Vodacom Cup preview

March 7, 2012
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The Pampas XV from Argentina, the defending champions, will get the 2012 Vodacom Cup season, the 15th since its inception in 1998, underway on Friday when they host the EP Kings in Stellenbosch.

The Argentineans were unbeaten last year as they romped to the title in their first season of involvement and will be looking to build on that performance.

They have chosen to base themselves in Stellenbosch this year, as teams no longer play their pool games across sections, but within their own divisions, meaning they will face all the teams in the Southern Section.

The Vodacom Blue Bulls, who only just made it to the playoffs only to lose by 14-9 in the final to the Pampas XV, open their account at home in Pretoria against GWK Griquas – along with the MTN Golden Lions the most successful side in Vodacom Cup history.

The Lions and Griquas have each won the title four times, followed by the Blue Bulls (three). The Valke, Free State and Pampas have one title each.

The first round of action sees a number of games between neighbouring unions – DHL WP against the Regent Boland Kavaliers in Cape Town, the Valke at home against the Ford Pumas, the MTN Golden Lions travel down the N12 to Potchefstroom to face the Leopards and Bulldogs host the Sharks XV in East London.

Tjovitjo!

This year, the Vodacom Cup will aim to provide the ultimate opportunity for those less fortunate with a dedicated Legacy programme in which the fundamental skills of rugby will be taught to eager youngsters countrywide.

This initiative called “Tjovitjo” (meaning ‘it’s all good’), rings true in a partnership between the South African Rugby Union, the TAG Rugby Association and various provincial unions in their effort to take the joy of rugby to all communities within South Africa with the Tjovitjo Legacy Clinic programme.

In order to boost rugby development and grow the game within communities (and give all youth fair and equal chance to share the love and opportunity that rugby holds), the TAG Rugby Association, a registered non-profit organization at the Department of Social Development and a SARU affiliate, will be holding focused rugby clinics throughout the Vodacom Cup tournament.

The initiative will be broken down into five 3-day clinics held in townships, within some of the major rugby playing unions as well as 15 smaller 1-day clinics in other key development areas within the country.

For all the fixtures for 2012, click here.

Competition Format for 2012:

South Africa’s 14 provincial unions and the Pampas XV from Argentina will play in two sections – North and South, with seven teams in the Northern Section (following the withdrawal of Namibia due to financial constraints) and eight in the Southern Section. All the teams will play in a single round within their own section after which the top sides will progress to the playoffs.

Northern Section: Vodacom Blue Bulls, MTN Golden Lions, Griffons, GWK Griquas, Leopards, Ford Pumas, Valke.

Southern Section: Regent Boland Kavaliers, Border Bulldogs, EP Kings, Toyota Free State XV, The Sharks XV, SWD Eagles, DHL Western Province, Pampas XV.

Round 1 Fixtures:

Friday, 9 March 2012

Pampas XV vs EP Kings

Kick-off: 15:10

Venue: Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch

Referee: Stuart Berry

Border Bulldogs vs The Sharks XV

Kick-off: 19:00

Venue: Buffalo City Municipality Stadium, East London

Referee: Jonathan Kaplan

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Leopards vs MTN Golden Lions

Kick-off: 14:45

Venue: Profert Olën Park, Potchefstroom

Referee: Sindile Mayende

Valke vs Ford Pumas

Kick-off: 15:00

Venue: Barnard Stadium, Kempton Park

Referee: Ben Crouse

Toyota Free State XV South Western Districts Eagles

Kick-off: 15:00

Venue: Clive Solomon Stadium, Heidedal, Bloemfontein

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen

DHL Western Province vs Regent Boland Kavaliers

Kick-off: 16:00

Venue: DHL Newlands Stadium, Cape Town

Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge

Vodacom Blue Bulls vs GWK Griquas

Kick-off: 16:45

Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

Referee: Lourens van der Merwe

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14 Comments

  1. avatar DavidS says:
    March 7th, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Is this shit still running?

    Why?

  2. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    March 7th, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Reply to DavidS @ 3:13 pm:

    all those players also want to have fun and play some rugby!! You don’t have to watch ;-)

    Why do we play rugby here in Austria? We don’t get paid for it, it costs us money to be able to play and yet we play – WHY??

  3. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    March 7th, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    oh and on another point – keeps the back-up players for the frnachises in shape! Imagine they sit on their arse for 10 weeks and all of a sudden need to play S15!? Better they stay battle “hardened”

  4. avatar Morné says:
    March 7th, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    This is the Currie Cup of the future lads, better get into it!

  5. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:13 am

    Would the Pampas smash the Kings?

  6. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:19 am

    Reply to JT_BOKBEFOK! @ 3:21 pm:

    Yeah good point… but Varsity Cup, Club rugby, VC, CC, S15… just not sustainable as a ‘paid’ sport… and don’t tell me that the Pampa’s foray doesn’t cost anything?

    Aussies have it right… shift the ITM/CC into the Super home conferences and the VC moves up a level…

  7. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    March 8th, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 1:19 am:

    Super rugby and CC = paid. Ok that can be sustainable
    VC = semi pro
    the rest amateur

  8. avatar Kevin_rack says:
    March 8th, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Reply to JT_BOKBEFOK! @ 3:21 pm: exactly.

    Who pays for the feeders players, player development? The lions loose 3 front rowers, they either go to the feeder systems or buy a player.

    Club rugby is essential for professional rugby to survive. The better players move up the ladder.

    I say well done VCup on getting foriegn teams to play in this comp. Extend it to Namibia, Zimbobwe and Kenya.

    Some times for the good of the game and to spread the game some one needs to bear the cost. Rugby is not football where there are millions of kids playing in their backyards, even by themselves. Its team work and requires something different.

    Rugby should avoid just been another professional entertainment show where players just play for money. It cant be with such a physical game.

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 1:13 am: smash and trash em too.

  9. avatar DavidS says:
    March 8th, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Reply to bryce_in_oz @ 1:19 am:

    Aussies are thieving ba$tard$ destroying ITM and CC and the SARU and NZRU fools are too stupid to realize their domestic comp is being killed.

    Super Rugby started off as a champions trophy and it should revert to that… with Aus excluded aside from the two original sides.

    Then let Aus first develop a domestic comp that is sustainable before SA and NZ allows it to play a Champions Trophy.

    SARU should start flexing its financial muscle inside SANZAR and make it like India does to the ICC…

    We bring the money so we make the rules…

    KLAAR…

  10. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Reply to DavidS @ 10:40 am:

    CC and ITM are KLAAR… forget the Aussies…

  11. avatar DavidS says:
    March 8th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Not if NZ and SA concertedly change Super Rugby into a champions trophy.

  12. avatar DavidS says:
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Reply to JT_BOKBEFOK! @ 8:17 am:

    I have a different approach

    If there is money… make it pro…

  13. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    March 8th, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Reply to DavidS @ 12:03 pm:

    VC & CC are basically the same teams with their top guys at Superrugby. = Pro and should be sustained.

    Varsity cup IMO should be varsity players and if there is money in it make it pay to play for the players and a cap on how much they may earn and spread out fairly between all the unis participating.

    Club rugby – amateur and if a club an afford it, good luck to them!

  14. avatar Morné says:
    March 8th, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Reply to JT_BOKBEFOK! @ 12:14 pm:

    Scrap the VC – make it the new CC, include all 14 teams.

    BTW, Varsity Cup numbers also falling according to latest stats.

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