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National Club Rugby Round-up

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Yazeed Johnson of Villagers Worcester passes the ball as Evergreens centre Deon Stoffels looks on during the sides’ Cell C Community Cup match earlier this year. Both teams are in action on Saturday in the Boland Grand Challenge and SWD Premier League respectively. Photo by Roger Sedres/ImageSA/SARU.

CRUNCH derbies across the country set the scene for what promises to be the most eagerly-awaited weekend of club rugby this season.

Yazeed Johnson of Villagers Worcester passes the ball as Evergreens centre Deon Stoffels looks on during the sides’ Cell C Community Cup match earlier this year. Both teams are in action on Saturday in the Boland Grand Challenge and SWD Premier League respectively. Photo by Roger Sedres/ImageSA/SARU.
Yazeed Johnson of Villagers Worcester passes the ball as Evergreens centre Deon Stoffels looks on during the sides’ Cell C Community Cup match earlier this year. Both teams are in action on Saturday in the Boland Grand Challenge and SWD Premier League respectively. Photo by Roger Sedres/ImageSA/SARU.

From the Boland to Bethlehem, Mpumalanga to Mdantsane, inter-town and neighbourhood rivalries dominate the fixture list as the Community Cup qualifying race hots up in earnest.

The biggest of them all may just be in Uitenhage, where Gardens, fresh off their victory over NMMU and lying fifth on the table, and Progress clash in Rosedale in the Eastern Province Grand Challenge. The fixture traditionally brings the Eastern Cape town to a standstill and bragging rights for the next year will once again be up for grabs.

Up the coast in Buffalo City, Swallows host Winter Rose in the Mdantsane derby while all roads in East London lead to Kempston Park where log leaders Old Selbornians, who finished 10th in this year’s Community Cup, entertain arch-rivals Buffalo.

The Western Cape isn’t short of mouthwatering clashes, either. In term of national rankings, no club match anywhere in the country is bigger than the Western Province Super League A battle in Green Point between hosts Hamiltons and Durbanville-Bellville.

Since claiming the Community Cup bronze medal in Rustenburg in April, Hammies have shown excellent form to top the standings with a full house of 40 points from their eight matches. Community Cup champs Durbell, on the other hand, are in a rebuilding phase having lost a host of their title-winning squad to provincial call-ups and injury.

They currently lie seventh, with three losses from six matches, but a victory over their main rivals will give Jan Loubser’s charges confidence ahead of the month-long mid-season break.

In Boland, every one of the weekend’s Grand Challenge matches is a derby with 42 clubs clashing across the West Coast, Winelands and Overberg Districts as the first round of the highly successful new regionalised format reaches its conclusion.

The pick of the West Coast matches is possibly Vredenburg vs Velddrif, while in the Overberg, Standards and Rangers meet in the Bredasdorp derby and surprise package Safcol, third on the log, host Botrivier in Grabouw. In the Winelands, all eyes will be on Ceres where Delicious host Roses United in the Witzenberg-Central section while in Worcester, second-placed Young Hamiltons are at home to neighbours Protea in an intriguing Breede Valley-Langeberg match-up.

Up the coast, George will come to a standstill when unbeaten log leaders Pacaltsdorp Evergreens, who lost just one match in this year’s Community Cup en route to 12th place, travel to Rosemore to tackle second-placed Progress.

In Free State province, Bloemfontein’s two best open clubs, Crusaders and Police, clash in the Rowan Cup final on Saturday while Eastern Free State log leaders Oud-Skoliere host resurgent Collegians in the big Bethlehem derby.

Up north, Community Cup Plate winners and unbeaten Blue Bulls Carlton League front-runners Pretoria Police will look to avenge their quarter-final defeat in April to eventual runners-up Impala when the two sides meet in Rustenburg in a friendly match which promises to be anything but.

And in Mpumalanga, Nelspruit host White River in a top-of-the-table Lowveld league clash while Malelane welcome Barberton.

This weekend’s Premier League fixtures (Sat unless otherwise stated):

Blue Bulls – Carlton League:

Click here for all Blue Bulls fixtures, results & logs

Blue Bulls Limpopo – Boet Fick League:

BB Truck & Tractor Noordelikes vs Musina

Louis Trichardt vs Pietersburg

Boland Grand Challenge:

Click here for all Boland fixtures, results & logs

Border – Super League:

Click here for all Border fixtures, results & logs

EP – Grand Challenge:

Click here for all EP fixtures, results & logs

Free State – First League:

Bloemfontein Crusaders vs Bloemfontein Police (Rowan Cup final)

Griquas – Super League:

No matches this weekend

Griffons – Eastern Free State League:

Click here for all Griffons fixtures, results & logs

Golden Lions – Pirates Grand Challenge:

No matches this weekend

KZN – Fidelity Security Moor Cup:

No matches this weekend

Mpumalanga – Highveld & Lowveld Leagues:

Click here for all Pumas fixtures, results & logs

SWD – Premier League:

Click here for all SWD fixtures, results & logs

Valke – Peregrine League:

No matches this weekend

WP – Super League A:

Click here for all WP fixtures, results & logs

 

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