethrone Swallows? It’s a journey that will take five months, eleven weeks of league games, three weeks of Cup competitions and in-between a four-week break, a season that will finish on the 7th September. The stakes are high, with the top team in the Super League guaranteed a place in the prestigious Gold Cup. The top six in the Super League earmarked to play in the Eastern Cape Super 12 Rugby Competition that pits the best of Border against their Easter Province counterparts.
The bottom team in the Super League will see them drop down to the Premier League. The top team in the Premier League is promoted to the Super League with the bottom team facing an uncertain future in the First Division, which is structured by Sub-Unions. Winter Rose was relegated from the Super League to Premier League last year with Ncerha Leopards promoted from the Premier to the Super League. WSU Eagles was promoted to the Premier League. The league kick-off with a banger as Old Selbornians will go head to head with Super 12 champions Police at Nashua Park.
Matches between these two powerhouses of Border rugby have always been intense and is a huge drawcard for rugby followers. It will set the tone and platform in which way the title will go as both two teams are always in the hunt for glory. Another mouth-watering clash will be Fort Hate Blues hosting Swallows at Davidson Stadium in Alice. Swallows have lost several their big guns to the Border Bulldogs but the defending champions have an arsenal of stars in their camp. Davidson is a very difficult place to play your rugby with the enthusiastic students always filling up the stadium to support their team.
The dark horses of Border rugby are about to resurface with the appointment of Dumisani Mhani to the Buffaloes coaching ranks. The former Border Rugby Union Manager is bringing a wealth of coaching experience and rugby knowledge to the once powerful Buffs team. Buffs will be at home against Berlin Tigers. New boys Ncerha Leopards face Black Eagles away from home for their first taste of top flight rugby. Ntlaza Lions will make the four-hour
trip to Mpundu Rugby Field in Nxaruni to take on Ocean Sweepers, who was in a relegation battle last season. Komani based Breakers is at home to Walter Sisulu All Blacks. It should be a tough one for the Komani side, who last year won their first two games before losing eight
in a row and one match not played.
The battles will be just as hard in the Premier League. There are four former Super League teams in Old Collegians, Winter Rose, Africans and Cambridge. Ask all these four teams and they will tell you it’s difficult to get up when you dropped down from the Super League, with travelling a huge factor.
Once giants of Border Rugby, Winter Rose will kick-start life in the lower division with a clash away from home against Bussy Boys. Cambridge host Ngculu Zebras with Old Collegians making a first ever trip to Mooiplaas to take on United Brothers. Komani based Shining Stars is at home to Young Leopards. At Victoria Grounds in King Williams Town, Africans will host Evergreens. New boys in the Premier League, WSU Eagles will take on Wallabies in Stutterheim.