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Vodacom semi-finals decided

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Three of the four Vodacom Cup semi-finalists are from the North Section after the Xerox Golden Lions, Vodacom Blue Bulls and Steval Pumas all won their quarter-final encounters this weekend.

Vodacom_Cup_Logo_2011

The unbeaten DHL Western Province will be the South Section’s sole representative in the top four next weekend after the Steval Pumas upset the defending champions, GWK Griquas, at GWK Park in Kimberley on Friday evening.

The visitors from the Lowveld won 28-14 and outscored the five-time champions by three tries to two in a match that came alight in the second half.

DHL Western Province, champions in 2012, beat the Leopards XV by 47-22 at City Park in Cape Town on Saturday afternoon.

The Xerox Golden Lions were made to work extremely hard in their quarter-final against the SWD Eagles at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon, with the visitors from George scoring three tries to the 2013 champions’ two, but in the end it wasn’t enough.

The fourth quarter-final was a rather one-sided affair at Loftus Versfeld on Friday evening, where the Vodacom Blue Bulls beat the Toyota Free State XV by 44-21, with William Small-Smith dotting down three times for the three-time champions from Pretoria.

Vodacom Cup semi-finals (date, time and kick-off times TBC):

Xerox Golden Lions v Steval Pumas – Johannesburg

DHL Western Province v Vodacom Blue Bulls – Cape Town.

Match reports (full report available by clicking on the score):

Vodacom Blue Bulls 44 Toyota Free State XV 21

Vodacom Blue Bulls flyhalf Tian Schoeman scored 22 points and centre William Small-Smith added a hat-trick of tries to guide the men from Pretoria to a 44-21 victory over the Toyota Free State XV in their Vodacom Cup quarter-final at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Friday night.

The Vodacom Blue Bulls led 17-9 at halftime and set the tempo of the match from the opening exchanges, but it was the visitors from the Free State who scored first through a penalty goal by flyhalf Willie du Plessis.

The home team scored two tries in the first half and followed that up with three more after the break as they took control of the match to qualify for their 13th semi-final in the Vodacom Cup.

Scorers:

Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Wiaan Liebenberg, William Small-Smith (3), Tian Schoeman. Conversions: Schoeman (4), Kobus Marais. Penalty goals: Schoeman (3).

Toyota Free State XV – Tries: Joubert Engelbrecht, Gerhard Olivier. Conversion: Niel Marais. Penalty goals: Willie du Plessis (3).

GWK Griquas 14 Steval Pumas 28

The Steval Pumas booked their spot in the semi-finals of this year’s Vodacom Cup competition by beating the GWK Griquas 28-14 at GWK Park in Kimberley on Friday evening.

The hosts were rated as slight favourites for the game, but in the end it was the try scoring ability of the men from the Lowveld along with the kicking boot of flyhalf JC Roos that helped the visiting side from Nelspruit progress to the semis.

Steval Pumas coach MJ Mentz and his side will take much heart and confidence from their performance in Kimberley against the defending champions.

Scorers:

GWK Griquas – Tries: Wiseman Kamanga, AJ le Roux. Conversions: Dean Grant (2).

Steval Pumas – Tries: Bernado Botha, Jason-Colin Fraser, Johan Herbst. Conversions: JC Roos (2). Penalty goals: JC Roos (3).

Xerox Golden Lions 29 SWD Eagles 21

The Xerox Golden Lions overturned a 14-10 half-time deficit to book a place in the semi-final of the Vodacom Cup, courtesy of a 29-21 victory over the visiting SWD Eagles at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon.

The hosts had raced into a 10-0 lead but despite being down to 14 men, the Eagles rallied and dotted down twice late in the first half to take an unexpected lead after 40 minutes.

The Xerox Golden Lions quickly overturned this deficit to lead by 20-14 after 47 minutes, but the Eagles came back once again and led 21-20 after a second try by Kirsten Heyns.

But Marnitz Boshoff’s boot had the final say with three penalty goals in the final 25 minutes. The Xerox Golden Lions will have to sort out their scrum ahead of the semi-final meeting next week, but look a good bet to progress to the finals if they can continue their current form.

Scorers:

Xerox Golden Lions – Tries: Jacques Nel, Stokkies Hanekom. Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (2). Penalty goals: Boshoff (4). Drop-goal: Boshoff.

SWD Eagles – Tries: Kirsten Heyns (2), Martin du Toit. Conversions: Elric van Vuuren (3).

DHL Western Province 47 Leopards XV 22

Justin Benn grabbed a brace of tries as DHL Western Province advanced to the Vodacom Cup semi-finals courtesy of a 47-22 (half-time 21-19) win over the Leopards XV at City Park in Cape Town on Saturday afternoon.

Flanker Benn scored a try in each half, with the home team running in seven tries in total, as their strong performance after the break blew the gallant Leopards XV away. The Capetonians “won” the second half by 26-3.

Amazingly enough it was the first time ever that DHL Western Province managed to beat the team from North West in a home Vodacom Cup match. The men in the blue and white hoops will host the Vodacom Blue Bulls in their semi-final.

Scorers:

DHL Western Province – Tries: Godlen Masimla, Justin Benn (2), Robert du Preez, Jaco Taute, Tapiwa Tsomondo, EW Viljoen. Conversions: Jean-Luc Du Plessis (6).

Leopards XV – Tries: Sergio Torrans (2), Rhyno Smith. Conversions: Adriaan Engelbrecht (2). Penalty goal: Engelbrecht.

Final Logs

North Section

Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 Xerox Golden Lions 7 7 0 0 279 108 171 38 15 5 33
2 Vodacom Blue Bulls 7 6 0 1 282 114 168 40 11 5 29
3 Steval Pumas 7 5 0 2 263 114 149 32 13 4 24
4 Leopards XV 7 4 0 3 208 217 -9 28 28 4 20
5 Hino Valke 7 3 0 4 213 200 13 31 25 7 19
6 Down Touch Griffons 7 2 0 5 160 286 -126 23 40 3 11
7 FNB Welwitschias 7 1 0 6 94 285 -191 13 41 3 7
8 Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 7 0 0 7 115 290 -175 11 43 1 1

 

South Section

Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 DHL Western Province 7 7 0 0 188 103 85 23 11 4 32
2 GWK Griquas 7 6 0 1 205 138 67 24 16 4 28
3 Toyota Free State XV 7 4 0 3 215 170 45 28 17 6 22
4 SWD Eagles 7 4 0 3 193 137 56 21 16 4 20
5 EP Kings 7 3 0 4 181 162 19 26 18 5 17
6 Cell C Sharks XV 7 2 0 5 180 165 15 24 22 3 11
7 Border Bulldogs 7 1 0 6 104 206 -102 11 28 2 6
8 Boland Cavaliers 7 1 0 6 105 290 -185 15 44 1 5

 

Top scorers

 

PLAYER TEAM T C P D PTS
JC Roos Steval Pumas 2 19 16 0 96
Elric van Vuuren SWD Eagles 0 16 16 0 80
Kobus Marais Vodacom Blue Bulls 2 21 9 0 79
Jean-Luc Du Plessis DHL Western Province 0 14 12 0 64
Jaun Kotze Hino Valke 1 23 4 0 63
Gouws Prinsloo GWK Griquas 0 12 12 0 60
Ashlon Davids Xerox Golden Lions 3 14 4 0 55
Anton Beswick Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 0 8 13 0 55
Coenie van Wyk Toyota Free State XV 2 10 4 0 42
Alshaun Bock SWD Eagles 8 0 0 0 40
Adriaan Engelbrecht Leopards XV 1 14 2 0 39
Shaun Kaizemi FNB Welwitschias 2 7 4 0 36
Kobus du Plessis Leopards XV 2 6 4 0 34
Jaco van der Walt Xerox Golden Lions 1 10 3 0 34
Robert du Preez DHL Western Province 2 6 3 0 31
Masixole Banda Border Bulldogs 0 2 9 0 31
Anrich Richter Hino Valke 6 0 0 0 30
Kefentse Mahlo Vodacom Blue Bulls 6 0 0 0 30
Martin Sithole Down Touch Griffons 6 0 0 0 30
Riaan Arends Hino Valke 6 0 0 0 30
Justin van Staden Steval Pumas 0 9 4 0 30
Niel Marais Toyota Free State XV 0 9 4 0 30

DHL WP in for massive quarterfinal

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WP Icon

DHL Western Province coach John Dobson is aware that his team’s unbeaten run will count for nothing as they head into the knockout phase of the 2015 Vodacom Cup competition.

DHL WP made sure of a home passage into the 2015 play-offs after winning seven from seven games during the league phase of the competition to finish at the top of the South Section standings.

However, Dobson is taking nothing for granted as Province get set to host the Leopards XV in Saturday’s Vodacom Cup quarterfinal encounter at City Park (kick-off 15h30).

Dobson told the www.wprugby.com website: “This is obviously a game of massive consequence for us.

“We are cognisant as to what happened to Gary Gold’s Vodacom Cup team of 2007 – a side that went unbeaten in the league and played the Leopards in a quarterfinal at home and lost 14-30.

“That lesson is foremost in our minds, but we are stressing the need not to be fear-driven, nor scared of the consequences, but rather to keep playing and stick to a formula that has seen us go through the competition unbeaten.

“We have not hit our straps yet… but would that not be perfect were that to happen (for us) in the play-offs?”

The Leopards XV made sure of their place in the play-offs with a bonus point victory over the Welwitschias in Windhoek and DHL Western Province will not under-estimate their physical opponents.

“We are focusing on going up against what is a good Leopards side and nothing else,” added Dobson. “There is no next week without this Saturday.

“We love playing at City Park as it’s a great facility and has a great surface,” continued the DHL WP coach.

“It would be great if the people did come to watch this game as it’s an exciting young side who play an entertaining brand – some of this group will go on to play some big rugby for this union in years to come!”

Personnel-wise, there are five changes to the DHL Western Province team from the side that beat the SWD Eagles 27-19 at DHL Newlands last Saturday.

Robert du Preez shifts from flyhalf to inside centre, with Jean-Luc du Plessis returning at flyhalf, and Justin Benn (No.7 flank), Jan de Klerk (No.4 lock) and Ali Vermaak (loosehead prop) come in for Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Wilhelm van der Sluys and Oli Kebble, respectively.

Prop Entienne Swanepoel will bolster the team’s tight-five resources from the bench and Justin Phillips (reserve scrumhalf) and Pat Howard (centre/wing) are the new backs replacements this week.

“Selection-wise, this has been one of the most consistent Vodacom Cup squads for the past few years. We have been a bit affected by the fact that our first-choice loose trio at the start of the competition in Jurie van Vuuren, Jacques Vermeulen and Sikhumbuzo Notshe are all unavailable this week, but our replacements have stepped up well,” explained Dobson.

“I was particularly thrilled with (flank) Tapiwa Tsomondo’s performance last week and am pleased, too, that Justin Benn gets a well deserved start as Notshe sits this one out with a minor niggle.

“It’s great that we have Ali Vermaak and Pat Howard available to us from the DHL Stormers and it’s unfortunate that we had to leave (centre) Kyle Lombard out this week after being a stalwart for us this season. But, I suppose, it is a nice problem to have.”

The DHL Western Province team to face the Leopards XV (home) is as follows:

15. EW Viljoen
14. Tshotsho Mbovane
13. Jaco Taute
12. Robert du Preez
11. JP Lewis
10. Jean-Luc du Plessis
9. Godlen Masimla
8. Rayn Smid
7. Justin Benn
6. Tapiwa Tsomondo
5. Chris van Zyl
4. Jan de Klerk
3. Wilco Louw
2. Michael Willemse (captain)
1. Ali Vermaak
Replacements:
16. Charlton van Jaarsveld
17. Sti Sithole
18. Entienne Swanepoel
19. Wilhelm van der Sluys
20. Justin Phillips
21. Pat Howard
22. Willy Ambaka


Referee:
Jaco Kotze
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman, Francois Pretorius

Vodacom Cup Round 9 Review

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The Xerox Lions and DHL Western Province finished the league phase of the Vodacom Cup unbeaten and will host quarter-finals next week, along with the Vodacom Blue Bulls and GWK Griquas.

Vodacom_Cup_Logo_2011

The four teams that will have to travel for their quarter-finals, are the Steval Pumas, Leopards XV, Toyota Free State XV and SWD Eagles.

With seven of the eight quarter-finalists determined before the last round of matches kicked off, the Leopards XV did what was needed by securing a 33-25 bonus-point victory over the FNB Welwitschias in Windhoek to book their place in the top eight.

In the other two North Section matches, the Xerox Golden Lions were too strong for the Down Touch Griffons in Welkom (36-20) and the Hino Valke edged the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls in Polokwane (38-27).

In the South Section, the EP Kings beat the Cell C Sharks XV in Port Elizabeth (23-8), DHL Western Province clinched victory against the SWD Eagles in Cape Town (27-19) and the Border Bulldogs got their first win of the season against the Boland Cavaliers in Alice (29-5).

But the match of the weekend was probably the encounter between the Toyota Free State XV and GWK Griquas in Kimberley, where 14 points were scored in the final 10 minutes and the home team clinched a 19-18 win thanks to a penalty goal in injury time.

Vodacom Cup quarter-finals (date, time and kick-off times TBC):

Xerox Golden Lions (North 1) v SWD Eagles (South 4) – Johannesburg

DHL Western Province (South 1) v Leopards XV (North 4) – Cape Town

Vodacom Blue Bulls (North 2) v Toyota Free State XV (South 3) – Pretoria

GWK Griquas (South 2) v Steval Pumas (North 3) – Kimberley

Match reports (full report available by clicking on the score):

Down Touch Griffons 20 Xerox Golden Lions 36

The Xerox Golden Lions made sure they won the Northern Section of the Vodacom Cup after beating the Down Touch Griffons 36-20 in the HT Pelatona Projects Stadium in Welkom on Friday afternoon.

The win – their seventh of the season – means they will host one of the four quarter-finals next weekend. The Xerox Golden Lions dominated most of the match and will go into the playoffs with a lot of confidence after scoring six tries in Welkom, which included a brace by No 8 Jano Venter.

Scorers:

Xerox Golden Lions – Tries: Jano Venter (2), Ashlon Davids, Jaco van der Walt, Ruan Ackermann, Stokkies Hanekom. Conversions: Van der Walt (3).

Down Touch Griffons – Tries: Norman Nelson, Tertius Maarman, Vuyo Mboto, Nicky Steyn.

FNB Welwitschias 25 Leopards XV 33

They were made to work hard, but in the end the Leopards XV secured their spot in the Vodacom Cup quarter-finals with a bonus-point 33-25 (halftime 26-15) victory over the FNB Welwitschias at the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek on Friday evening.

Vice-captain and flyhalf Shaun Michael Kaizemi dominated the scoreboard for the home team, but it was not enough to prevent the men from Potchefstroom from securing fourth spot on the log.

After the Namibians opened the scoring, the rest of the night belonged to the Leopards XV though, who secured their bonus-point before halftime.

Scorers:

FNB Welwitschias – Tries: Shaun Michael Kaizemi (2), Nico Esterhuyse, Russell Steven van Wyk. Conversion: Kaizemi. Penalty goal: Kaizemi.

Leopards XV – Tries: HP Swart, Stephan Bezuidenhout, Kobus du Plessis, Jaco Jordaan, Dane van der Westhuizen. Conversions: Adriaan Engelbrecht (4).

EP Kings 23 Cell C Sharks XV 8

The Eastern Province Kings finished their Vodacom Cup campaign with a 23-8 victory (halftime 8-8) over the Cell C Sharks in a South Section clash at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday evening.

The home team made some frustrating errors on attack but were solid on defence and deserved their victory on the night. For all their dominance in the loose and set phases during the early exchanges, the Kings struggled to convert all their possession into territory.

Scorers:

EP Kings – Tries: Luther Obi, Jaco Grobler, Enrico Acker. Conversion: Scott van Breda. Penalty goals: Hansie Graaff, Van Breda.

Cell C Sharks XV – Try: Hanco Venter. Penalty goal: Garth April.

DHL Western Province 27 SWD Eagles 19

DHL Western Province cemented their place at the top of the Vodacom Cup South Section log with a bonus-point 27-19 (halftime 14-9) victory over the SWD Eagles at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday to set up a home quarter-final with the Leopards XV.

Jaco Taute scored a try on his return from injury but it was flanker Tapiwa Tsomondo who grabbed the limelight with a brace of tries as the men from Cape Town made sure of a home quarter-final and potential home semi-final should they overcome the Leopards next week.

Scorers:

DHL Western Province – Tries: Jaco Taute, Tapiwa Tsomondo (2), Tshotsho Mbovane. Conversions: Robert du Preez (2). Penalty goal: Jean-Luc du Plessis.

SWD Eagles – Try: Leighton Eksteen. Conversion: Elric van Vuuren. Penalty goals: Van Vuuren (3), Gerrit Smith.

GWK Griquas 19 Toyota Free State XV 18

A penalty goal by Dean Grant in the 81st minute broke the hearts of the Toyota Free State XV and sent fans at GWK Park in Kimberley into exhilaration as GWK Griquas edged their neighbours 19-18 in their Vodacom Cup South Section derby on Saturday afternoon.

Toyota Free State XV led 10-7 at halftime but could not capitalise on that lead as the home team snuck in at the death.

The result secured second spot on the South Section log for GWK Griquas, while Free State finished in third (22 points).

Scorers:

GWK Griquas – Try: Rudi van Rooyen. Conversion: Gouws Prinsloo. Penalty goals: Prinsloo, Dean Grant (3).

Toyota Free State XV – Tries: Ludwig Erasmus, Alvin Brandt. Conversion: Willie du Plessis. Penalty goal: Du Plessis. Drop-goal: Erasmus.

Border Bulldogs 29 Boland Cavaliers 5

Makazole Mapimpi scored 24 points as the Border Bulldogs ended their Vodacom Cup campaign on a high with a 29-5 (halftime 19-0) South Section victory over the Boland Cavaliers at the University of Fort Hare on Saturday.

The enigmatic left winger scored three tries, three conversions and a penalty goal to round off a fine afternoon as the home side handed over the wooden spoon to the Cavaliers as their bonus-point victory lifted them above the side from the Western Cape.

Scorers:

Border Bulldogs – Tries: Makazole Mapimpi (3), Michael Makase. Conversions: Mapimpi (3). Penalty goal: Mapimpi.

Boland Cavaliers – Try: Harlon Klaasen.

Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 27 Hino Valke 38

The Hino Valke scored six tries en route to their 27-38 victory over the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane in their final Vodacom Cup North Section match on Saturday afternoon.

The Valke held a comfortable 8-19 halftime lead and kept the pressure on in the second half as they ensured they finished the season with a well-deserved win.

The Leopards XV’s hard-fought victory against the FNB Welwitschias on Friday put paid to the Valke’s knockout aspirations while Limpopo finished their season firmly rooted to the foot of the table.

Scorers:

Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls – Tries: Andries Truter, Pieter Matthews, Dwayne Pienaar, Tinus van Wyk. Conversions: Anton Beswick (2). Penalty goal: Beswick.

Hino Valke – Tries: Kyle Hendricks (3), Friedle Olivier, Riaan Arends, Johan Pretorius. Conversions: Juan Kotze (4).

Final Logs

North Section

Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 Xerox Golden Lions 7 7 0 0 279 108 171 38 15 5 33
2 Vodacom Blue Bulls 7 6 0 1 282 114 168 40 11 5 29
3 Steval Pumas 7 5 0 2 263 114 149 32 13 4 24
4 Leopards XV 7 4 0 3 208 217 -9 28 28 4 20
5 Hino Valke 7 3 0 4 213 200 13 31 25 7 19
6 Down Touch Griffons 7 2 0 5 160 286 -126 23 40 3 11
7 FNB Welwitschias 7 1 0 6 94 285 -191 13 41 3 7
8 Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 7 0 0 7 115 290 -175 11 43 1 1

 

South Section

Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 DHL Western Province 7 7 0 0 188 103 85 23 11 4 32
2 GWK Griquas 7 6 0 1 205 138 67 24 16 4 28
3 Toyota Free State XV 7 4 0 3 215 170 45 28 17 6 22
4 SWD Eagles 7 4 0 3 193 137 56 21 16 4 20
5 EP Kings 7 3 0 4 181 162 19 26 18 5 17
6 Cell C Sharks XV 7 2 0 5 180 165 15 24 22 3 11
7 Border Bulldogs 7 1 0 6 104 206 -102 11 28 2 6
8 Boland Cavaliers 7 1 0 6 105 290 -185 15 44 1 5

 

Top scorers

 

Player Team Tries Conv Pen Drops Tot
JC Roos Steval Pumas 2 18 13 0 85
Kobus Marais Vodacom Blue Bulls 2 20 9 0 77
Elric van Vuuren SWD Eagles 0 13 16 0 74
Jaun Kotze Hino Valke 1 23 4 0 63
Gouws Prinsloo GWK Griquas 0 12 12 0 60
Ashlon Davids Xerox Golden Lions 3 14 4 0 55
Anton Beswick Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 0 8 13 0 55
Jean-Luc Du Plessis DHL Western Province 0 8 12 0 52
Coenie van Wyk Toyota Free State XV 2 10 4 0 42
Alshaun Bock SWD Eagles 8 0 0 0 40
Shaun Kaizemi FNB Welwitschias 2 7 4 0 36
Kobus du Plessis Leopards XV 2 6 4 0 34
Jaco van der Walt Xerox Golden Lions 1 10 3 0 34
Adriaan Engelbrecht Leopards XV 1 12 1 0 32
Masixole Banda Border Bulldogs 0 2 9 0 31
Riaan Arends Hino Valke 6 0 0 0 30
Anrich Richter Hino Valke 6 0 0 0 30
Kefentse Mahlo Vodacom Blue Bulls 6 0 0 0 30
Martin Sithole Down Touch Griffons 6 0 0 0 30

Vodacom Cup Round 9 Preview

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The Leopards XV and Hino Valke will have all to play for when they travel to Windhoek and Polokwane respectively in the final round of Vodacom Cup pool action.

Vodacom_Cup_Logo_2011

These two sides will be competing to be the final team in the top four of the tightly-contested North Section, with the Xerox Golden Lions, Vodacom Blue Bulls and Steval Pumas already assured of the top three spots on the log.

The Xerox Golden Lions need two log points to go top of the North Section and would like to keep their unbeaten record in-tact when they travel to Welkom to take on the Down Touch Griffons.

It won’t be easy as the Northern Free Staters can still sneak into the top four, but it’s going to take a big win over the Johannesburgers and some other results to go their way.

A bonus-point win on Friday evening in Namibia will be enough to see the Leopards XV through to the top four, but anything less could still leave the door open ever so slightly for the Hino Valke, who will know exactly where they stand when their game against the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls kicks off in Polokwane on Saturday afternoon.

On the contrary, the South Section is basically decided, with the top four playing against each other as they jockey for final positions – only seven points separate them at the moment.

DHL Western Province, first on 27 points, are at home to the plucky SWD Eagles in Cape Town on Saturday. The 2012 champions will look to stay unbeaten as the quarter-finals loom.

In the other crucial match in the South Section, the Toyota Free State XV can move up to send position if they can beat neighbouring GWK Griquas in Kimberley on Saturday afternoon.

Pride is all that is at stake in the final two matches of the season for the EP Kings, at home in Port Elizabeth against the Cell C Sharks XV on Friday evening, and the Border Bulldogs, who host the Boland Cavaliers in Alice on Saturday afternoon.

Attachment – Vodacom Cup Pic of the Week: Francois Robertse of the Leopards XV leaps high as he takes a line-out against the Down Touch Griffons played at Hartbeesfontein Rugby Club last weekend. Credit: Craig Nieuwenhuizen, ImageSA / SARU.

Rising Star #17 – Ashlon Davids (Xerox Golden Lions)

For 21-year-old Ashlon Davids swapping Malmesbury for the bright lights of Johannesburg after school turned out to be a very good thing.

After representing the Boland Cavaliers at U16, U18 and U19 levels, including playing in the Absa Under-19 Provincial competition while still at Schoonspruit Secondary School, Davids got an opportunity at the Golden Lions and grabbed it with both hands.

A year after representing Boland at the Coca-Cola U18 Craven Week in Kimberley in 2011, Davids was starting at flyhalf for the Golden Lions’ U19s as they went all the way to the semi-finals before crashing out of the competition.

Davids, who is 1.70m tall and weighs around 80kg, continued to move up the ranks in Johannesburg and got his first taste of senior rugby in the Vodacom Cup in 2013.

He scored 21 points in two Vodacom Cup games from flyhalf that season and later in 2013, Davids also played for the Lions U21s. He got a taste of rugby in the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International, playing in all seven matches for Wits last year, but unfortunately missed out on getting more Vodacom Cup caps in 2014 as he was battling injuries.

Although Davids has played almost all of his rugby at flyhalf since moving to the Xerox Golden Lions, he has since played a bit at fullback too, where his tactical awareness and kicking skills came in very handy.

Davids, who has a very good kicking boot and distribution skills, has played in five of the Johannesburgers’ six Vodacom Cup matches, scoring 50 points in the process through two tries, four penalty goals and 14 conversions.

Rising Star #18 – Khaya Majola (Cell C Sharks XV)

Khaya Majola is a born and bred KwaZulu-Natalian, living his dream playing in the black and white jersey and making waves at every level.

He’s also had stints in green and gold though, first for the SA Schools team in 2010 that won all four their matches against France, England and Namibia (twice), and two years later as part of the South African Under-20 side that won the Junior World Championships in Cape Town.

Majola, now 23 years old, was part of a Junior Springbok side featuring future Springbok Test players in Pieter-Steph du Toit, Handré Pollard and Jan Serfontein and although he has not come through the ranks quite as fast as some of his 2012 team-mates, he is making steady progression in Durban.

At 1.85m tall and weighing in at around 100kg, Majola is a specialist opensider who has all the skills needed from a loose forward who never strays far from the action. His path thus far has been pretty straight forward – KZN U16 in 2008, SA Academy team in 2009 and KZN U18 in 2010, when he also made SA Schools.

In 2011 he scored two tries for the Sharks U19s and the next season, a few weeks after his 20th birthday, Majola made his senior debut for the Cell C Sharks XV in the Vodacom Cup against the SWD Eagles. Later in 2012 Majola scored three tries as a regular starter for the Sharks U21s as they just lost out to eventual runners-up Western Province in the semi-finals.

More action in the Vodacom Cup and Absa U21 Provincial Championship followed in 2013 as Majola became a permanent fixture in black and white. It was therefore no surprise when this Westville old boy made his debut in the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division last year. He featured seven times for the Cell C Sharks and made his run-on debut against the EP Kings at Growthpoint Kings Park.

Majola has played the full 80 minutes in every one of the Cell C Sharks’ six Vodacom Cup matches thus far this year, bagging five tries in the process, making him the KwaZulu-Natalians’ pre-eminent try scorer of 2015.

The humble Kokstad-born Majola has played a total of 21 matches in the Vodacom Cup for the Cell C Sharks XV and if his constant rise in Durban continues, a first cap at Vodacom Super Rugby level is not far away.

Round 9 fixtures:

Friday, 8 May

Down Touch Griffons v Xerox Golden Lions

Kick-off: 15h00

Venue: HT Pelatona Projects Stadium, Welkom

Referee: Stephan Geldenhuys

EP Kings v Cell C Sharks XV

Kick-off: 19h00

Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth

Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni

FNB Welwitschias v Leopards XV

Kick-off: 20h00

Venue: Hage Geingob Stadium, Windhoek

Referee: Archie Sehlako

Saturday, 9 May

DHL Western Province v SWD Eagles

Kick-off: 14h45

Venue: DHL Newlands, Cape Town

Referee: Linton Lloyd (Scotland)

Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls v Hino Valke

Kick-off: 15h00

Venue: New Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane

Referee: Oregopotse Rametsi

GWK Griquas v Toyota Free State XV

Kick-off: 15h00

Venue: GWK Park, Kimberley

Referee: Pro Legoete

Border Bulldogs v Boland Cavaliers

Kick-off: 15h30

Venue: Davidson Rugby Stadium, Alice

Referee: Ben Crouse

Byes: Steval Pumas, Vodacom Blue Bulls

Vodacom Cup Round 8 Review

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Vodacom_Cup_Logo_2011

Seven of the eight Vodacom Cup quarter-finalists have cemented their positions in the playoffs, with three teams in the North Section still in the hunt for the final position amongst the pace-setters.

Victories to the SWD Eagles and GWK Griquas, coupled with a defeat to the Cell C Sharks XV, means the top four teams in the South Section have been determined.

The unbeaten DHL Western Province will host one of the quarter-finals in Cape Town after they beat the Toyota Free State XV by 30-29 in Bloemfontein on Saturday afternoon.

GWK Griquas, 27-24 victors over the KwaZulu-Natalians in Pietermaritzburg, cemented their second spot on the log, while the Eagles’ 36-17 win over the Border Bulldogs in Albertinia on Saturday afternoon means they will contest their second successive Vodacom Cup quarter-final.

In the final South Section match, the EP Kings returned to winning ways in Citrusdal when they beat the Boland Cavaliers by 44-10.

Meanwhile, the Vodacom Blue Bulls and Xerox Golden Lions – with eight Vodacom Cup titles between them – have sewn up the top two in the North Section and will host their quarter-final encounters.

The Steval Pumas, who had a bye this week, will finish third while five log points separate the Leopards XV, Hino Valke and Down Touch Griffons, one of whom will clinch fourth in the North Section.

The Vodacom Blue Bulls recorded the biggest win of the season when they beat the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls by 83-13 in Pretoria on Saturday afternoon.

The Leopards XV put themselves in a good position to reach the quarter-finals with a big 59-12 win over the Down Touch Griffons in Hartbeesfontein on Saturday afternoon, while the Hino Valke’s 45-7 win over the FNB Welwitschias in Windhoek on Friday evening means they still have a slim chance of reaching the playoffs.

FNB Welwitschias 7 Hino Valke 45

The Hino Valke won only their second game in this year’s Vodacom Cup competition by beating the FNB Welwitschias by 45-7 in the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek on Friday evening.

With both sides finding themselves near the bottom of the log in the North Section, the East Randers’ bonus-point victory kept alive their slim chance of making the top four and qualifying for the quarter-finals.

The Hino Valke completely dominated the first half and ran in no less than six tries before the break in pretty much a one sided affair. As was the case a couple of weeks ago, Valke scrumhalf Anrich Richter was superb, running in two tries in the first 40 minutes. The visitors’ wing Riaan Arends echoed that performance by also dotting down twice before the halftime whistle.

Scorers:

FNB Welwitschias – Try: Johan Tromp. Conversion: Michael Kaizemi.

Hino Valke – Tries: Ernst Ladendorf, Anrich Richter (2), Riaan Arends (2), Willie Odendaal, Friddle de Wet. Conversions: Juan Kotze (5).

Toyota Free State XV 29 DHL Western Province 30

DHL Western Province flyhalf Robert du Preez played a key role as the Capetonians remained unbeaten in the Vodacom Cup with a 30-29 (halftime 17-3) victory over the Toyota Free State XV at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

The DHL Western Province pivot, who kicked 21 points, played a vital role in two of the visitors’ three tries as the men from Cape Town desperately hung on for one-point win that extended their lead at the top of the South Section log to six points, which has guaranteed their place at the summit with just one league match remaining.

The Free Staters picked up two points for finishing within seven points and scoring four tries ensure they remain amongst the top sides on the log with the quarter-finals creeping closer.

Scorers:

Toyota Free State XV – Tries: Henco Venter, Teunis Nieuwoudt, Maphutha Dolo, Reuben Johannes. Conversions: Neil Marais (2), Noel Marx. Penalty goal: Marais.

DHL Western Province – Tries: Kyle Lombard, Tshotsho Mbovane, EW Viljoen. Conversions: Robert du Preez (3). Penalty goals: Du Preez (3).

Leopards XV 59 Down Touch Griffons 12

The Leopards XV ran in eight tries as they thumped the Down Touch Griffons 59-12 (halftime 21-0) in their Vodacom Cup North Section match at Hartbeesfontein on Saturday.

Left wing Adri Jacobs crossed for two tries while inside centre Adriaan Engelbrecht ended with 24 points after scoring a try and kicking five conversions and a penalty goal as the Leopards XV returned to winning ways after a heavy 63-10 loss at the hands of the Xerox Golden Lions in their previous match.

The victory means the team from Potchefstroom moved into the top for on the North Section log with one league match remaining, displacing the Down Touch Griffons amongst the play-off contenders.

Scorers:

Leopards XV – Tries: Francois Robertse, Jaco Hayward, Kobus du Plessis, Adi Jacobs (2), Adriaan Engelbrecht, Myburgh Briers, Molotsi Bouwer. Conversions: Engelbrecht (8). Penalty goal: Engelbrecht.

Down Touch Griffons – Tries: Nicky Steyn (2). Conversion: Wynand Pienaar.

SWD Eagles 36 Border Bulldogs 17

Zandre Jordaan scored a brace of tries as the SWD Eagles picked up a bonus-point 36-17 (halftime 22-9) Vodacom Cup victory over the Border Bulldogs in Albertinia on Saturday.

The home side scored five tries to one as they confirmed their place in the top four with one league match remaining. The SWD Eagles are now seven points clear of the EP Kings in fifth place.

The Eagles have a difficult encounter in their final league match when they travel to Cape Town to play the table-topping and undefeated DHL Western Province while the Bulldogs end off their Vodacom Cup campaign with a home match against the Boland Cavaliers and will be attempting to avoid the wooden spoon.

Scorers:

SWD Eagles – Tries: Zandre Jordaan (2), Johannes Stander, Kirsten Ralph Heyns, Alshaun Bock. Conversions: Elric van Vuuren (4). Penalty goal: Van Vuuren.

Border Bulldogs – Try: Ayabonga Nomboyo. Penalty goals: Masixole Banda (4).

Boland Cavaliers 10 EP Kings 44 Boland Cavaliers 10

The EP Kings turned on the style in the second half as they recorded a 44-10 (halftime 19-10) victory over the Boland Cavaliers in their Vodacom Cup match at the Central Sports Grounds in Citrusdal on Saturday afternoon.

Going into the encounter both teams had only recorded a solitary victory each in the competition. The Cavaliers had conceded 50 points in both their last two matches while the Kings had lost their way against the SWD Eagles last week.

Scorers:

Boland Cavaliers – Try: Granville Adams. Conversion: Adams. Penalty goal: Adams.

EP Kings – Tries: Aidon Davis (3), Siviwe Soyizwapi, Eital Bredenkamp, Hansie Graaff ,Dylon Frylinck. Conversions: Graaff (3). Penalty goal: Graaff.

Cell C Sharks XV 24 GWK Griquas 27

GWK Griquas overcame a nine-point half-time deficit on their way to a hard-fought 27-24 (halftime 8-17) win over the Cell C Sharks XV in their Vodacom Cup South Section match at the Woodburn Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday.

The visitors also found themselves 24-15 down with just 10 minutes of the match left but they turned in a storming finish as they grabbed two tries, one of which was converted, in the space of five minutes to move to second on the South Section log standings.

It was a heart-breaking finish for the Cell C Sharks XV, who topped the South Section log the last two seasons, as they lost their fourth match of the season and won’t feature in the play-offs this season.

Scorers:

Cell C Sharks XV – Tries: Tonderai Chavhanga, Khaya Majola, Marius Louw. Conversions: Cameron Wright (3). Penalty goal: Wright.

GWK Griquas – Tries: Ederies Arendse, Jono Janse van Rensburg, Ntabeni Dukisa, Rocco Jansen. Conversions: Dean Grant (2). Penalty: Gouws Prinsloo.

Vodacom Blue Bulls 83 Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 13

The Vodacom Blue Bulls delivered a superb performance as they crushed the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls by 83-13 (24-10 halftime) at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday afternoon.

The home team scored 12 tries to one, with Travis Ismaiel, Jamba Ulengo, Roelof Smit and William Small-Smith crossing for a brace of tries each. Eight of the Vodacom Blue Bulls’ tries came in a second half where they ran riot and scored 59 points.

Scorers:

Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Nqoba Mxoli, Kobus Marais, Travis Ismaiel (2), Jamba Ulengo (2), Roelof Smit (2), Kefentse Mahlo, Marquit September, William Small-Smith (2). Conversions: Marais (7), Josh Stander (3). Penalty goal: Marais.

Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls – Try: Fanie Raseroka. Conversion: Anton Beswick. Penalty goals: Beswick (2).

Logs

North Section

Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 Vodacom Blue Bulls 7 6 0 1 282 114 168 40 11 5 29
2 Xerox Golden Lions 6 6 0 0 243 88 155 32 11 4 28
3 Steval Pumas 7 5 0 2 263 114 149 32 13 4 24
4 Leopards XV 6 3 0 3 175 192 -17 24 24 3 15
5 Hino Valke 6 2 0 4 175 173 2 25 22 6 14
6 Down Touch Griffons 6 2 0 4 140 250 -110 19 34 2 10
7 FNB Welwitschias 6 1 0 5 69 252 -183 9 37 2 6
8 Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 6 0 0 6 88 252 -164 8 37 1 1

 

South Section

Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 DHL Western Province 6 6 0 0 161 84 77 19 10 3 27
2 GWK Griquas 6 5 0 1 186 120 66 23 14 4 24
3 Toyota Free State XV 6 4 0 2 197 151 46 26 16 5 21
4 SWD Eagles 6 4 0 2 174 110 64 20 12 4 20
5 EP Kings 6 2 0 4 158 154 4 23 17 5 13
6 Cell C Sharks XV 6 2 0 4 172 142 30 23 19 3 11
7 Boland Cavaliers 6 1 0 5 100 261 -161 14 40 1 5
8 Border Bulldogs 6 0 0 6 75 201 -126 7 27 1 1

 

Top scorers

 

Player Team Tries Conv Pen Drops Tot
JC Roos Steval Pumas 2 18 13 0 85
Kobus Marais Vodacom Blue Bulls 2 20 9 0 77
Elric van Vuuren SWD Eagles 0 13 13 0 65
Jaun Kotze Hino Valke 1 19 4 0 55
Gouws Prinsloo GWK Griquas 0 11 11 0 55
Ashlon Davids Xerox Golden Lions 2 14 4 0 50
Jean-Luc Du Plessis DHL Western Province 0 8 11 0 49
Anton Beswick Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 0 6 12 0 48
Coenie van Wyk Toyota Free State XV 2 10 4 0 42
Alshaun Bock SWD Eagles 8 0 0 0 40
Masixole Banda Border Bulldogs 0 2 9 0 31
Martin Sithole Down Touch Griffons 6 0 0 0 30
Kefentse Mahlo Vodacom Blue Bulls 6 0 0 0 30
Anrich Richter Hino Valke 6 0 0 0 30
Kobus du Plessis Leopards XV 1 6 4 0 29
Justin van Staden Steval Pumas 0 8 4 0 28
Niel Marais Toyota Free State XV 0 8 4 0 28
Eric Zana Boland Cavaliers 1 6 3 0 26
Sikhumbuszo Notshe DHL Western Province 5 0 0 0 25
Marquit September Vodacom Blue Bulls 5 0 0 0 25
Jamba Ulengo Vodacom Blue Bulls 5 0 0 0 25
Riaan Arends Hino Valke 5 0 0 0 25
Jaco Hayward Leopards XV 5 0 0 0 25
Khaya Majola Cell C Sharks XV 5 0 0 0 25
Louis Strydom Down Touch Griffons 0 5 5 0 25

Vodacom Cup heats up…

2

Vodacom_Cup_Logo_2011

While the top teams in the North and South Sections have all but secured their places in the Vodacom Cup quarter-finals, home ground advantage in the playoffs is still up for grabs as the pool phase nears its end.

In the North Section, the Xerox Golden Lions, Steval Pumas and Vodacom Blue Bulls occupy the top three positions and have opened up a gap between them and the chasing group. They will feature in the quarters, with the two sides from Gauteng looking likely to host matches in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

The fourth position could go to anyone of the Down Touch Griffons, Leopards XV, Hino Valke or even the FNB Welwitschias, which is making Friday’s match in Windhoek between the Namibians and the East Randers vital.

On Saturday, the Leopards XV host the Down Touch Griffons in Hartbeesfontein and the loser of that match will struggle to make the top four.

The South Section is just as congested at the top, but DHL Western Province, as one of only two unbeaten teams left in the competition, should have enough to host a quarter-final. They travel to Bloemfontein this weekend to take on the third-placed Toyota Free State XV.

Second-placed GWK Griquas, the defending champions, have a tough assignment in Pietermaritzburg against the Cell C Sharks XV, currently in fifth position. Nothing but a win will be enough for the KwaZulu-Natalians to keep alive their aspirations of reaching the playoffs and they will be a dangerous opponent for the team from the Northern Cape.

A win for the SWD Eagles over the Border Bulldogs in Albertinia will go a long way in pushing their cause to reach the top four in the South Section, while the EP Kings and Boland Cavaliers will have similar hopes when they clash in Cirtusdal. Both these matches take place on Saturday afternoon.

Rising Star #15 – Kefentse Mahlo (Vodacom Blue Bulls)

Versatility has become a massive drawback in the careers of some players, but not all of them and that is especially true for Vodacom Blue Bulls speedster Kefentse Mahlo.

For the last four seasons Mahlo, who turned 22 a month ago, has been starring at fullback, wing and scrumhalf for the Vodacom Blue Bulls in the Vodacom Cup as well as at age-group level. He’s even had a stint in the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International for UP-Tuks and did not disappoint.

Looking at his try-scoring exploits, it’s become clear Mahlo knows his way to the try-line. And at 1.75m tall and weighing in at around 80kg it will be easy to group him with players such as Cheslin Kolbe, Gio Aplon or Mark Richards, but what very few people know is that Tzaneen-born Mahlo cut his teeth playing scrumhalf.

Mahlo, an old boy of Ben Vorster High School in Tzaneen, just like Springbok prop Trevor Nyakane, represented Limpopo at U13 and U16 levels before playing for their Coca-Cola Craven Week U18 side for two seasons.

Thereafter he moved to Pretoria and in 2012 he immediately made his mark in the Vodacom Blue Bulls’ U19 side, scoring five tries in the season where they finished runners-up to DHL Western Province.

Last year, Mahlo and the Vodacom Blue Bulls’ U21s turned the tables on their counterparts from Cape Town though, with the speedster dotting down for six tries during the season. He is no slouch and during the last few years has swapped between left and right wing, as well as fullback, with ease.

In 2014 Mahlo also got his first taste of senior rugby, making three appearances from the bench in the Vodacom Cup for the Vodacom Blue Bulls – one at fullback and two at scrumhalf, scoring one try in the process.

And this year, Mahlo has already scored five tries in the Vodacom Cup for the team from Pretoria, again featuring in most positions in the back three.

Rising Star #16 – Jean-Luc du Plessis (DHL Western Province)

To see a former provincial stalwart’s son turn out in the colours of another union seems out of place, but for Jean-Luc du Plessis it only lasted two seasons before he found his way back to his roots.

The 20-year-old Du Plessis has been starring at flyhalf in the blue and white hoops of DHL Western Province recently, the team his father Carel was once synonymous with, but for the last two seasons he played in the black and white jersey of the Sharks.

Just like his dad, Jean-Luc also attended Paarl Boys’ High School from where he made the Western Province U18 side in 2012, but a couple of months later he swapped the Western Cape for KwaZulu-Natal.

In 2013, Du Plessis kicked two conversions as the Cell C Sharks U19s trounced their counterparts from Cape Town by 38-0 in Durban. He was the KwaZulu-Natalians’ top points’ scorer that season with 116 points, consisting of five tries, 17 conversions, 18 penalty goals and a drop-goal.

Last year Du Plessis played twice for the Cell C Sharks XV, making his senior debut from the bench against the Tusker Simba XV and starting against the EP Kings and scoring a total of 13 points in the process.

He got his first taste of international rugby for the Junior Springboks in New Zealand at the World Junior Championships in 2014, where he was backup flyhalf for the SA U20 captain Handré Pollard.

His opportunities at U21 level was limited in Durban and at the end of last season, Du Plessis moved back to Cape Town. He duly made the No 10 jersey his own in the Vodacom Cup this season, starting in each of DHL Western Province’s five matches and scoring 49 points in the process.

The talented Du Plessis has time on the ball and sublime skills, and his goal-kicking has been a real strength this season, while his option-taking is constantly improving. He has been showing signs that he may just follow in the footsteps of his father as he tries to also become a WP hero.

Round 8 fixtures:

Friday, 1 May

FNB Welwitschias v Hino Valke

Kick-off: 19h00

Venue: Hage Geingob Stadium, Windhoek

Referee: Lourens van der Merwe

Saturday, 2 May

Leoards XV v Down Touch Griffons

Kick-off: 14h30

Venue: Hartbeesfontein

Referee: Tahla Ntshakaza

Toyota Free State XV v DHL Western Province

Kick-off: 14h30

Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein

Referee: Jason Jaftha

Cell C Sharks XV v GWK Griquas

Kick-off: 15h30

Venue: Woodburn Stadium, Pietermaritzburg

Referee: Linton Lloyd

SWD Eagles v Border Bulldogs

Kick-off: 16h00

Venue: Albertinia Rugby Club, Albertinia

Referee: Francois Pretorius

Boland Cavaliers v EP Kings

Kick-off: 16h00

Venue: Central Sports Grounds, Citrusdal

Referee: Pro Legoete

Vodacom Blue Bulls v Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls

Kick-off: 16h40

Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

Referee: AJ Jacobs

Byes: Steval Pumas, Xerox Golden Lions

Vodacom Cup Round 7 Review

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Vodacom_Cup_Logo_2011

The top three teams in the North Section of the Vodacom Cup have all but secured their playoff spots, but the South Section is still wide open with only two rounds of pool action remaining.

Two of the Xerox Golden Lions, Steval Pumas and Vodacom Blue Bulls will host quarter-finals this year, with the two teams from Gauteng in the inside lane as they have one game in hand.

The Steval Pumas finished their pool obligations with a solid 28-22 win over the Hino Valke in Nelspruit on Friday evening and the Xerox Golden Lions trounced the Leopards XV by 63-10 in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon.

One of the Down Touch Griffons, who recorded a good 40-28 win over the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls in Welkom on Saturday, Leopards XV and Hino Valke will probably take the remaining place in the playoffs in their section, but mathematically the FNB Welwitschias and Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls can also still sneak in.

DHL Western Province, who beat GWK Griquas by 21-14 in a re-play of the 2012 final in Kimberley on Saturday afternoon, are now the only unbeaten team left in the South Section.

The Toyota Free State XV and SWD Eagles both recorded good away victories this weekend, over the Border Bulldogs in East London (14-10) and the EP Kings in Port Elizabeth (31-10) respectively.

The teams from Bloemfontein and George looking like the likely candidates to progress to the quarter-finals, although the Cell C Sharks’ big win over the Boland Cavaliers in Empangeni (52-12) means they can’t be written off yet.

 

Border Bulldogs 10 Toyota Free State XV 14

The Border Bulldogs produced a much-improved display in a hard-fought Vodacom Cup match against the Toyota Free State XV on a crisp, cool evening at Buffalo City Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday, but still went down 14-10 to their visitors from Bloemfontein.

Although the Bulldogs lost their fifth match in a row, they can certainly hold their heads up high as all facets of their game improved beyond recognition.

It was a rip-roaring match with plenty of action, and Border’s lineout work, hard tackling and willingness to throw out long passes drew plenty of applause from the noisy crowd in attendance.

Scorers:

Border Bulldogs – Try: Lindokuhle Welemu. Conversion: Coyi Banda. Penalty goal: Banda.

Toyota Free State XV – Try: Sergeal Petersen. Penalty goals: Daniel Marais (3).

Steval Pumas 28 Hino Valke 22

The Steval Pumas secured their place in the top four of the North Section in the Vodacom Cup after beating the Hino Valke 28-22 in a tight match at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday evening.

It was the Lowvelders’ final pool match and they will now have to wait and see if they will host a play-off match as they can’t finish lower than third or higher than second.

The hosts missed out on the try-scoring bonus point, but still find themselves in the top four in the North Section, while the East Randers will look at the game as one that could have been won, as they lead 15-13 at halftime after producing some impressive play in the first 40 minutes.

Scorers:

Steval Pumas – Tries: Bernardo Botha, JW Bell, Reynier van Rooyen. Conversions: JC Roos (2). Penalty goals: Roos (3).

Hino Valke – Tries: Anrich Richter (2), Friedle Olivier. Conversions: Jaun Kotze (2). Penalty goal: Kotze.

SWD Eagles 31 EP Kings 10

The SWD Eagles strengthened their bid for a Vodacom Cup quarter-final berth with a superb 31-10 victory (halftime 21-5) over the Eastern Province Kings in a South Section clash at Nelson Mandela Bay stadium on Saturday.

The Eagles will be thrilled with the win secured against their more-fancied neighbours. By contrast, the Kings will need some serious improvement if they are to have any hope of competing against Absa Currie Cup Premier Division opposition this season.

They were out-muscled, albeit mainly in the first half, and their tactical kicking was downright poor. Their defence also let them down on occasions. But the Eagles were full value for the win and deserved the four points on the road.

Scorers:

EP Kings – Tries: Luther Obi, Simon Kerrod.

SWD Eagles – Tries: Alshaun Bock, Clinton Wagman, Dwayne Kelly. Conversions: Elrich van Vuuren, Gerhardus Smith. Penalty goals: Van Vuuren (3), Smith.

GWK Griquas 14 DHL Western Province 21

DHL Western Province are now the only unbeaten team remaining in the South Section of the Vodacom Cup thanks to a hard-fought 21-14 win over GWK Griquas in Kimberley on Saturday.

With this victory, DHL WP kept intact a proud record by not losing to the five-time champions since 2002.

The match, played at Diamantveld High School, only kicked into life in the last couple of minutes with tries by WP outside centre Kyle Lombard and a brilliant individual effort by replacement hooker Martin Bezuidenhout for GWK Griquas to ensure a nail-biting last five minutes, with WP leading 18-14.

But yet another penalty at the scrum for WP enabled flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis, son of former Springbok and WP wing, Carel, to kick his third penalty for a 21-14 win.

Scorers:

GWK Griquas – Tries: Martin Bezuidenhout. Penalty goals: Gouws Prinsloo (3).

DHL Western Province – Tries: EW Viljoen, Kyle Lombard. Conversion: Jean-Luc du Plessis. Penalty goals: Du Plessis (3).

Cell C Sharks 52 Boland Cavaliers 12

The Cell C Sharks XV are back on the winning track after running in eight tries for a 52-12 (halftime 24-5) thumping of the Boland Cavaliers in a Vodacom Cup South Section match at Empangeni on Saturday.

The Cavaliers began the match in emphatic fashion as flanker Freginald Africa scored the first try of the match straight after the kick-off, but the home team struck back five minutes later to level the scores at five-all with their first touch-down through flanker Khaya Majola.

Thereafter the Cell C Sharks XV took control and brought up the 50-point mark with former Springbok winger Tonderai Chavhanga crossing the line for the home side’s eighth try.

Boland never gave up though and crossed the line for a consolation try through centre Edwin Sass four minutes from time.

Scorers:

Cell C Sharks XV – Tries: Barend Potgieter (2), Marius Louw (2), Cameron White, Khaya Majola, Tonderai Chavhanga, Tyler Fisher. Conversions: Wright (3), Sandile Kubeka (3).

Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Edwin Sass, Freginald Africa. Conversion: Christian Rust

Xerox Golden Lions 63 Leopards XV 10

The Xerox Golden Lions moved back to the top of the Vodacom Cup North Section log after beating the Leopards XV 63-10 at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday afternoon, after leading by 14-10 at the break.

The Leopards XV started the match wanting to prove something and were a constant nuisance to the Xerox Golden Lions, who struggled to establish themselves in the first 20 minutes.

However, the momentum shifted in the second half with the home team running in seven more tries as they started to string phases together which proved very difficult for the Leopards XV to defend.

Scorers:

Xerox Golden Lions – Tries: Schalk van der Merwe (2), Ashlon Davids, Jano Venter (2), Mark Pretorius, Ramone Samuels, Mark Richards. Conversions: Jaco van der Walt (7). Penalty goals: Van der Walt (3).

Leopards XV – Tries: Juan Language, Wilmar Arnoldi.

Down Touch Griffons 40 Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 28

A hat-trick of tries by the enterprising flanker, Martin Sithole, and a brace by the centre Vuyo Mbotho set up a 40-28 win for the Down Touch Griffons in their North Section Vodacom Cup clash against the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls at the HT Pelatona Projects Stadium in Welkom on Saturday afternoon.

However, the home team had to dig deep in the second half after the visitors took the lead by 17-12 at halftime, thanks to a try in the 38th minute by their hard-working flanker, Dwayne Pienaar.

A hailstorm after halftime forced the players off the field for 10 minutes, which might have affected the focus and intensity of the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls. While the home team flourished late in the match with four superb second half tries, the visitors from Polokwane withered in the cold and wet.

Scorers:

Down Touch Griffons – Tries: Martin Sithole (3), Vuyo Mbotho (2), Wynand Pienaar. Conversions: Francois du Toit (5).

Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls – Tries: Abraham Boonzaaier, Anton Beswick, Dean Gordon. Penalty goals: Beswick (3). Conversions: Beswick (2).

Logs

North Section
Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 Xerox Golden Lions 6 6 0 0 243 88 155 32 11 4 28
2 Steval Pumas 7 5 0 2 263 114 149 32 13 4 24
3 Vodacom Blue Bulls 6 5 0 1 199 101 98 28 10 4 24
4 Down Touch Griffons 5 2 0 3 128 191 -63 17 26 2 10
5 Leopards XV 5 2 0 3 116 180 -64 16 22 2 10
6 Hino Valke 5 1 0 4 130 166 -36 18 21 5 9
7 FNB Welwitschias 5 1 0 4 62 207 -145 8 30 2 6
8 Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 5 0 0 5 75 169 -94 7 25 1 1
South Section
Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 DHL Western Province 5 5 0 0 131 55 76 16 6 3 23
2 GWK Griquas 5 4 0 1 159 96 63 19 11 3 19
3 Toyota Free State XV 5 4 0 1 168 121 47 22 13 3 19
4 SWD Eagles 5 3 0 2 138 93 45 15 11 3 15
5 Cell C Sharks XV 5 2 0 3 148 115 33 20 15 2 10
6 EP Kings 5 1 0 4 114 144 -30 16 16 4 8
7 Boland Cavaliers 5 1 0 4 90 217 -127 13 33 1 5
8 Border Bulldogs 5 0 0 5 58 165 -107 6 22 1 1

 

Top scorers

 

Player Team Tries Conv Pen Drops Tot
JC Roos Steval Pumas 2 18 13 0 85
Kobus Marais Vodacom Blue Bulls 1 13 8 0 55
Elric van Vuuren SWD Eagles 0 9 12 0 54
Gouws Prinsloo GWK Griquas 0 11 10 0 52
Ashlon Davids Xerox Golden Lions 2 14 4 0 50
Jean-Luc Du Plessis DHL Western Province 0 8 11 0 49
Jaun Kotze Hino Valke 1 14 4 0 45
Coenie van Wyk Toyota Free State XV 2 10 4 0 42
Anton Beswick Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 0 5 10 0 40
Alshaun Bock SWD Eagles 7 0 0 0 35
Martin Sithole Down Touch Griffons 6 0 0 0 30
Justin van Staden Steval Pumas 0 8 4 0 28
Eric Zana Boland Cavaliers 1 6 3 0 26
Sikhumbuszo Notshe DHL Western Province 5 0 0 0 25
Kefentse Mahlo Vodacom Blue Bulls 5 0 0 0 25
Louis Strydom Down Touch Griffons 0 5 5 0 25

Vodacom Cup Round 7 Preview

0

Vodacom Cup Pic of the Week: Clayton Blommetjies of the Toyota Free State XV and Siviwe Soyizwapi of the EP Kings contest a high ball during their high-scoring Vodacom Cup match in Bloemfontein last weekend, which the home team won 50-45. Photo By:  Charl Devenish, Image SA / SARU.
Vodacom Cup Pic of the Week: Clayton Blommetjies of the Toyota Free State XV and Siviwe Soyizwapi of the EP Kings contest a high ball during their high-scoring Vodacom Cup match in Bloemfontein last weekend, which the home team won 50-45. Photo By: Charl Devenish, Image SA / SARU.

 

All eyes will be on Diamantveld High School in Kimberley on Saturday afternoon when the only two unbeaten teams left in the South Section of the Vodacom Cup clash in a replay of the 2012 final.

GWK Griquas, the defending champions, host DHL Western Province in a highly-anticipated clash at Diamantveld.

Both these sides are unbeaten after four matches and their performances have been very similar thus far, with a points’ difference of 69 for the visitors from Cape Town and 70 for the home team. DHL Western Province top the South Section log on 19 points though, with GWK Griquas second on 18.

The high-flying SWD Eagles will be looking to for their first away win of the season after already beating the Cell C Sharks XV and Toyota Free State XV in George when they travel up the N2 to take on the EP Kings at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

Meanwhile, the KwaZulu-Natalians, at home in Empangeni to the Boland Cavaliers on Saturday afternoon, will be looking to reverse a three-match losing streak when they travel north up the coast.

In the North Section, the Xerox Golden Lions will retake the lead at the top of the standings if they can beat the Leopards XV at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon.

Current log leaders, the Vodacom Blue Bulls, have a bye and can slip back to third position if the Steval Pumas record a convincing victory over the Hino Valke at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday evening.

This week, we’re looking at former SA U20 speedster Sergeal Petersen, who is now with the Toyota Free State XV after making his mark for the EP Kings, and Xerox Golden Lions loose forward Ruaan Lerm.

Rising Star #13 – Sergeal Petersen (Toyota Free State XV) :support: 

To call Sergeal Petersen a try-scoring machine would not be amiss as this young flyer from the Free State continues to rack up the five-pointers since swapping Port Elizabeth for Bloemfontein.

Considering that he is not yet 21, it’s amazing to think that Petersen has been on the lips of rugby supporters in South Africa for a three seasons already.

He first shot to prominence when he scored two tries in the first-ever Vodacom Super Rugby match for the Southern Kings, way back in 2013 as an 18-year-old, fresh from completing high-school less than three months earlier.

Petersen ended up with four tries in eight Vodacom Super Rugby matches before he even turned 19 and was one of the Kings’ heroes in 2013.

At 1.71m tall and weighing in at around 84kg, Petersen makes up for his lack in size with lightning quick feet and speed to burn. He also knows his way to the try-line as he showed for the Junior Springboks last year, when he scored three tries in the Junior World Championships in New Zealand.

Due to untimely injuries, he’s had limited time at Absa Currie Cup level, but last year he was back to his best and in the Absa U21 Provincial Competition and amassed seven tries for EP.

At the end of last season, Petersen made a move to the Free State after he had represented Eastern Province at every level from Under-13 up. He also played SA Schools in 2012, his final year at Grey high School in Port Elizabeth, where he scored three tries in as many games in the Green and Gold.

Petersen made his debut for the Toyota Free State XV two round ago when they beat the Cell C Sharks XV in Kokstad and last weekend, in his second match for his new province, the speedster showed his new home crowd in Bloemfontein what he is capable of when he scored twice against his former team-mates from the Bay.

Rising Star #14 – Ruaan Lerm (Xerox Golden Lions) :support: 

The 23-year old, Xerox Golden Lions loose forward Ruaan Lerm is somewhat of a veteran in Vodacom Cup terms, having amassed 21 caps for the Xerox Golden Lions in the last four seasons.

He made his senior debut in 2012, less than two years after finishing school at EG Jansen in Boksburg, from where he represented the Valke at U16 and U18 levels.

Lerm is a solid and mobile loose forward – he stands 1.90m tall and weighs in at 103kg – who can shift around in the back row between openside flank and No 8.

This year, Lerm started with a bang and scored three tries in the opening round for the unbeaten Xerox Golden Lions. He’s played in four of their five matches, either at openside flank or No 8, and has a total of four tries this season.

Last year, Lerm’s five Vodacom Cup tries were the most for the team from Johannesburg as they went all the way to the final, missing out on only one match during the season.

With an abundance of loose forwards in Johannesburg, Lerm went to GWK Griquas on loan last year, where he made eight appearances in the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division – his first taste of rugby at that level after being part of the Golden Lions’ U19 and U21 squads between 2011 and 2013.

He has since had a brief introduction to Vodacom Super Rugby, making his debut off the bench earlier this season when the Emirates Lions travelled to Durban to take on the Cell C Sharks, but the impressive Lerm is sure to get another opportunity at this level sooner rather than later.

Round 7 fixtures:

Friday, 24 April

Steval Pumas v Hino Valke

Kick-off: 19h00

Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit

Referee: Archie Sehlako

Border Bulldogs v Toyota Free State XV

Kick-off: 19h00

Venue: BCM Stadium, East London

Referee: Rodney Boneparte

Saturday, 25 April

Xerox Golden Lions v Leopards XV

Kick-off: 14h30

Venue: Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg

Referee: Jaco Pretorius

Down Touch Griffons v Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls

Kick-off: 15h00

Venue: HT Pelatona Projects Stadium, Welkom

Referee: Ricus van der Hoven

GWK Griquas v DHL Western Province

Kick-off: 15h00

Venue: Diamantveld High School, Kimberley

Referee: Stephan Geldenhuys

EP Kings v SWD Eagles

Kick-off: 15h00

Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth

Referee: Tahla Ntshakaza

Cell C Sharks XV v Boland Cavaliers

Kick-off: 15h30

Venue: Emgangeni

Referee: Lourens van der Merwe

Byes: Vodacom Blue Bulls, FNB Welwitschias

Vodacom Cup Round 6 Review

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Vodacom_Cup_Logo_2011

 

There were tries aplenty as the Vodacom Cup shifted up a gear with the quarter-finals moving into sight for the 16 teams vying for the title.

In the South Section, the SWD Eagles probably delivered the biggest upset as they outplayed the Cell C Sharks XV in George on Friday evening, winning comfortably by 36-13 after a superb second half performance where they scored 29 unanswered points.

GWK Griquas showed they will not let go of their title without a proper fight as they completely outclassed the Boland Cavaliers by 62-19 in Velddrif on Saturday afternoon, while the Toyota Free State XV beat the EP Kings by 50-45 in an extraordinary match in Bloemfontein where the scorers with still tied at 42-42 with only five minutes remaining on the clock.

DHL Western Province were predictably too strong for the Border Bulldogs as they cemented their position at the top of the South Section log with a 34-6 win on Saturday afternoon.

In the North Section, last weekend’s log leaders, the Xerox Golden Lions, enjoyed a bye and was overtaken at the top of the standings by the Vodacom Blue Bulls, who beat the Down Touch Griffons by 40-21 in Pretoria on Friday afternoon.

The Steval Pumas’ 31-23 victory over the Leopards XV in Potchefstroom on Friday means the race to the top of the North Section log is now effectively between three teams.

The FNB Welwitschias recorded their first win of the season when they beat the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls by 24-17 in Windhoek on Saturday afternoon.

Vodacom Blue Bulls 40 Down Touch Griffons 21

The Vodacom Blue Bulls ran in five tries to record a comfortable 40-21 (halftime 27-7) win over the Down Touch Griffons at the Loftus B-field in Pretoria on Friday afternoon.

The win saw the Vodacom Blue Bulls move to the top of the Vodacom Cup North Section log, one point ahead of the Xerox Golden Lions who enjoyed a bye this weekend.

Jamba Ulengo and Kefentse Mahlo both scored a brace of tries for the home team, while Nicky Steyn did the same for the visitors from the Northern Free State.

Scorers:

Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Jamba Ulengo (2), Kefentse Mahlo (2), Arno van Wyk. Conversions: Thinus de Beer (2), Kobus Marais. Penalties: De Beer, Marais (2).

Down Touch Griffons – Tries: Nicky Steyn (2), Martin Sithole. Conversions: Franna du Toit (3).

Leopards XV 23 Steval Pumas 31

JC Roos scored 21 points to lead the Steval Pumas to a 31-23 (halftime 15-13) win over the Leopards XV in their Vodacom Cup North Section match at Profert Olen Park in Potchefstroom on Friday.

Flyhalf Roos scored a try and kicked two conversions and four penalties as the Steval Pumas clinched their fourth win of the season.

The visitors from the Lowveld made a fast start to the match as flank Jaco Bouwer crashed over for an unconverted try in just the second minute. However, the Leopards took the lead in the 15th minute thanks to the pivot Kobus du Plessis’s second successful penalty attempt of the match.

Scorers:

Leopards XV – Tries: Jaco Hayward, Sergio Torrens. Conversions: Kobus du Plessis (2). Penalties: Du Plessis (3).

Steval Pumas – Tries: Jaco Bouwer, Frikkie Spies, JC Roos. Conversions. Roos (2). Penalties: Roos (4).

SWD Eagles 36 Cell C Sharks XV 13

The SWD Eagles turned in a storming second-half performance to down the Cell C Sharks XV by 36-13 (half-time 17-13) in their Vodacom Cup South Section match at Outeniqua Park in George on Friday evening.

The Eagles ran in three second-half tries on their way to scoring 29 unanswered points with the Sharks XV unable to score any second-half points.

No 8 Zandre Jordaan and right wing Alshaun Bock both scored a brace of tries for the home team, who completed their second win of the season while the Sharks XV were consigned to their third loss in four games.

Scorers:

SWD Eagles – Tries: Zandre Jordaan (2), Kurt Haupt, Alshaun Bock (2). Conversions: Elric van Vuuren (4). Penalty: Van Vuuren.

Cell C Sharks XV – Try: Tonderai Chavanga. Conversion: Innocent Radebe. Penalties: Radebe (2).

DHL Western Province 34 Border Bulldogs 6

It took some time for DHL Western Province to find their rhythm but, having been held to 8-6 at halftime, they ran in four more tries to beat Border Bulldogs 34-6 in their Vodacom Cup match at the City Park Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday.

It was a game dominated by the Western Province forwards, who scored three of the five tries as they cemented their place at the top of the log with four out of four, with a bonus point.

The match also saw dream start for debutant DHL WP fullback Garth April from the newly-crowned Cell C Community Cup champions Durbanville-Bellville, who opened the hosts’ try-scoring spree in the 25th minute.

Scorers

DHL Western Province – Tries: Garth April, Deacon Chowles, Rayn Smit, Chris van Zyl, Robert du Preez. Conversions: Jean-Luc du Plessis (2), Robert du Preez. Penalty: Jean-Luc du Plessis.

Border Bulldogs – Penalties: Masixole Banda (2).

FNB Welwitschias 24 Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 17

The FNB Welwitschias’ greater desire earned them a well-deserved first victory in the 2015 Vodacom Cup when they beat the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls by 24-17 in Windhoek on Saturday.

The Namibian side led 17-3 at halftime thanks to two great individual tries by outside centre Johann Tromp, who added his hat-trick try nine minutes into the second half. He was duly named man of the match.

The victory was only the second by any Namibian side in the Vodacom Cup, following the 2010 home win against the Valke (66-33 in Windhoek).

Scorers:

FNB Welwitchias – Tries: Johann Tromp (3). Conversions: Shaun Kaizemi (3). Penalty Kaizemi.

Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls – Tries: Heirich Els, Marcus Erasmus. Conversions: Anton Beswick (2). Penality: Beswick.

Boland Cavaliers 19 GWK Griquas 62

A hat-trick by winger Natabeni Dukisa saw GWK Griquas bash the Boland Cavaliers 62-19 (halftime 20-7) in their Vodacom Cup encounter at the Smuts Ground in Velddrif on Saturday afternoon.

Rocco Jansen scored twice in the first-half as the teams went into the break with the visitors leading by 20-7 and although the home team closed the gap to 20-14 early in the second half, GWK Griquas then cut loose as they dotted down six times in the second 40 minutes to record the biggest victory of the round.

Scorers:

Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Wilneth Engelbrecht, Tiaan Ramat, Ryno Conradie. Conversions: Eric Zana (2).

GWK Griquas – Tries: Rocco Jansen (2), Wendall Wehr (2), Natabeni Dukisa (3), Martin Bezuidenhout, Clinton Swart. Conversions: Gouws Prinsloo (7). Penalty: Prinsloo.

Toyota Free State XV 50 EP Kings 45

The Toyota Free State Cheetahs XV were made to work extremely hard for their 50-45 win over a gutsy EP Kings in a Vodacom Cup match in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

With only five minutes remaining at the Free State Stadium, the score was still 42-42, but a penalty and try by replacement flyhalf Ludwig Erasmus wrapped up proceedings for the home team’s third win of their campaign in the Southern Section.

Former EP Kings flyer Sergeal Petersen scored a brace of tries for the Free Staters while Tim Whitehead, who captained the side from Port Elizabeth, did the same for the visitors as a total of 12 tries were scored in this encounter.

Scorers:

Toyota Free State XV – Tries: JP du Plessis, Sergeal Petersen (2), Shaun Venter, Joubert Engelbrecht, Zingisa April, Ludwig Erasmus. Conversions: Niel Marais (6). Penalty: Ludwig Erasmus.

EP Kings – Tries: Tim Agaba, Luther Obi, Tim Whitehead (2), Siviwe Soyizwapi. Conversions: Scott van Breda (4). Penalties: Gary van Aswegen, Van Breda (3).

Logs

North Section

Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 Vodacom Blue Bulls 6 5 0 1 199 101 98 28 10 4 24
2 Xerox Golden Lions 5 5 0 0 180 78 102 24 9 3 23
3 Steval Pumas 6 4 0 2 235 92 143 29 10 4 20
4 Leopards XV 4 2 0 2 106 117 -11 14 14 2 10
5 Hino Valke 4 1 0 3 108 138 -30 15 18 4 8
6 FNB Welwitschias 5 1 0 4 62 207 -145 8 30 2 6
7 Down Touch Griffons 4 1 0 3 88 163 -75 11 23 1 5
8 Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 4 0 0 4 47 129 -82 4 19 1 1

 

South Section

Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 DHL Western Province 4 4 0 0 110 41 69 14 5 3 19
2 GWK Griquas 4 4 0 0 145 75 70 18 9 2 18
3 Toyota Free State XV 4 3 0 1 154 111 43 21 11 3 15
4 SWD Eagles 4 2 0 2 107 83 24 12 9 3 11
5 EP Kings 4 1 0 3 104 113 -9 13 13 4 8
6 Cell C Sharks XV 4 1 0 3 96 103 -7 12 13 1 5
7 Boland Cavaliers 4 1 0 3 78 165 -87 11 25 1 5
8 Border Bulldogs 4 0 0 4 48 151 -103 5 21 0 0

Vodacom Cup: DHL WP team to face Border

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Durbanville-Bellville star Garth April will line up at fullback for the unbeaten DHL Western Province team in their 2015 Vodacom Cup, Round Six clash against the Border Bulldogs at City Park on Saturday (kick-off 16h00).

WP Icon

April was voted the Young Player of the Tournament at the 2015 Community Cup, after helping his team, Durb-Bell, to silverware in Rustenberg earlier this month.

DHL WP coach John Dobson is excited about the selection of the skilful playmaker who replaces Grant Hermanus (SA Under-20) in the No.15 jersey – one of seven changes from the team that defeated the EP Kings by 19-13 last weekend.

“We are particularly thrilled about the selection of Garth, who was so good for Durb-Bell in their outstanding Community Cup campaign,” Dobson told the www.wprugby.com website.

“Garth was outstanding when at the Lions (at junior level), so we know his abilities, and Jerome Paarwater has kept a close eye on him this year – we are pleased now to be able to select him.

“(Lock) Wilhelm van der Sluys, (flank) Justin Benn and (wing) JP Lewis have all played for us at this level before and we are pleased to bring them into the mix as we will need the depth – especially with the loss of nine SA Under-20s this week.

“Obviously losing Sikhumbuzo Notshe is also a blow as he has been in sublime form (for us), but he deserves his opportunity with the DHL Stormers and I am thrilled for him. But, on the upside, with the completion of the Varsity Cup and the Community Cup we have access to more players from the club ranks – like Garth, Wilhelm, Justin and JP.

“It is also heartening to welcome (hooker) Charlie van Jaarsveld from the Club to Vodacom Programme – he has worked very hard and deserves the opportunity,” added Dobson.

DHL WP remain on top of the log in the South Section as one of just two unbeaten teams in their 2015 Vodacom Cup division – the other being Griquas – but Dobson admitted: “We weren’t satisfied with our performance against EP.

“Of course it was a good and important win against a tough side away from home, but at this stage of a competition we need to look at our performance and I was not entirely happy with it – especially our forwards’ work ethic off the ball, as well as our inability to build pressure through phases which is part of our plan.”

And looking ahead to the challenge of hosting an improved Border Bulldogs team at City Park, Dobson concluded: “Border have run the Kings and Griquas away close and have incredible fighting spirit, so this is certainly not going to be the ‘gimme’ of recent times.

“We will have to work hard and, after last week, that’s just the challenge we need.”

* City Park is based on the corner of Thornton and Lawson Roads in Crawford and easily accessible from the M5 and N2 freeways. Tickets for Saturday are priced at just R5 for kids and R10 for adults.

The DHL Western Province team to face the Border Bulldogs (home) is as follows:

15. Garth April
14. Tshotsho Mbovane
13. Kyle Lombard
12. Robert du Preez
11. JP Lewis
10. Jean-Luc du Plessis
9. SP Ferreira
8. Rayn Smid
7. Jurie van Vuuren
6. Luke van der Smit
5. Chris van Zyl (captain)
4. Jan de Klerk
3. Entienne Swanepoel
2. Neil Rautenbach
1. Sti Sithole


Replacements:

16. Charlton van Jaarsveld
17. Wilco Louw
18. Deacon Chowles
19. Wilhelm van der Sluys
20. Justin Benn
21. Godlen Masimla
22. Willy Ambaka

Vodacom Cup – Round 4 Review

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EP Kings flank Paul Schoeman and FNB Welwitschias fullback Justin Nel both recorded hat-tricks of tries this weekend in the fourth round of the Vodacom Cup.

Vodacom_Cup_Logo_2011

A further four players – Enver Brandt (Toyota Free State XV), Anrich Richter (Hino Valke), Stephan de Wit and Kobus de Kock (both Xerox Golden Lions) – each scored a brace of tries, three of them in one match.

The Xerox Golden Lions, who were too strong for the Hino Valke in Kempton Park this weekend (48-26), are the only unbeaten team left in the North Section of the competition, but the Steval Pumas and Vodacom Blue Bulls are not far behind on the log.

The Vodacom Blue Bulls had to work very hard to beat the Steval Pumas in Pretoria on Saturday afternoon (20-18), while the Down Touch Griffons got their first win of the season in Windhoek on Friday, beating the FNB Welwitschias in a high-scoring affair (32-28).

In the South Section, DHL Western Province top the standings followed by defending champions, GWK Griquas, both of whom recorded good wins this weekend against the Cell C Sharks in Cape Town (32-12) and SWD Eagles in George (19-12) respectively.

The EP Kings won a hard-fought Eastern Cape derby in East London on Friday evening (27-17) and the Toyota Free State XV were far too good for the Boland Cavaliers in Bloemfontein on Saturday (52-15).

Match reports (full report available by clicking on the score):

Border Bulldogs 17 EP Kings 27

The Eastern Province Kings beat the Border Bulldogs 27-17 in a scrappy Vodacom Cup match played at a wet Buffalo City Municipality Stadium in East London on Friday.

Border skipper Blake Kyd celebrated his 50th match for the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs played in new colours, red and yellow, instead of their usual chocolate brown, highlighting the union’s fight against drug-taking in the region.

EP Kings flank Paul Schoeman scored three tries for the victors, who went back to Port Elizabeth with a well-earned bonus-point in the bag.

Scorers:

Border Bulldogs – Tries: Ntando Kebe, Siphenkhosi Nofemele. Conversions: Masixole Banda, Oliver Zono. Penalty goal: Banda.

Eastern Province Kings – Tries: Paul Schoeman (3), Simon Kerrod. Conversions: Gary van Aswegen, Scott van Breda. Penalty goal: Van Aswegen.

SWD Eagles 12 GWK Griquas 19

GWK Griquas recorded their second victory in this year’s Vodacom Cup competition by beating the SWD Eagles 19-12 in a closely contested affair at Outeniqua Park in George on Friday evening.

After beating the EP Kings in Port Elizabeth last week, Griquas headed west down the N2 to George to face an Eagles side that gained good momentum from their victory over the Toyota Free State XV the week before.

Jaco Nepgen scored the only try of the match, which was largely dominated by kicking boots of Elric van Vuuren and Gouws Prinsloo.

Scorers:

SWD Eagles – Penalty goals: Elric van Vuuren (4).

GWK Griquas – Try: Jaco Nepgen. Conversions: Gouws Prinsloo. Penalty goals: Prinsloo (4).

FNB Welwitschias 28 Down Touch Griffons 32

Namibia’s FNB Welwitschias earned their first two league points of the Vodacom Cup despite their narrow defeat against the Down Touch Griffons in the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek on Friday night.

The visitors from Northern Free State scored a 32-28 win after the home team led 21-18 at halftime for a full-house of five league points. The Welwitschias earned a bonus point for scoring four tries, and another for losing within seven points.

Scorers:

FNB Welwitschias – Tries: Russell van Wyk, Justin Nel (3). Conversion: Shaun Kaizemi. Penalty goals: Kaizemi (2).

Down Touch Griffons – Tries: Bren Marais, Martin Sithole, Willmar Groenewald, Wynand Pienaar. Conversions: Louis Strydom (3). Penalty goals: Strydom (2).

Vodacom Blue Bulls 20 Steval Pumas 18

The Vodacom Blue Bulls narrowly beat the Steval Pumas 20-18 (7-9 halftime) at Loftus Versfeld in their Vodacom Cup North Section match on Saturday.

The home team opened their account when Blitzbok Jamba Ulengo crossed the tryline in the fourth minute. His effort was the result of a Pumas chip kick collected by Blue Bulls fullback Warrick Gelant who passed it to the winger. Ulengo evaded three tackles and sprinted 50m to score. Flyhalf Kobus Marais added the extras.

The match then seemed to dissipate into a series of unforced errors with neither team managing to assert any dominance. Steval Pumas flyhalf Justin van Staden nailed the Blue Bulls for their ill-discipline with three penalty goals before the visitors’ hooker Jacques Momberg was yellow carded for a high tackle. The teams went into the break with the Pumas leading 7-9.

Scorers:

Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Jamba Ulengo, Marquit September. Conversions: Kobus Marais (2). Penalty goals: Marais (2).

Steval Pumas – Penalty goals: Justin van Staden (4), JC Roos (2).

DHL Western Province 32 Cell C Sharks XV 12

DHL Western Province claimed the bragging rights against the Cell C Sharks XV in a fiercely contested Vodacom Cup coastal derby win of 32-12 (halftime 22-7) held at the City Park Stadium, Cape Town on Saturday.

The visitors were flying high after a comprehensive 53-0 victory last week while WP had also earned a bonus point in a bruising encounter against the neighbouring Boland Cavaliers.

The home team outscored their visitors by four tries to two, with one of those going to 2013 Coca-Cola U18 Craven Week Player of the Tournament, Grant Hermanus.

Scorers:

DHL Western Province – Tries: Rayn Smid, Wilco Louw, Sikhumbuszo Notshe, Grant Hermanus. Conversions: Jean-Luc du Plessis (3). Penalty goals: Du Plessis (2).

Cell C Sharks XV – Tries: Khaya Majola, Khulu Marwana. Conversion: Lionel Cronje.

Toyota Free State XV 52 Boland Cavalier 15

The Boland Cavaliers suffered their second loss in a row in the Vodacom Cup, going down 15-52 to the Toyota Free State XV in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Boland now find themselves at the root of the Southern Section log. For the Free State it’s a good comeback after being beaten by the SWD Eagles last week in George.

Scorers:

Toyota Free State XV – Tries: Coenie van Wyk, Louis Venter, Reuben Johannes, Zingisa April, Louwrens Strydom, Enver Brandt (2), Devin Oosthuizen. Conversions: Van Wyk (5), Kevin Stevens.

Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Christian Rust, Eric Zana. Conversion: Rust. Penalty goal: Zana.

Hino Valke 26 Xerox Golden Lions 48

The Xerox Golden Lions continued their impressive unbeaten Vodacom Cup run on Saturday by beating the Hino Valke 48-26 in a North Section clash at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park.

The Golden Lions’ first-half blitz, highlighted by five superb tries, set the tone in this match as they built up a 41-7 lead at the break.

The Valke’s tendency to start sedately in the Vodacom Cup was exposed by the visitors’ explosive three-quarters and their industrious loose trio in the opening 40 minutes.

Scorers:

Xerox Golden Lions – Tries: Stephan de Wit (2), Kobus de Kock (2), Ruaan Lerm, Malcolm Marx. Conversions: Ashlon Davids (5), Warren Potgieter. Penalty goals: Davids (2).

Valke – Tries: Anrich Richter (2), Jacques Alberts, Arno Poley. Conversions: Juan Kotze (3).

Logs

North Section
Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 Xerox Golden Lions 4 4 0 0 156 62 94 21 8 3 19
2 Steval Pumas 4 3 0 1 188 45 143 25 5 4 16
3 Vodacom Blue Bulls 4 3 0 1 115 80 35 16 7 2 14
4 Leopards XV 3 2 0 1 83 86 -3 12 11 2 10
5 Down Touch Griffons 2 1 0 1 50 85 -35 6 12 1 5
6 Hino Valke 3 0 0 3 70 121 -51 9 16 3 3
7 FNB Welwitschias 3 0 0 3 38 146 -108 5 21 2 2
8 Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 3 0 0 3 30 105 -75 2 16 0 0
South Section
Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 DHL Western Province 2 2 0 0 57 22 35 8 3 2 10
2 GWK Griquas 2 2 0 0 46 31 15 4 3 0 8
3 Cell C Sharks XV 2 1 0 1 65 32 33 9 4 1 5
4 Toyota Free State XV 2 1 0 1 69 48 21 10 5 1 5
5 SWD Eagles 2 1 0 1 45 36 9 3 3 1 5
6 EP Kings 2 1 0 1 46 44 2 7 5 1 5
7 Boland Cavaliers 2 0 0 2 25 77 -52 3 12 0 0
8 Border Bulldogs 2 0 0 2 17 80 -63 2 11 0 0

 

Top scorers

 

Player Team Tries Conv Pen Drops Tot
Kobus Marais Vodacom Blue Bulls 0 10 5 0 35
JC Roos Steval Pumas 1 13 1 0 34
Justin van Staden Steval Pumas 0 8 6 0 34
Ashlon Davids Xerox Golden Lions 0 11 4 0 34
Elric van Vuuren SWD Eagles 0 3 8 0 30
Gouws Prinsloo GWK Griquas 0 4 6 0 26
Sikhumbuszo Notshe DHL Western Province 5 0 0 0 25
Jaun Kotze Hino Valke 0 8 3 0 25
Ruaan Lerm Xerox Golden Lions 4 0 0 0 20
Stephan de Wit Xerox Golden Lions 4 0 0 0 20
Coenie van Wyk Toyota Free State XV 1 6 1 0 20
Anton Beswick Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 0 1 6 0 20
Louis Strydom Down Touch Griffons 0 3 4 0 18
Warren Gilbert Leopards XV 1 3 2 0 17
Jean-Luc Du Plessis DHL Western Province 0 4 3 0 17

Vodacom Cup Round 3 Review

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Vodacom_Cup_Logo_2011

 

The South Section of the Vodacom Cup kicked off on Friday evening with a resounding victory for the SWD Eagles, while the Cell C Sharks XV and Steval Pumas got 50-pointers without conceding a point on Saturday.

Apart from these three matches, the four others played this weekend were much closer affairs.

On Friday, the Xerox Golden Lions remained unbeaten when they beat northern neighbours the Vodacom Blue Bulls in Johannesburg.

Saturday’s other matches saw wins for DHL Western Province in Caledon, where loose forward Sikhumbuzo Notshe scored four tries, GWK Griquas in Port Elizabeth and the Leopards XV in Lichtenburg.

Xerox Golden Lions 24 Vodacom Blue Bulls 12

Three first half tries were enough to hand the Xerox Golden Lions a 24-12 victory (halftime 24-0) over the Vodacom Blue Bulls in their Vodacom Cup clash at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Friday.

Golden Lions flyhalf Ashlon Davids opened the scoring in the opening minutes with a penalty goal but it would the home team’s superior skills at the breakdown that would win them the match.

Scorers:

Xerox Golden Lions – Tries: Lohan Jacobs, Anthony Volmink, Damian Engledoe. Conversions: Ashlon Davids (3). Penalty goal: Davids.

Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Kefentse Mahlo (2). Conversion: Kobus Marais.

SWD Eagles 33 Toyota Free State XV 17

The SWD Eagles used their home advantage to beat the Toyota Free State XV 33-17 in the sides’ Vodacom Cup encounter at Outeniqua Park in George on Friday evening.

Free State started well in the game and put the first points on the board after some good pressure when flanker Peet Coetzee went over in the eighth minute.

The Eagles awoke from their slumber and big prop Ashley Buys burst over for his try in the 26th minute after some good pressure was applied by the hosts. Elric van Vuuren slotted the conversion and followed with a penalty shortly thereafter to make the halftime score 16-10 in favour of the Eagles.

Scorers:

SWD Eagles – Tries: Alshaun Bock (2), Ashley Buys. Conversions: Elric van Vuuren (3). Penalty goals: Van Vuuren (4).

Toyota Free State XV – Tries: Peet Coetzee (2). Conversions: Coenie van Wyk, Noel Marx. Penalty goal: Van Wyk.

EP Kings 19 GWK Griquas 27

GWK Griquas got the defence of their Vodacom Cup title off to 27-19 victory (halftime 10-12) over the EP Kings in a Vodacom Cup South Section rugby clash at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

In a match of two halves, EP dominated the first to enjoy the narrow lead at the break while Griquas turned on the pressure in the second to secure a well-deserved win in their opening fixture of this year’s campaign.

Scorers:

EP Kings – Tries: Thembalani Bholi, Kevin Luiters, Jaco Grobler. Conversions: Gary van Aswegen, Scott van Breda.

GWK Griquas – Tries: Carel Greeff, Steph Roberts, Abrie Griesel. Conversions: Gouws Prinsloo (3). Penalty goals: Prinsloo (2).

Cell C Sharks XV 53 Border Bulldogs 0

Sizo Maseko and Stefan Ungerer both scored two tries apiece as the Cell C Sharks XV began their Vodacom Cup campaign with an emphatic 53-0 (18-0) win against the Border Bulldogs in their South Section encounter at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban on Saturday afternoon.

Jaco van Tonder, Khaya Majola and Alcino Izaacs also crossed the whitewash in a seven try to nil affair in cool, but humid conditions on the east coast.

Scorers:

Cell C Sharks XV – Tries: Sizo Maseko (2), Jaco van Tonder, Stefan Ungerer (2), Khaya Majola, Alcino Izaacs. Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (3), Lionel Cronje (3). Penalty goals: Zeilinga (2).

Border Bulldogs – 0

Steval Pumas 52 Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 0

It was one-way traffic for the Steval Pumas in their Vodacom Cup game against the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls as they won their third consecutive match of the season by 52-0 in the Lilian Ngoyi stadium in Secunda on Saturday afternoon.

The Limpopo Blue Bulls had no answer to a Pumas team that attacked from the get go and produced a dominating performance in the first 40 minutes to make the half time score 40-0 in their favour. The match was ended prematurely because of inclement weather.

Scorers:

Steval Pumas – Tries: Marnus Schoeman (2), Ruwellyn Isbell (2), Hennie Skorbinski, Francois du Toit, Lambert Groenewald, Sino Nyoka. Conversions: JC Roos (6).

Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls – 0

Leopards XV 36 Hino Valke 31

The Leopards XV have racked up their second win in this year’s Vodacom Cup competition by beating the Hino Valke 36-31 at Lichtenburg High School in the North West on Saturday afternoon.

An excellent performance in the first half helped the hosts to their victory, the Leopards dominating 24-14 at halftime after producing some impressive rugby.

Scorers:

Leopards XV – Tries: Jaco Hayward, Juan Language, PJ Uys, Vlooi Dreyer, Percy Williams. Conversions: Kobus du Plessis (4). Penalty goals: Du Plessis.

Hino Valke – Tries: Riaan Arends (3), Grant Janke. Conversions: Juan Kotze (4). Penalty goal: Kotze.

Boland Cavaliers 10 DHL Western Province 25

DHL Western Province No 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe scored four tries as his side beat the Boland Cavaliers by 25-10 (halftime 15-7) on Saturday afternoon at the Caledon Sports Ground to start their 2015 Vodacom Cup campaign with a bonus-point victory.

The Cavaliers played with nine graduates from the SARU Boland Academy in their match-day squad.

Notshe scored a brace within the first ten minutes with flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis converting the second effort. WP led 12-0 before captain and lock Gavin Annandale narrowed the gap with his effort and fullback Eric Zana added the extras.

Scorers:

Boland Cavaliers – Try: Gavin Annandale. Conversion: Eric Zana. Penalty goal: Zana.

DHL Western Province – Tries: Sikhumbuzo Notshe (4). Conversion: Jean-Luc Du Plessis. Penalty goal: Du Plessis.

Logs

North Section
Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 Steval Pumas 3 3 0 0 170 25 145 25 3 3 15
2 Xerox Golden Lions 3 3 0 0 108 36 72 15 4 2 14
3 Vodacom Blue Bulls 3 2 0 1 95 62 33 14 7 2 10
4 Leopards XV 3 2 0 1 83 86 -3 12 11 2 10
5 Hino Valke 2 0 0 2 44 73 -29 5 10 2 2
6 Down Touch Griffons 1 0 0 1 18 57 -39 2 8 0 0
7 Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 3 0 0 3 30 105 -75 2 16 0 0
8 FNB Welwitschias 2 0 0 2 10 114 -104 1 17 0 0
South Section
Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 Cell C Sharks XV 1 1 0 0 58 0 58 7 0 1 5
2 DHL Western Province 1 1 0 0 25 10 15 4 1 1 5
3 SWD Eagles 1 1 0 0 33 17 16 3 2 0 4
4 GWK Griquas 1 1 0 0 27 19 8 3 3 0 4
5 EP Kings 1 0 0 1 19 27 -8 3 3 0 0
6 Boland Cavaliers 1 0 0 1 10 25 -15 1 4 0 0
7 Toyota Free State XV 1 0 0 1 17 33 -16 2 3 0 0
8 Border Bulldogs 1 0 0 1 0 58 -58 0 7 0 0

 

Top scorers

 

Player Team Tries Conv Pen Drops Tot
JC Roos Steval Pumas 1 13 1 0 34
Kobus Marais Vodacom Blue Bulls 0 8 3 0 25
Sikhumbuszo Notshe DHL Western Province 4 0 0 0 20
Anton Beswick Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 0 1 6 0 20
Jaun Kotze Hino Valke 0 5 3 0 19
Elric van Vuuren SWD Eagles 0 3 4 0 18
Ashlon Davids Xerox Golden Lions 0 6 2 0 18
Warren Gilbert Leopards XV 1 3 2 0 17
Justin van Staden Steval Pumas 0 8 0 0 16
Marnus Schoeman Steval Pumas 3 0 0 0 15
Ruwellyn Isbell Steval Pumas 3 0 0 0 15
Marcello Sampson Steval Pumas 3 0 0 0 15
Jacobus Hayward Leopards XV 3 0 0 0 15
Ruaan Lerm Xerox Golden Lions 3 0 0 0 15
Riaan Arends Hino Valke 3 0 0 0 15

Vodacom Cup: New loose trio for Blue Bulls

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Vodacom Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais made changes to his loose trio for Friday’s Vodacom Cup clash against the Golden Lions in Johannesburg.

Marais opted for Chris Massyn to replace the injured Roelof Smit and in a straight swop with the Vodacom Bulls gained Hanro Liebenberg in place of Arno Botha, who was called into Vodacom Super Rugby action.

The undefeated Blue Bulls face another side that is unbeaten and according to Marais, even greater intensity is going to be needed.

“We are playing well, but will have to improve in all areas if we want to beat the Golden Lions on their home turf. That said, I believe we are a competitive team and will give good account of ourselves.”

The Vodacom Blue Bulls team is: Ganfried May, Travis Ismaiel, Marquit September, Warrick Gelant, Jamba Ulengo, Kobus Marais, Ivan van Zyl, Jacques Engelbrecht, Hanro Liebenberg, Chris Massyn, Marvin Orie (c), RG Snyman, Basil Short, Arno van Wyk, Hencus van Wyk. Replacements: Jan-Henning Campher, Du Toit Genis, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Nardus van der Walt, Kefentse Mahlo, Kurt Webster, Jade Stighling.

Match details:

Friday, 20 March

Xerox Golden Lions v Vodacom Blue Bulls

Kick-off: 15h00

Venue: Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg

Referee: Quinton Immelman

Vodacom Cup Round 3 Preview

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Teams from the South join the action – Vodacom Cup Round 3 Preview

GWK Griquas will play in the South Section this year and get their defence of the title underway in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. They won the Vodacom Cup for the fifth time last season. Credit: Louis Botha, Gallo Images.
GWK Griquas will play in the South Section this year and get their defence of the title underway in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. They won the Vodacom Cup for the fifth time last season. Credit: Louis Botha, Gallo Images.

Venues as far afield as Secunda, Lichtenburg and Caledon will play host this weekend as the Vodacom Cup picks up speed with action in the South Section getting underway.

The first match in the South Section is on Friday evening is in George, where the SWD Eagles host the Toyota Free State XV.

Three more matches in this section follow on Saturday, one of which will see the defending champions in action when GWK Griquas travel to Port Elizabeth to take on the EP Kings. The other two South Section matches are scheduled for Durban (Cell C Sharks XV v Border Bulldogs) and Caledon (Boland Cavaliers v DHL Western Province).

The biggest match in the North Section is on Friday afternoon when two of the three unbeaten sides, the Xerox Golden Lions and the Vodacom Blue Bulls, square off in Johannesburg.

On Saturday, the action in the north moves to the platteland, more specifically Lichtenburg (Leopards XV v Hino Valke) and Secunda (Steval Pumas v Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls).

The two rising stars featured this week both hail from Boland, were in the wider SA Schools squad in 2012 and played junior rugby in Pretoria before heading to Cape Town and Durban respectively – DHL Western Province prop Wilco Louw and Cell C Sharks XV lock Hyron Andrews.

Rising Star #5 – Wilco Louw (DHL Western Province)

Most props are solid chunks of meat and Wilco Louw is no different.

The DHL Western Province prop, who is in line to make his senior provincial debut on Saturday in Caledon, is 1.85m tall and weighs in at 130kg, making him one of the heaviest players in South Africa.

Louw’s budding career has taken him from Boland via Pretoria to Cape Town. He made the SA Schools side in 2012 before making his mark as junior for the Vodacom Blue Bulls’ U19 and U21 sides in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

Last year Louw made an impression on the national selectors and was rewarded with a spot in the Junior Springboks side to New Zealand, where he featured at tighthead prop in all five of their matches.

The 20-year-old was born in Ceres and finished his schooling at Drostdy Technical High School in Worcester and was lured back to the Western Cape at the end of last season and is another in a long line of very promising young props in the DHL Western Province stable, including Springbok Frans Malherbe, Steven Kitshoff and Oli Kebble.

Louw made his Vodacom Super Rugby debut as a replacement for the DHL Stormers in the first round earlier this year and brings raw power and tenacity to the DHL Western Province side and will no doubt be a tough customer to deal with come scrum time.

Rising Star #6 – Hyron Andrews (Cell C Sharks XV)

Cell C Sharks XV lock Hyron Andrews is another member of the 2012 wider SA Schools squad who is in line for a senior provincial debut this weekend.

The 19-year-old Andrews, a string bean at 2.02m tall and 104kg, moved to Pretoria when still at school and quickly established himself as a genuine prospect, representing the Vodacom Blue Bulls’ at U16 and U18 levels before his elevation to the SA Schools team in 2012.

Last year the Paarl-born lock, who matriculated at Hoërskool Garsfontein in Pretoria and was a member of SARU’s U16 High Performance squad in 2011, moved down to Durban where he joined the Sharks Academy and was a stalwart of the Cell C Sharks U19s who reached the semi-finals of the Absa U19 Provincial series.

He worked hard in 2014 to improve his power and gain weight, which he did successfully without losing any of his speed or agility.

Andrews, a lock in the Victor Matfield-mould who trained with the Cell C Sharks’ Vodacom Super Rugby squad at the end of last season, is still eligible to play for the Junior Springboks this year and a number of strong performances in the Vodacom Cup are sure to put him on the radar of the national selectors.

Round 3 fixtures:

Friday, 20 March

Xerox Golden Lions v Vodacom Blue Bulls

Kick-off: 15h00

Venue: Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg

Referee: Quinton Immelman

SWD Eagles v Toyota Free State XV

Kick-off: 19h00

Venue: Outeniqua Park, George

Referee: Rodney Boneparte

Saturday, 21 March

Leopards XV v Hino Valke

Kick-off: 14h30

Venue: Lichtenburg High School, Lichtenburg

Referee: Francois Pretorius

EP Kings v GWK Griquas

Kick-off: 15h30

Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth

Referee: Tahla Ntshakaza

Cell C Sharks XV v Border Bulldogs

Kick-off: 15h30

Venue: Growthpoint Kings Park, Durban

Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni

Steval Pumas v Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls

Kick-off: 16h00

Venue: Secunda

Referee: Archie Sehlako

Boland Cavaliers v DHL Western Province

Kick-off: 16h30

Venue: Caledon

Referee: Jaco Pretorius

Vodacom Cup – Steval Pumas go top of the log

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The Steval Pumas, Xerox Golden Lions and Vodacom Blue Bulls all recorded good victories in the second round of the Vodacom Cup this weekend.

Vodacom_Cup_Logo_2011

These three teams from the North Section are tied on 10 log points at the top of the standings, with the side from the Lowveld in first position because of a better points’ difference.

There were only three matches in this round. The action in the South Section will kick off next weekend.

Match reports (full report available by clicking on the score):

Vodacom Blue Bulls 46 Leopards XV 25

The Vodacom Blue Bulls scored seven tries to beat the Leopards XV 46-25 in their Vodacom Cup North Section encounter at Loftus B on Friday. The home team led by 29-22 at halftime.

The visitors started the stronger of the two, racing to an 8-0 lead within the opening minutes. Warren Gilbert scored the first try of the match for the Leopards XV after they ran from their 22. He converted his try and that of Jaco Hayward who broke clean through the Bulls defensive line.

The Vodacom Blue Bulls hit back with tries from Arno van Wyk, captain Marvin Orie and Travis Ismaiel though and took the lead by 19-17 lead after 20 minutes.

Scorers:

Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Arno van Wyk, Marvin Orie, Travis Ismaiel, Arno Botha, Marquit September, Jade Stighling, Nardus van der Walt. Conversions: Kobus Marais (4). Penalties: Marais.

Leopards XV – Tries: Warren Gilbert, Jaco Hayward, George Tossel. Conversions: Gilbert (2). Penalties: Gilbert (2).

Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 21 Xerox Golden Lions 31

The Xerox Golden Lions held off a strong second-half performance from the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls on their way to a 31-21 (halftime 17-6) win in their Vodacom Cup North Section match at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Friday evening.

The young Xerox Golden Lions team, made up of Under-21 players, scored four tries to complete a bonus-point win but they were made to work hard for their victory by a Limpopo team that trailed by just three points with 10 minutes to play.

Scorers:

Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls – Tries: Peet Vorster, Fanie Raseroka. Conversion: Anton Beswick. Penalties: Beswick (3).

Xerox Golden Lions – Tries: Malcolm Marx, Thabo Mabuza, Cyle Brink, Christiaan Meyer. Conversions: Warren Potgieter (4). Penalties: Potgieter.

FNB Welwitschias 7 Steval Pumas 61

The Steval Pumas are the frontrunners in the North Section of the Vodacom Cup after racking up an impressive 61-7 win over the FNB Welwitschias in Windhoek on Friday evening. The visitors from the Lowveld scored eight tries and were awarded a penalty try in their big win at the Hage Geingob Stadium.

After two rounds, the side captained by lock Eduan van der Walt are log leaders on points’ difference ahead of the Xerox Golden Lions and the Vodacom Blue Bulls – who all have the maximum of 10 league points.

Scorers:

FNB Welwitschias – Try: Jacques Nell. Conversion: Shaun Kaizemi.

Steval Pumas – Tries: Jason Fraser, Heinrich Steyl (2), Rudi Mathee, Marcello Sampson (2), Ruwellyn Isbell, Wilmaure Louw, Penalty try. Conversions: Justin van Staden (7), JC Roos.

Logs

Note: The South Section kicks off next weekend.

North Section

Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 Steval Pumas 2 2 0 0 118 25 93 17 3 2 10
2 Xerox Golden Lions 2 2 0 0 84 24 60 12 2 2 10
3 Vodacom Blue Bulls 2 2 0 0 83 38 45 12 4 2 10
4 Leopards XV 2 1 0 1 47 55 -8 7 7 1 5
5 Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 2 0 0 2 30 53 -23 2 8 0 0
6 Hino Valke 1 0 0 1 13 37 -24 1 5 0 0
7 Down Touch Griffons 1 0 0 1 18 57 -39 2 8 0 0
8 FNB Welwitschias 2 0 0 2 10 114 -104 1 17 0 0

 

Top scorers

 

Player Team Tries Conv Pen Drops Tot
Kobus Marais Vodacom Blue Bulls 0 7 3 0 23
JC Roos Steval Pumas 1 7 1 0 22
Anton Beswick Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 0 1 6 0 20
Warren Gilbert Leopards XV 1 3 2 0 17
Justin van Staden Steval Pumas 0 8 0 0 16
Marcello Sampson Steval Pumas 3 0 0 0 15
Ruaan Lerm Xerox Golden Lions 3 0 0 0 15
Warren Potgieter Xerox Golden Lions 0 4 1 0 11
Brian Shabangu Steval Pumas 2 0 0 0 10
Wilmaure Louw Steval Pumas 2 0 0 0 10
Stephan de Wit Xerox Golden Lions 2 0 0 0 10
Bobby De Wee Xerox Golden Lions 2 0 0 0 10
Jacobus Hayward Leopards XV 2 0 0 0 10
Travis Ismaiel Vodacom Blue Bulls 2 0 0 0 10
Arno van Wyk Vodacom Blue Bulls 2 0 0 0 10
Heinrich Steyl Steval Pumas 2 0 0 0 10

Vodacom Cup start with plenty of tries

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Vodacom_Cup_Logo_2011

No fewer than 24 tries were scored in the first four matches of the Vodacom Cup in 2015, with big wins for the Xerox Golden Lions, Steval Pumas, Vodacom Blue Bulls and Leopards XV.

Hino Valke 13 Vodacom Blue Bulls 37

The Vodacom Blue Bulls got their Vodacom Cup campaign off to a great start with a 37-13 win (half-time 17-6) over the Hino Valke at Kempton Park on Friday.

The visitors scored five tries to one, but their errors, lack of execution and creaking scrum cost them a more emphatic win. Still, they will be satisfied with their bonus point, with room for improvement.

Scorers:

Hino Valke – Try: Andrew van Wyk. Conversion: Juan Kotze. Penalty goals: Kotze (2).

Vodacom Blue Bulls – Tries: Travis Ismaiel, Roelof Smit, Warrick Gelant, Marquit September, Arno van Wyk. Conversions: Kobus Marais (3). Penalty goals: Marais (2).

FNB Welwitschias 3 Xerox Golden Lions 53

Xerox Golden Lions No 8 Ruaan Lerm was deservedly named man of the match for his hat-trick of tries during his side’s 53-3 win over Namibia’s FNB Welwitschias in the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek on Friday night.

The Golden Lions, last year’s beaten finalists, opened their 2015 campaign with a convincing win over the Namibians who are returning to the Vodacom Cup in a bid to prepare their locally based club players to a higher level of competition ahead of the World Cup starting in September.

Scorers:

FNB Welwitschias – Penalty goal: Johann Tromp.

Xerox Golden Lions – Tries: Ruaan Lerm (3), Stephan de Wit, Bobby de Wee, Damian Engledoe, Alwyn Hollenbach (2). Conversions: Ashlon Davids (3), Engledoe (2). Penalty goal: Davids.

Steval Pumas 57 Down Touch Griffons 18

The Steval Pumas opened their 2015 Vodacom Cup campaign with an emphatic win of 57-18 over the Down Touch Griffons in the Mbombela Stadium on Friday evening.

The hosts ran in no less than eight tries on the day, with flanker Brian Shabangu bagging two five-pointers for the Pumas and flyhalf JC Roos contributing an impressive 20 points in his side’s victory.

Scorers:

Steval Pumas – Tries: Bernardo Botha, Wilmaure Louw, Stefan Watermeyer, JC Roos, Brian Shabangu (2), Marchello Sampson, Marnus Schoeman. Conversions: Roos (6), Justin van Staden. Penalty goal: Roos.

Down Touch Griffons – Tries: Vuyo Mboto, Johan van der Hoogt. Conversion: Wynand Pienaar. Penalty goals: Louis Strydom (2).

Leopards XV 22 Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 9

The Leopards XV have recorded their first victory in this year’s Vodacom Cup competition by beating the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 22-9 in their encounter at Profert Olen Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Leopards ran in four tries for the bonus point, while the Limpopo-based side could only manage three penalties, but they are nowhere near the whipping boys they were in the past.

Scorers:

Leopards XV – Tries: Alvino Montjies, Stephan Bezuidenhout, Jacobus Hayward, Sergio Torrens. Conversion: Warren Gilbert.

Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls – Penalty goals: Anton Beswick (3).

Logs

North Section

Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA BPts Pts
1 Xerox Golden Lions 1 1 0 0 53 3 50 8 0 1 5
2 Steval Pumas 1 1 0 0 57 18 39 8 2 1 5
3 Vodacom Blue Bulls 1 1 0 0 37 13 24 5 1 1 5
4 Leopards XV 1 1 0 0 22 9 13 4 0 1 5
5 Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 1 0 0 1 9 22 -13 0 4 0 0
6 Hino Valke 1 0 0 1 13 37 -24 1 5 0 0
7 Down Touch Griffons 1 0 0 1 18 57 -39 2 8 0 0
8 FNB Welwitschias 1 0 0 1 3 53 -50 0 8 0 0

Top scorers

Player Team Tries Conv Pen Drops Tot
JC Roos Steval Pumas 1 6 1 0 20
Ruaan Lerm Xerox Golden Lions 3 0 0 0 15
Kobus Marais Vodacom Blue Bulls 0 3 2 0 12
Brian Shabangu Steval Pumas 2 0 0 0 10
Alwyn Hollenbach Xerox Golden Lions 2 0 0 0 10
Damian Engledoe Xerox Golden Lions 1 2 0 0 9
Anton Beswick Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls 0 0 3 0 9
Ashlon Davids Xerox Golden Lions 0 3 1 0 9
Jaun Kotze Hino Valke 0 1 2 0 8
Louis Strydom Down Touch Griffons 0 0 2 0 6

FNB Welwitschias to take on Lions in Vodacom Cup

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Experienced international Darryl De La Harpe will lead the FNB Welwitschias in Friday evening’s Vodacom Cup match against the Xerox Golden Lions in Windhoek.

Vodacom_Cup_Logo_2011

 

De La Harpe on Wednesday was named as captain of the side that includes no fewer than 13 players who have been capped for Namibia. The team also features the inclusion of two members of Namibia’s under twenty group, flyhalf Henrique Olivier and outside centre Lesley Klim.

Welwitschias coach Henry Kemp said the team was selected with the focus on the development of Namibia based players “It will be a baptism of fire for those members of the team who have not played at a higher level but we are confident that they will make the step-up as we are looking to increase the depth of our player pool ahead of the Rugby World Cup later this year, “

Kemp, a former Bulls hooker and ex Namibian international Roger Thompson, assistant coaches of the senior national side, will guide the Welwitschias in the Vodacom Cup this year.

The side will be known as the FNB Welwitschias and will play all their matches in Windhoek. After extensive trials a group of 32 players were named last week from which the match 22 was selected. Kemp said they had their work cut out getting the group to function as a unit “We had six weeks to prepare and it took a lot of hard work to establish the system and game plan.

Some players were used to functioning as individuals and getting them used to a team environment was the major focus of this period.”

The NRU’s technical advisers, former Welsh internationals Phil Davies and Wayne Proctor, have also assisted with the team’s preparation for the match against the Xerox Golden Lions. “ Phil and Wayne were incredible in the manner in which they assisted us with technical analysis, fitness and training as well as game plan preparation. Their experience and insight has been invaluable for us as coaches and players.” said Kemp

The FNB Welwitschias have been drawn in the Northern Section of the Vodacom Cup along with the Limpopo Bulls, the Griffons, Valke, Leopards, Pumas, Blue Bulls and Golden Lions. All 7 matches will be staged at the Hage Geingob Stadium in the Namibian capital.

Namibia’s national broadcaster, the NBC has also announced that Friday evening’s match will be televised live at 19:00 on NBC 3, with a replay of the match on NBC later in the evening.

B4331B19-47D0-4711-8CAB-B9B1BF9C0C60[6]

The FNB Welwitschias team to play the Xerox Golden Lions ( * denotes capped player )

  1. Russell van Wyk.

14.Phillip Nashikaku

13.Lesley Klim

  1. Darryl de la Harpe * (Capt)
  1. Johann Tromp *
  1. Henrique Olivier
  1. Arthur Bouwer *
  1. Zana Botes
  1. Stef Botha *
  1. Thomasau Forbes *
  1. Morné Blom *
  1. Ulrich Engels
  1. Andries Rousseau.
  1. Rathony Becker *
  1. Quintin Esterhuizen * (vice-captain)

Replacements : DG Wiese *, Jaco Engels *, Muniovita Kasiringua *, Morton van Kradenburg, Eneill Buitendag *, Shawn Kaizemi *, Justin Nel *.

 FNB Welwitschia group for Vodacom Cup

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The Namibia Rugby Union, through Vice President: Rugby, Mr Corrie Mensah, announced a group of 32 players who will form the group from which the FNB Welwitschia team will be selected for the upcoming seven matches in the Vodacom Cup.

Since January a group of 55 players have trained to prepare themselves for the final practise match which took place last Saturday, 21 February from which the final 32 players were selected. All players underwent a medical screening and a number of players could not be included in the group of 32 due to being on rehabilitation. These players are Nico Esterhuysen (lock), Thinus du Plessis (loose forward), Victor Rodrique (Giggs) (loose forward).

This group is not a closed group for the Vodacom Cup period, and coaches can still select players who are impressing in the club league to form part of the group during the competition. Players playing for their clubs are therefor encouraged by the union officials and coaches to play every match at club level as if it is trials. Opportunities come quickly and those who are ready and take the opportunity, will be rewarded.

The purpose of the Vodacom Cup is to give our local players gametime at a high level in preparation for the RWC in September. The competition also serves as an opportunity to develop our local players and those who stand out during the Vodacom Cup will give strong signals to national head coach, Danie Vermeulen to be included in his team for the Nations Cup in June in Romania. Players doing well on this tour and fitting into the culture of the Namibian team then have a chance to proof themselves in August against the Vodacom Bulls, Kenya and Zimbabwe. There is thus a good pathway for players to develop and prove themselves to be included in the RWC team.

The union technical advisors, Phil Davies and Wayne Proctor from Wales also arrived on Monday and have been working with the coaching team and the players for the week. They will return back to the UK on 20 March, which means they will be working with the team for almost 4 weeks, inlcuding the first two matches.

The Vodacom Cup kicks off for the FNB Welwitschias against the Golden Lions on Friday, 6 March at 19:00 at the Hage Geingob Stadium. Entrance for main stand is N$60, open stand is N$30 and scholars pay N$10. Children not yet in school can enter for free. FNB and the NRU guarantee an evening filled with excitement for the whole family. There will be a safe children area, hospitality areas, crowd activation and halftime activities to engage to crowd. Namibia’s got rugby on the brain, come support our boys.

Pukke wins at home

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FNB NWU-Pukke claimed a 36-26 victory over FNB NMMU-Madibaz in the opening match of the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff international at the Fanie du Toit Stadium in Potchefstroom.

Five yellow cards and a red card took the edge off what was a thrilling try-fest as the momentum of the match changed hands with regularity.

NWU-Pukke dominated the early exchanges and spent most of the opening 10 minutes of the match inside Madibaz territory but were left frustrated by a resolute defence.

Their persistence was rewarded in the 13th minute when Rhyno Smith showed a clean pair of heels and a vicious hand-off to break through the Madibaz defence and get the first five pointer of the match. Johnny Welthagen missed the conversion attempt as Pukke led 5-0 after 15 minutes.

It would soon be 10-0 to Pukke when Rowayne Beukman broke through four tackles to cross the line in the 18th minute as Pukke’s confidence started to grow.

NMMU were reduced to 14 men in the 28th minute when Brian Skosana saw yellow for repeated infringements at the breakdown, and was soon followed by Loftus Morrison in the 32nd minute for not retreating 10 metres after the Madibaz took a quick tap-penalty.

The Madibaz started gaining momentum and found their reward in the 37th minute when captain CJ Velleman crashed over the try line. The conversion was missed and Pukke held a 10-5 lead. The home side would have the final say in the final minute of the half when they set a driving maul, from a five metre line-out, and bulldozed their way through the Madibaz pack for captain Jeandre Rudolph to score his side’s third try of the match.

A change in place-kicker would reap no reward for the home side as they took a 15-5 lead into the halftime break.

Madibaz emerged from the break with renewed vigour and reduced the deficit to two points in the 51st minute when Skosana rounded off a Madibaz attack after Ruan Allerston had sent Andisa Ntsila through a hole, who then found Skosana, who sprinted his way under the poles. Ruan Allerston made no mistake with the conversion.

Pukke hit back straight away when Dalen Goliath scored in the corner to hand the home side a bonus point try in the 55th minute. Rhyno Smith slotted Pukke’s first conversion to restore their 10-point lead with the score sitting at 23-13.

The deficit was once again reduced to two points when Tythan Adams crossed the try line for the Madibaz in the 59th minute, with Allerston slotting his second conversion of the match. Pukke led 23-21 after 60 minutes.

The Madibaz took the lead for the first time in the match in the 70th minute when Yamkela Ngam showed his pace to burst through the Pukke defence to hand the Madibaz their bonus point and a 26-23 lead.

Skosana would go from hero to villain in the 72nd minute when he received a second yellow card in the 72nd minute after he was penalised for not ensuring the safety of the defending player under a high ball. The home side would immediately capitalise on having the extra man when Dean Stokes crossed the line in the 73rd minute to hand Pukke a 28-26 lead.

The home side were awarded a penalty try in the 80th minute after Andisa Ntsila was penalised, and subsequently sent to the sin bin, for collapsing the maul two metres from his try line. Smith slotted the conversion as Pukke opened their account with a 36-26 victory.

FNB Player that Rocks: Rhyno Smith

Scorers:

For NWU-Pukke:

Tries: Smith, Beukman, Rudolph, Goliath, Stokes, Penalty try

Cons: Smith 2

For NMMU-Madibaz:

Tries: Velleman, Skosana, Adams, Ngam

Cons: Allerston 2

Yellow cards: Brian Skosana (NMMU, 28 – repeated breakdown infringements), Loftus Morrison (Pukke, 32 – not retreating 10 metres), Johnny  Welthagen (Pukke, 57 – late tackle), Brian Skosana (NMMU, 72 – not ensuring the safety of defender under the high ball), Andisa Ntsila (NMMU, 80 – collapsing a maul)

Red Card: Brian Skosana (NMMU, 72 – second yellow card)

For more Varsity News go to www.varsitycup.co.za

Sixteen teams to fight for Vodacom Cup

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Sixteen teams, split into two sections of eight each, will contest the 2015 Vodacom Cup, with defending champions GWK Griquas heading up a strong South Section and the Welwitschias from Namibia back in the competition.

Vodacom_Cup_Logo_2011

Joining the five-time champions from Kimberley in the South Section will be winners in 2012, DHL Western Province, as well as the Boland Cavaliers, Border Bulldogs, Cell C Sharks XV, EP Kings, SWD Eagles and Toyota Free State XV.

The Xerox Golden Lions, runners up last year and champions in 2013, are in the North Section with the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls, Down Touch Griffons, Leopards XV, Steval Pumas, Valke, Vodacom Blue Bulls and Welwitschias from Namibia.

It will be the Namibians’ first season back in the Vodacom Cup since they last took part in 2011. By special arrangement and agreement, all seven their pool matches will be played in Windhoek.

The Tusker Simba XV from Kenya, due to participate for a second season in the Vodacom Cup, have withdrawn from the competition at short notice. GWK Griquas agreed to move to the South Section as a result of Kenya’s withdrawal.

“It’s a pity that Kenya decided to withdraw, but we respect their decision,” said SARU CEO Jurie Roux, “and at the same time it’s very exciting to welcome our neighbours from Namibia back into the competition.

“We have a mandate to help improve and develop the game in Africa and with the Welwitschias back in the Vodacom Cup I’m sure it will add impetus to Namibia’s preparations for the Rugby World Cup later this year.”

The pool matches will be contested within the two sections. The quarter-finals will be cross-section, with the top two teams from each section hosting the third and fourth sides from the other section in the first knock-out round.

“The format of the Vodacom Cup is unchanged from last year and I’m sure it will yet again deliver hard-fought and exciting rugby,” said Roux.

“We’re excited to see which rising stars will come through the competition this year. In 2014, ‘Oupa’ Mohoje played in the Vodacom Cup three months before he made his Springbok debut, while a host of our Junior Springboks also came through the ranks in Vodacom Cup.”

The Vodacom Cup kicks off on the weekend 6/7 March with the final scheduled for the end of May.

Vodacom Cup 2015

North Section

Vodacom Blue Bulls

Xerox Golden Lions

Down Touch Griffons

Leopards XV

Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls

Steval Pumas

Valke

Welwitschias

South Section

Boland Cavaliers

Border Bulldogs

EP Kings

Toyota Free State XV

GWK Griquas

Cell C Sharks XV

SWD Eagles

DHL Western Province

Kings announce Vodacom Cup Squad

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Kings-Rugby

The EP Kings have announced a 38 man squad today as preparations step up a gear for the EP Kings 2015 Vodacom Cup campaign.

Notable new additions among the squad are Cornell Hess and Dylan Frylinck, who have both secured contracts for the Vodacom Cup season following trials earlier this month, as well as Vukile Sofisa and Sphu Msuthwana who move up from last year’s U21 squad and CJ Velleman, who captained the U19 squad last year.

Also named in the squad are new signings Tazz Fuzani, Jan Uys, Eital Bredenkamp and Tony Jantjies.

Injured players who are not expected to be available for the Vodacom Cup competition include Darron Nell (neck), Charl du Plessis (neck), Dwayne Jenner (ACL) and Samora Fihlani (Knee).

Vodacom Cup Head Coach, Mzwandile Stick said he was happy with the condition of the players, saying they had worked hard during the off season and in pre-season training.

“We have a great group of players, with a good combination of both senior and young up and coming talent,” he said.

Stick said the focus was now on introducing more rugby specific elements to the training sessions, and developing the game plan for the campaign.

“We will also be working hard to maintain the fitness of the players and getting their skills level up ahead of the competition,” he said.

Stick said he was confident ahead of the Vodacom Cup, but would be taking the competition one game at a time.

“We have the best possible players to select from, including all those who played Currie Cup Premier Division last year, so we are very confident going into this competition, we want to win it,” he said.

“We want to build on last year and get the players’ confidence up ahead of the Currie Cup season this year,” Stick said.

The Squad is:

Forwards: Charles Marais, Vukile Sofisa, Lizo Gqoboka, Michael van Vuuren, Martin Ferreira, Edgar Marutlulle, Simon Kerrod, Tom Botha, CJ van der Linde, David Bulbring, Cornell Hess, Cameron Lindsay, Tazz Fuzani, Jan Uys, Shaun McDonald, Eital Bredenkamp, CJ Velleman, Thembelani Bholi, Paul Schoeman, Stefan Willemse, Tim Agaba, Aidon Davis, Luke Watson.

Backs: Kevin Luiters, Dylan Frylinck, Jaco Grobler, Gary van Aswegen, Tony Jantjies, George Whitehead, Siyanda Grey, Marlou van Niekerk, Sphu Msuthwana, Shane Gates, Tim Whitehead, Ronnie Cooke, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Scott van Breda, Hansie Graaff.

GWK Griquas Champions again

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GWK Griquas have been crowned Vodacom Cup champions for 2014 after beating the Golden Lions comprehensively by 30-6 in the final at GWK Park in Kimberley on Saturday evening.

The Peacock Blues have now drawn level with the Lions with regards to titles, with both sides claiming the cup a record five times. The Lions came into the game as the underdogs and in the end were completely dominated by the Northern Cape based side.

The Lions started well and came into some points within the first two minutes with fly half Willie du Plessis slotting a easy penalty to put his side on the score board. Griquas answered back shortly thereafter with a drop goal by fly half Francois Brummer, much like the one he slotted last weekend against the Steval Pumas in the Mbombela stadium in Nelspruit.

Du Plessis got another couple of shots at goal but missed twice. He was successful with a drop goal however and opened up the lead to three points after the Lions did well to stay in Griquas half. It was never going to be a high scoring affair in the final, and Griquas full back Gouws Prinsloo slotted his first penalty of the evening to draw the scores level at 6 points a piece.

Prinsloo got another penalty shot in the 33rd minute to give the hosts the lead, which they stretched to 10 points after some good pressure and a try by Brummer. Prinsloo converted to make the score 16-6 in favour of the Peacock Blues, which would also be the halftime score.

Griquas started the second half with an immense effort, putting much pressure on the Lions with some good defence and clever attacking play. The result was two converted tries in the second stanza, while the Lions couldn’t manage to add a single point to their total.

First it was replacement winger Danie Dames that went over in the corner after some good pressure was applied by the hosts, with Prinsloo converting. Then flanker Marnus Schoeman got his try after he played a good game. He burst over shortly before fulltime and Prinsloo converted to help give his side a comprehensive victory.

POINTS SCORERS

GWK GRIQUAS 30 (16): Tries: Francois Brummer, Danie Dames, Marnus Schoeman. Conversions: Gouws Prinsloo (3). Penalties: Gouws Prinsloo (2). Drop goal: Francois Brummer.

GOLDEN LIONS 6 (6): Penalty: Willie du Plessis. Drop goal: Willie du Plessis.

VC:Griquas 30(16), Golden Lions 6(6)

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The two biggest ‘dogs’ in the history of the Vodacom Cup, the Golden Lions and Griquas, take on each other in Kimberley on Friday in the grand finale of the competition in 2014.

Vodacom-Cup-Final-2014

Between these two sides they have won the Vodacom Cup nine times since its inception in 1998. That means more than half of all the titles have gone either to Johannesburg or Kimberley.

It’s the Lions’ second visit to Kimberley this year. They lost their Round Five encounter 18-33.

This will also be the third time these two sides face each other in the final of the Vodacom Cup.

Both previous finals ended in complete blow-outs – in 1998 Griquas won 57-0 and a year later, in 1999, they were smashed by the Golden Lions, 73-7.

Griquas coach Peter Engledow has two players in his match-22 who were part of the Griquas team which last won the title in 2009.

They are Steph Roberts (prop) and Simon Westraadt (replacement hooker).

Four more members of the Griquas squad have been part of Vodacom Cup-winning teams. They are Francois Brummer (flyhalf) and Rocco Jansen (wing), both with the Blue Bulls, as well as the former WP duo of Ederies Arendse (wing) and Hilton Lobberts (lock).

In Johannesburg, Lions coach Russell Winter has selected two players who were part of their title-winning side last year in Hugo Kloppers (lock) and Michael Bondesio (replacement scrumhalf).

Vainon Willis (fullback) was a member of the Blue Bulls team which won the competition in 2010, when Brummer kicked a last-gasp drop-goal in Pretoria.

Only seven teams have won the Vodacom Cup – the Golden Lions (five times) Griquas (four), the Blue Bulls (three), Western Province, Free State XV, Falcons and Pampas XV (once each).

Vodacom Cup Final

Griquas v Golden Lions
Date: Friday, May 16 2013
Venue: Park, Kimberley
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe and Francois de Bruin
TMO: JJ Wagner

The teams:

Griquas: 15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Jonathan Francke, 12 Wayne Stevens (captain), 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Burger Schoeman, 7 Jaco Nepgen, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Hilton Lobberts, 4 Jonathan Adendorf, 3 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Janro Van Niekerk, 18 Stephan Greeff, 19 RJ Liebenberg, 20 Dustin Jinka, 21 Howard Mnisi, 22 Danie Dames.

Golden Lions: 15 Vainon Willis, 14 JR Esterhuizen, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Selom Gavor, 10 Willie du Plessis, 9 Ricky Schroeder (captain), 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Stephan de Witt, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Thabo Mamojele, 3 Charles Marais, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Mark Pretorius, 17 Nico du Plessis, 18 Lourens Erasmus, 19 Thabo Mabuza, 20 Michael Bondesio, 21 Marais Schmidt, 22 Caswell Khoza.

Vodacom Cup Final returns to roots

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vodacom cup

The Vodacom Cup Final will return to the venue where it was first contested between the same two sides 16 years ago when the GWK Griquas and the Golden Lions face each other in Kimberley on Friday.

It will be only the third time the two most successful sides in the history of the competition meet in the final.

The sides first met each other in 1998 where Griquas claimed a 57-0 victory over the Lions and the following year the Lions dished a generous dollop of revenge when they won the 1999 Vodacom Cup title with a 73-7 victory in Johannesburg.

Since then the Lions have claimed the title on five occasions, most recently, last year’s 42-28 away victory over the Steval Pumas in Nelspruit.

Griquas, with four Vodacom Cup titles behind their name, will fancy their chances of equalling the Lions playing host in Kimberley.

The Lions will be travelling from the City of Gold to Kimberley where they will be prospecting for Vodacom Cup silverware.

However, Vodacom Cup history suggested that the luck of the draw favoured the home side as 12 out the 16 finals were won by the hosts.

Of the four matches won by the visitors, the Lions came out on top twice, while Western Province and Griquas have gone against the trend once each.

Both semi-finals over the past weekend saw the winners qualifying for the final with a single point separating the victor from the loser.

The Lions booked their place for their seventh Vodacom Cup final with a nail biting 16-15 victory over three-time champions, the Blue Bulls  at home in Pretoria.

The other semi-final between Griquas and the Pumas also went down to the wire when a last-minute Gouws Prinsloo penalty goal ensured his side their eighth final with a 15-14 victory.

Steval Pumas 13, DHL WP 8

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vodacom cup

Any slip-ups this weekend will be punished with elimination, when the Vodacom Cup quarterfinals take place in Nelspruit, Durban, Bloemfontein and Kimberley on Friday and Saturday.

Of the eight teams in the quarterfinals, six are back from 2013, while two – the SWD Eagles and Free State XV – did not make it to the play-offs last year. In fact, the Eagles are in the quarterfinals for only the second time since the Vodacom Cup started in 1998. They made the top eight in 2009 and also played in the semifinals in the inaugural season of this competition.

And for the Sharks XV, Pumas, Western Province, Blue Bulls, Griquas and Golden Lions, this will be the fourth consecutive season that they have reached the Vodacom Cup quarterfinals. The first match of the weekend is a replay of one of the 2013 quarterfinals.

The Pumas finished the pool phase of the competition as the only unbeaten team and deservedly topped the North Section log. They host Western Province, champions in 2012, in the second quarterfinal, at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Friday. Western Province also saw the red flag raised last weekend when they went down to the SWD Eagles in George.

It was only the Capetonians’ second defeat of the season and they will travel to Nelspruit knowing full well a similar performance will see them eliminated from the competition.

Pumas Team: 15. JW Bell 14. Trompie Pretorius 13. Wilmaure Louw 12. Hennie Skorbinski 11. Ruwellyn Isbell 10. JC Roos 9. Snake Nyoka 8. Renaldo Bothma 7. Uzair Cassiem 6. Corne Steenkamp (c) 5. Marius Coetzer 4. Giant Mtyanda 3. De-Jay 2. Jacques Momberg 1. Vincent Koch

Replacements: 16. Frankie Hearne 17. Sabelo Nhlapo 18. RW Kember 19. Jaco Bouwer 20. Reynier Van Rooyen 21. Coenie Van Wyk 22. Marcello Sampson

WP Team: 15. Devon Williams 14. JP Lewis 13. Johnny Kotze 12. Michael van der Spuy 11. Lihleli Xoli 10. Gary van Aswegen 9. Dylon Frylinck 8. Rayn Smid 7. Sikhumbuzo Notshe 6. Rohan Kitshoff (captain) 5. Jan de Klerk 4. Tazz Fuzani 3. Entienne Swanepoel 2. Neil Rautenbach 1. Alistair Vermaak

Replacements: 16. Michael Willemse 17. Sti Sithole 18. Deacon Chowles 19. Jan Uys 20. Eital Bredenkamp 21. Jean Nel 22. Robert du Preez

Vodacom Cup Wrap of the weekend

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vodacom cup

Vodacom Cup is in full swing and here is the weekends results.

Friday, April 11

Border Bulldogs 26-40 SWD Eagles

The South Western Districts Eagles soared majestically to a 40-26 triumph over the home team, the Border Bulldogs, in a Vodacom Cup match at the Buffalo City Stadium in East London on Friday. The Bulldogs, who were playing their final home Cup match of the season, really had no chance of forcing a win in the match.

The outstanding player on the field was SWD Eagles centre Alshaun Bock, who scored four tries and on three occasions simply waltzed through the Bulldogs’ defence, without a finger laid on him, confirming their weaknesses in defence.

Bulldogs’ fullback Siphosenkosi Nofemele was one of the few home players to shine. He attacked well and managed to score his side’s first try with an excellent break and run from about 40 metres out early in the first half.

Another to catch the eye was reserve scrumhalf Bangihlombe Kobese, who replaced regular scrumhalf Mario Noordman five minutes before half-time and scored two conversions and had a good game with some excellent strategic kicking.
Griquas 64-34 Falcons

Griquas barely raised a sweat in beating the Valke 64-34 in their Vodacom Cup encounter at GWK Park on Friday afternoon. The result means that the Peacock Blues have moved into second place on the log in the Northern Section, pending Saturday’s encounter between the Pumas and Leopards XV. The Valke started with a bang, showing that their first half performance against the Golden Lions a couple of weeks ago was no fluke. The visitors scored the first try of the game, with prop Peet Vorster going over as early as the third minute with fly half Wayne Gardner converting.

The Valke again started the better of the two sides in the second half, with winger Sandile Ngcobo going over in the 47th minute for his first try of the afternoon. Again that sparked the hosts into action, with locks Jonathan Adendorf and Ligtoring Landman both crossing the white wash in the space of four minutes.

They did however deliver some enthusiastic play that resulted in tries for lock Shane Kirkwood and replacement Anrich Richter. Griquas finished on a high though, with replacement scrum half Dustin Jinka and winger Arendse again going over to give the hosts a convincing victory.

Griffons 10-49 Blue Bulls

The Blue Bulls have moved to the top of the log in the Northern Section of the Vodacom Cup after beating the Griffons 49-10 in the two sides encounter in the North West stadium on Friday evening. The Bulls, who are out in front pending the Pumas game against the Leopards XV on Saturday, enjoyed a steady lead of 25-10 at halftime and snubbed the hosts of any points in the second half to not only beat the Welkom based side comprehensively, but also earning a bonus point for four or more tries in the process.

The final ten minutes before fulltime the Bulls showed that they still had some grunt left with prop Van Wyk earning his second five pointer of the evening before Bulls centre Burger Odendaal rouned of a well deserved five pointer to put the Griffons to the sword
Eastern Province Kings 28-21 Boland Cavaliers

The Eastern Province Kings took advantage of their forward dominance to beat the Regent Boland Cavaliers 28-21 (halftime 10-8) in their Vodacom Cup rugby match at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, in Port Elizabeth, on Friday. It was a tough battle of the also-rans and one in which the Kings took control largely in the second half as their pack scrummed Boland into the ground.

The victory broke a three-match losing streak for the Kings but it was still not good enough to help them qualify for the quarterfinals, a milestone which is beyond their reach. The flyhalves traded penalties to open the scoring with Boland’s Christiaan Rust slotting an attempt in the eighth minutes and the Kings’ Ntabeni Dukisa levelling matters 10 minutes later.

The Cavaliers were dealt a blow shortly after the half hour, when tighthead prop Martin Dreyer received a yellow card for collapsing the scrum. That disrupted the Cavaliers scrum and the Kings took advantage of their numerical numbers in that department forcing a penalty try in the 38th minute which Dukisa converted just before the break.

The Kings wore Boland down up front and eventually sealed the win as replacement Siphe Punguzwa dotted down with a minute left on the stadium clock.

Saturday, April 12

Tusker Simba XV 3-40 Cell C Sharks X

Tim Swiel and the Cell C Sharks XV were not in a forgiving mood as they hammered the Tusker Simba XV 40-3 (halftime 12-0) at City Park, Cape Town on Saturday afternoon.

According to the supersport.com website, the log-leading Cell C Sharks XV have been in superb form going into the match while the Tusker Simba XV have not recorded a victory since the opening round of the competition. It was the metronomic boot of Swiel which saw the visiting team lead 12-0 at halftime, courtesy of four penalties within the first quarter. The Sharks were disrupted by two separate blood bin substitutions as both eightman Johan Meyer and hooker Franco Marais had to get some medical attention for their wounds.

The Sharks XV bench had made a big impact and replacement centre Andre Esterhuizen sealed the win with his try and conversion. The Sharks XV face the EP Kings next and essentially only need a single log point to seal the top spot on the log of South Section. The Simba XV will travel to Bloemfontein and will look to end their season on a high note as they have no chance of progressing further in the competition.
Pumas 44-31 Leopards XV

JC Roos kicked 16 points to lead the Pumas to a 44-31 win over the Leopards XV in their Vodacom Cup North Section match at the Kees Taljaart Stadium in Middelburg on Saturday. Flyhalf Roos kicked five conversions and two penalties while lock Rudi Mathee ran in a brace of tries as the Pumas stretched their winning run to six matches to remain unbeaten this season.

The Pumas raced in to a 17-0 lead after just 8 minutes thanks to early converted tries from hooker Jacques Momberg and left wing Ruwellyn Isbell before Roos kicked a monster 60-metre penalty. The hosts were looking in dominant form and they added to their lead 11 minutes later when flank Uzair Cassiem powered his way over for a converted try.

The visitors began the second half in a similar vein of form and they narrowed the gap to just three points, nine minutes after the resumption of play, when Tossel grabbed his second try.

However, the Pumas wrapped up their four-try bonus point when Mathee rumbled over for a converted try before scrumhalf Sinovuyo Nyoka stepped up to nail a long-range penalty attempt as the hosts eased to a 37-24 lead with 10 minutes left in the contest.

Mathee then made the match safe with his second try, seven minutes from time, before the Leopards grabbed a late consolation try, and a bonus point, through replacement hooker Jacques Vermaak
Limpopo Blue Bulls 0-110 Golden Lions

The Golden Lions have completed a 110-0 thrashing over the hapless Limpopo Blue Bulls in their Vodacom Cup North Section match at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium, in Polokwane, on Saturday. The Golden Lions led 68-0 at the half-time interval. The visitors ran in 16 unanswered tries while flyhalf Wille du Plessis ended with 30 points as he kicked 15 conversions.

The defeat was Limpopo’s sixth consecutive loss this season while the defending champion Lions moved in to fourth place on the log. The Lions eased to a 68-0 lead at half-time with Limpopo seemingly having no answer to the visitor’s power and craft.

De Witt, Brink, Botha twice and replacement Caswell Khoza all scored tries to complete the rout.
Western Province 28-15 Free State XV

Western Province were boosted by a few fresh faces as they recorded a 28-15 Vodacom Cup victory over the visiting Free State XV at City Park, Cape Town, on Saturday.
With the trio of Gary van Aswegen, Kyle Lombard and Johnny Kotze missing there was a new look to the Western Province midfield.

Kurt Coleman, who had staked a claim the previous week with his strong showing as a second half replacement, started at flyhalf with Varsity Cup player Robert du Preez partnering Huw Jones in the midfield. Both Du Preez and Jones were looking to make the step up to senior provincial rugby and show they could mix it up with the big boys.

For the visitors the big change was the one which saw Heinrich Brussow play at eightman in his first game back from his stint in Japan with the Docomo Red Hurricanes. The big question was always going to be how his fitness would hold up after being side-lined for three months with a toe injury picked up in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Jones had a fantastic start to his debut and scored the first try of the match with Coleman unable to convert the five-pointer. Flyhalf Riaan Smit got the Free State XV on the board with a penalty shortly thereafter. His halfback partner Renier Botha grabbed the lead when the scrumhalf went over for a try.

WP turned it on a few minutes later as Du Preez and winger Devon Williams both scored in quick succession. Du Preez joined Jones as a try scoring debutant and Williams scored a try for the ninth time this season to seal the victory.

Coleman had converted both tries and further extended the lead with late penalty.

The win sees the Province guarantee themselves a place in the quarterfinals and the chance to finish second if they beat the SWD Eagles at Outeniqua Park in George next week.

Free State XV, also guaranteed of a place in the business end of the competition, return home to Bloemfontein and will look for a maximum haul against the Tusker Simba XV as they have an outside chance of finishing in the top two of the South Section.

Source: Sport24

Vodacom Cup heats up – Preview Round 5

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vodacom cup

The Vodacom Cup competition is set to heat up significantly this weekend as the reality sets in that there are only three pool rounds remaining, including this weekend’s matches, for the teams to play their way into the quarterfinals.

The pick of the weekend’s matches in the North Section will be GWK Griquas against the Golden Lions at GWK Park in Kimberley on Saturday, where the favourable second place on the section’s log standings is expected to be up for grabs.

Should the winless Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls create an upset against North Section log-leaders the Steval Pumas in their match at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, however, the Golden Lions or GWK Griquas could leap into the top spot on the log.

In the South Section, the clash between the SWD Eagles and EP Kings in George on Friday is expected to be thrilling. While the SWD Eagles could climb into second or third place on the South Section log depending on the other results should they win, the EP Kings will be desperate to close the gap between themselves and the top four teams to keep alive their playoff hopes following only one victory in four matches so far this season.

In the other matches on Friday, the Vodacom Blue Bulls host the Valke on the Loftus Versfeld B field in Pretoria and the Down Touch Griffons go up against the Leopards XV in Welkom.

On Saturday the Toyota Free State XV host the Border Bulldogs in Bloemfontein, the Regent Boland Cavaliers take on the unbeaten Cell C Sharks XV in Ceres, and DHL Western Province fronts up against Kenya’s Tusker Simba XV at DHL Newlands.

Each week we will feature emerging young players from the North and the South Sections who are making their way up the rugby ladder. This week we look at Vodacom Blue Bulls lock Marvin Orie and Regent Boland Cavaliers No8 Conway Pretorius. 

Round 5 fixtures:

Friday, 4 April

Vodacom Blue Bulls vs Valke

Kick-off: 15h00

Venue: Loftus Versfeld B field, Pretoria

Referee: Stuart Berry

Down Touch Griffons vs Leopards XV

Kick-off: 18h30

Venue: North West Stadium, Welkom

Referee: Stephan Geldenhuys

SWD Eagles vs EP Kings

Kick-off: 19h00

Venue: Outeniqua Park, George

Referee: Ben Crouse

Saturday, 5 April

Toyota Free State XV vs Border Bulldogs

Kick-off: 12h40

Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein

Referee: Rodney Boneparte

GWK Griquas vs Golden Lions

Kick-off: 14h00

Venue: GWK Park, Kimberley

Referee: Jaco Peyper

Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls vs Steval Pumas

Kick-off: 12h00

Venue: New Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane

Referee: Oregopotse Rametsi

Regent Boland Cavaliers vs Cell C Sharks

Kick-off: 16h00

Venue: Ceres

Referee: Jaco Kotze

DHL Western Province vs Tusker Simba XV

Kick-off: 16h30

Venue: DHL Newlands, Cape Town

Referee: Tahla Ntshakaza

Vodacom Cup Round 4 Preview

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vodacom cupHalf of the Vodacom Cup fixtures this week will take place at venues that can be described as “off rugby’s beaten track” as South Africa’s premier development competition continues to spread its wings.

Cradock’s Rovers Field, the DP de Villiers Stadium in Sasolburg, Leeudoring Rugby Club in Leeudoringstad and the Bill Jardine Stadium in Industria, Johannesburg will all host Vodacom Cup matches this weekend as the competition passes the halfway mark of the group phase.

The pick of the fixtures in the North Section is on Friday evening in Nelspruit, where the Steval Pumas will host GWK Griquas at the Mbombela Stadium.

These are the only two unbeaten teams left in this section and the side from Kimberley will be looking for revenge after losing this fixture at home last year to the eventual runners up.

Also in the North Section, the Valke and Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls will be looking for their first win of 2014 when they take on each other in Sasolburg on Saturday afternoon, while interest should be high for the Leopards XV’s home game in Leeudoringstad against the Vodacom Blue Bulls. The two top teams in the South Section also take on each other this weekend when the Cell C Sharks XV host the SWD Eagles in Durban on Saturday afternoon. The KwaZulu-Natalians are unbeaten, but following a defeat in the opening round, Bevin Fortuin’s Eagles side have recorded two solid victories and are looking strong.

The EP Kings, currently lying fifth in the South Section, will be keen to get back to winning ways and not lose touch with the front runners when they host the third-placed Toyota Free State XV in Cradock. And almost 300km south east, in East London on Friday, the Border Bulldogs will face DHL Western Province without one of our first featured rising stars, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, who has joined the DHL Stormers on tour in Australia.

Each week we will feature emerging young players from the North and the South Sections who are making their way up the rugby ladder. This week we look at two hard-working loose forwards, Thabo Mabuza (Golden Lions) and Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje (Toyota Free State XV).

Round 4 fixtures:

Friday, 28 March

Border Bulldogs v DHL Western Province
Kick-off: 15h00
Venue: Buffalo City Stadium, East London
Referee: Christie du Preez

Steval Pumas v GWK Griquas
Kick-off: 19h10
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Referee: Pro Legoete

Saturday, 29 March

Cell C Sharks XV v SWD Eagles
Kick-off: 14h30
Venue: Growthpoint Kings Park, Durban
Referee: Quinton Immelman

Valke v Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls
Kick-off: 15h00
Venue: DP de Villiers Stadium, Sasolburg
Referee: Archie Sehlako

Leopards XV v Vodacom Blue Bulls
Kick-off: 15h30
Venue: Leeudoring Rugby Club, Leeudoringstad
Referee: Tahla Ntshakaza

EP Kings v Toyota Free State XV
Kick-off: 16h00
Venue: Rovers Field, Cradock
Referee: Jaco van Heerden

Golden Lions v Down Touch Griffons
Kick-off: 16h00
Venue: Bill Jardine Stadium, Johannesburg
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen

Tusker Simba XV v Regent Boland Cavaliers
Kick-off: 16h00
Venue: City Park, Cape Town
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni

Pampas out, Kenya in?

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Vodacom Cup (new)

Kenya will replace the Pampas XV in this year’s Vodacom Cup competition, a report on the Volksblad website indicates.

The Argentine side – who played in the South African domestic competition since 2010 – pulled out of the competition late last year, presumably because it became too expensive to take part.

While the SA Rugby Union (SARU) is yet to confirm, Kenya’s rugby boss, Mwangi Muthee, said they will be the 16th team in the competition in 2014.

Muthee told a Kenyan radio station, Capital FM, that they will use the event as preparation to help them try qualify for next year’s Rugby World Cup in England.

“SARU confirmed to us that we will play in the Vodacom Cup this season,” said Muthee.

The Kenyans look set to be added in the South Section of the competition and will be based in Cape Town.

The 16 teams are divided in North and South sections, with the top four in each group heading into the quarter-finals.

Source: Sport24

Dobson lauds new quota rule

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326b2c5c89144106a36530bb2da6817a Western Province Vodacom Cup coach John Dobson has described the SA Rugby Union’s (SARU) new quota rule as “absolutely brilliant”.

News24

SARU last month announced a new quota system for next year’s Vodacom Cup competition. Teams will be forced to field seven players of colour in their 22-man squads, with at least five players in the starting team, while at least two of the seven will also have to be among the forwards.

Dobson’s WP side were one of the few teams, along with Boland, Border and SWD who this season already reached SARU’s proposed targets. However, teams like the Pumas, Golden Lions and Griquas were serial transformation offenders, often selecting only two or three players of colour in their match squads.

“I think this new rule is absolutely brilliant,” Dobson said in an interview with the Cape Times. “I think teams in the Vodacom Cup this year tested everybody’s patience. When we played the semi-final against the Lions, they had two players of colour in their team, and the same with Griquas in our quarter-final.

“I think rugby has to be very careful about testing rugby’s administrators and government’s patience if they continue fielding all-white teams, especially at development level. That’s what the Vodacom Cup competition is – it’s about tomorrow’s Springboks today, and if you play a team which has one player of colour, then I can tell that it sat very uncomfortably with WP in the Vodacom Cup playoffs.

“I’m sorry that we have to count to show that we have the high ground at least, but we fielded at least seven or eight players of colour in our match squads.”
Dobson went on to say that he “didn’t like quotas”, but it is necessary if transformation doesn’t occur naturally.

“It is better than having no players of colour in a team. That’s just not possible,” continued Dobson.

Vodacom Cup semi’s established

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Marnitz Boshoff, Rosco Spekman, Cheslin Kolbe and Lizo Gqoboka were their teams’ heroes this weekend as the MTN Golden Lions, Steval Pumas, DHL Western Province and EP Kings progressed to the Vodacom Cup semi-finals for 2013.

Vodacom Cup review, week 7

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The MTN Golden Lions snuck into the Vodacom Cup quarter-finals – which will be hosted by the Steval Pumas, Sharks XV, Vodacom Blue Bulls and DHL Western Province – when they smashed a few records against the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls on Saturday.

Limpopo to play in Vodacom Cup

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Limpopo will play in the Vodacom Cup as a separate team for the first time when this 16-team competition kicks off on the second weekend of March.

VC Final: Griquas 18, WP 20

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The Vodacom Cup final will be contested in Kimberly tonight between the two teams who have consistently performed well throughout the competition.

Vodacom Cup final

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The might of the North and South clash on Friday evening in Kimberley in the 15th Vodacom Cup final, when GWK Griquas host DHL Western Province.

Boland upset Sharks

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The Regent Boland Kavaliers won a nail-biting Vodacom Cup match against the Sharks XV in Malmesbury as only one team remains unbeaten this season as the MTN Golden Lions were too good for GWK Griquas in Kimberley.

Serfontein to make Blue Bulls debut

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Schoolboy star Jan Serfontein will make his debut for the Blue Bulls Vodacom Cup team against the Pumas in Nelspruit on Saturday.

The SA Schools star has fully recovered from a quad strain and will be ready for his senior debut in the Mbombela Stadium.

Coach Pine Pienaar was forced into more changes to the side that performed so disappointingly against Griquas in the season opener last weekend.

Ruan Snyman is back from Super Rugby duty with the Vodacom Bulls and replaces Lohan Jacobs at scrum half, Arno Botha recovered from a back strain to replace fellow SA u.20 team mate Jean Cook at flank (injured) and Daniel Adongo moves into lock in place of the injured Cornell Hess.

“We played poorly against Griquas and worked hard to cut out the numerous unnecessary mistakes we made,” coach Pienaar said.

“It does not get easier having to travel to Nelspruit and take on the Pumas, but we will have to make the step-up if we want to be successful. It is a young side, but one with lots of promise,” Pienaar said.

The Blue Bulls team to play the Pumas is:

Jurgen Visser, Sampie Mastriet, Ulrich Beyers, Jan Serfontein, Clayton Blommetjies, Wesley Dunlop, Ruan Snyman, Jono Ross ©, Arno Botha, Warwick Tecklenburg, Franco Mostert, Daniel Adongo, Rayno Gerber, Bongi Mbonambi, Dawie Steyn. Replacements: Robbie Coetzee, Basil Short, Marvin Orrie, Lean Schwartz, Lohan Jacobs, Tony Jantjies/Courtnall Skosan, Jean du Plessis.

Vodacom Cup Preview, Round 2

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A mouth-watering top of the table clash in the Southern Section of the Vodacom Cup, between the Sharks XV and DHL Western Province, headlines the fixtures this week.

WP VC side announced

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DHL WP Coach John Dobson today announced his side to take on Boland on Saturday 10 March at DHL Newlands (KO 1600), in the opening round of this years’ Vodacom Cup competition.

Vodacom Cup preview

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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.

Blue Bulls VC side announced

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The Vodacom Cup kicks off this weekend and the Blue Bulls have announced their side to take on Griquas at Loftus.

Pampas 14, Blue Bulls 9 (Pampas win Vodacom Cup)

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The Pampas XV, the only undefeated team in this year’s Vodacom Cup, will be hoping for one more victory in 2011 when they host the defending champions, the Vodacom Blue Bulls, at Profert Olën Park in Potchefstroom on Friday at 19h00.

Blue Bulls selects experienced team

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The Blue Bulls Vodacom Cup team to play a friendly against Namibia in Windhoek shows a lot of experience.

What an (utter rubbish) experience!

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So I took my laaitie out to Newlands on Saturday for what was his first experience of the ground all WP fans love and cherish.

Rassie boosts Boland

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Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus is likely to give several fringe players a run when the Stormers play Boland in their second pre-season friendly in Wellington on Saturday.

Vodacom Cup Final – Blue Bulls vs Free State Cheetahs

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The Blue Bulls and the Free State Cheetahs have named unchanged teams for their Vodacom Cup Final clash at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Friday.

Preview: Vodacom Cup Final

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The Blue Bulls and the Free State Cheetahs have named unchanged teams for their Vodacom Cup Final clash at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Friday.

Innocent till proven guilty

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The parliamentary portfolio committee on sport has been asked to look at ways to suspend convicted murderer Gert van Schalkwyk from the Mpumalanga-based rugby team, the Pumas, the SABC reported on Tuesday.

One Million reasons to win the Vodacom Cup

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The coaches of this year’s two Vodacom Cup finalists are playing down the competition’s R1m prize money and placing the emphasis on winning the trophy.

Blue Bulls pulverize Lions

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John Mametsa and Rocco Jansen each scored two tries as the Blue Bulls slaughtered the Lions 51-7 (half-time 36-7) in a one-sided Vodacom Cup semi-final at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.