This weekend is what we’ve all been looking forward to for months: the start of the Club Rugby season! WPRFU administrators have been hard at work to put together a fixture list that accommodates all our clubs and now it’s time to get the action rolling.
By: Danny Jones
Durb-Bell were crowned 2015 Cell C Community Cup Champions after a thrilling final against reigning champions Rustenburg Impala. Durb-Bell flyhalf Garth April kicked a late penalty in the dying minutes of a gripping final against the hosts to secure a hard-fought 31-30 victory and, in the process, their first national title in the history of the club.
Durb-Bell, of course, triumphed in the President’s Cup Final at DHL Newlands last October but, since then, have worked hard to transfer that form into a national club title – don’t forget, they were the 20th, and final, club to qualify for the Community Cup!
With the club rugby season beginning this weekend, Jan Loubser’s side looks an exciting and dangerous prospect. The team, expertly led by Alconroy Botha, put in thrilling performances throughout the tournament and thoroughly deserved to lift the trophy. Garth April was awarded the Young Player of the Tournament as well as an invitation to train with the DHL WP Vodacom Cup side. Head coach Jan Loubser, meanwhile, was awarded the Coach of the Tournament.
WP’s other representative at the Community Cup, Hamiltons, walked away with the Bronze Medal as they trounced Despatch 66-40 in their 3rd/4th-place play-off. Once again, well done to both the Western Province clubs in action in Rustenburg, you really did us proud over the Easter Weekend.
In other news, the WP Schools and Youth Rugby department are hard at work in preparation for the Under-13 Primary School Rugby Day which will take place at Parklands Primary on April 18. There are currently 40 schools involved in the day which forms part of the strategic planning of the Primary Schools EXCO to unearth local talent.
On the refereeing front, appointments have been made for this weekend’s action and the referees are raring to go. This will be the first year that referees will be on the ScrumIt system. This will enable them to see what games they are refereeing and which players will be playing in which team. It also provides players the chance to see who their referee will be.
In this regard, we urge all clubs to get all their players registered on the ScrumIt system before the season starts this weekend.
Last night the WPRFU Relations Committee met at City Park to discuss their plans for the start of the season. The basic premise of the committee is to attend club games and assess the atmosphere and the conditions at each club as well as to strengthen the relationships between clubs. The committee is chaired by Reuben Riffel of St Georges who is also a WP EXCO member.
Last, but definitely not least, the DHL Stormers take on the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday looking to build on the rousing second-half display that almost saw them snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against the undefeated Hurricanes. The game against the Waratahs kicks-off at 11h40 (SA time) on Saturday.
We wish Allister and the team the very best of luck as they look to gain their first win on tour. With two games remaining, the DHL Stormers can still grab two wins, which could see them come home with at least nine points – wouldn’t that be an excellent return on a tough tour of Australasia?
Best of luck to all our clubs competing this weekend, it’s now time to put all the pre-season work into practice. We cannot wait for the season to start and we hope to see you at your clubs on the weekend!