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