SPRINGBOK Sevens legend Fabian Juries will play in front of one of the weekend’s biggest rugby crowds outside of Newlands when Port Elizabeth Police and their East London counterparts clash at Uitenhage’s historic Central Grounds on Saturday in an Eastern Cape Cell C Community Cup Qualifying eliminator.
Juries, now 35, has been named at fullback for the PE Bobbies as they look to move within one match of qualifying for the third edition of SARU’s flagship tournament for so-called open clubs.
The highly anticipated South East Qualifying semi-final – the teams having finished their respective EP and Border leagues as the second-best non-university club – kicks off at 15h00. The winner will play the losing finalist in SWD Premier League on 25 October (venue TBC) for a place in the 2015 Community Cup.
Fifteen of the 20-strong field for 2015, which kicks off on 21 February, are already confirmed, with Jonsson College Rovers and Vaseline Wanderers having already booked their places through the Qualifying rounds.
Rovers, who lost their KZN title this year to arch-rivals SA Home Loans Durban Collegians, beat Upington at Growth-Point Kings Park Stadium earlier this month in the Central region final, while Wanderers beat Sasol at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria last week to advance as the North qualifier.
The new format – identical to Rugby World Cup qualifying, right down to the repechage round for lucky losers – now shifts its attention to the southern unions, with the Police vs Police clash set to decide who falls out of the South East race and who will move one step closer to a national tournament which looks set to televise up to 15 matches next year.
A passionate crowd is expected in Uitenhage to watch not only the Community Cup match but also two do-or-die Eastern Province Grand Challenge promotion-relegation clashes. In the first match (kick-off 13h00), PE Harlequins will attempt to hold onto their top-flight status when they face Windvogel. The second match (kick-off 17h00) will see Park attempting to do likewise against St Mark’s.
Entrance to the Central Ground is R5 per person and R5 per vehicle.
Port Elizabeth Police – Fabian Juries, Elton Loxton, Eckhardt Jacobs, Alwyn Jordaan, Kyle Verwey, Justin Peach, Daantjie Vosloo, Lyle Walters, Cornelius van Vuuren, Francois Nel, Wayne van Heerden, Ronald Schekkel, Dwayne Kinghorn, Jerry Sibia, Lyle Lombaard. Replacements: Raynard Fourie, Leon Smit, Wessel Ebersohn, Lonwabo Jam, Kevin Plaatjies, Danie le Roux, Emile Potgieter.
East London Police – Tollie Mtyoko, Sabelo Kolanisi, Lungelo Kepe, Lobs Ntlama, Eric Coates, Skangele Mateza, Biyanda Siko, Zim Magxakaza, Bonga Mntunjani, Sivu Kopekana, Socks Mkhona, Tsabo Senoge, Aiden Williams, Zuko Lerula, Andre Keevy. Replacements: Luvuyo Ncede, Ramon Jewell, Oscar Limani, Thobeka Mani, David Bridger, Odwa Rasmeni, Ayanda Davids, Patches Maqalo.
2015 Cell C Community Cup Qualifying Matches – details TBC unless otherwise stated:
SOUTH WEST REGION:
Match 1 – Boland 2 (TBC) vs WP 2 (TBC) – Winner qualifies for Community Cup as South West 1, loser to Repechage Semi-final 1. The Boland Premier League runner-up and the second-best open club in the WP Super League A will contest this one-off match.
SOUTH EAST REGION:
Match 2 – East London Police (Border 2) vs SAPS PE (EP 2) – 27 Sep, 15h00, Central Grounds, Uitenhage. Winner to Match 3. Loser eliminated.
Match 3 – Winner Match 2 vs SWD 2 – 25 Oct. Winner qualifies for Community Cup as South East 1, loser to Repechage Semi-final 1.
Match 12 – Semi-final 1: Loser Match 1 (South West) vs Loser Match 3 (South East).
Match 13 – Semi-final 2: Upington (Central) vs Sasol (North) – 11 October, Upington Rugby Club.
Match 14 – Final: Winner Match 12 vs Winner Match 13. Winner is 20th & final team to qualify for Community Cup and plays in Pool A.
Pool A – Rustenburg Impala (Leopards, defending champion), Kempston Old Selbornians (Border), Springs (Valke), repechage winner, regional qualifier.
Pool B – Raiders (Golden Lions), Pretoria Police (Blue Bulls), Bloemfontein Crusaders (Free State), BB Truck Noordelikes (Limpopo), regional qualifier.
Pool C – Hamiltons (WP), Boland champion (TBC), Aveng Moolmans Sishen (Griquas), SWD champion (TBC), regional qualifier.
Pool D – SA Home Loans Durban Collegians (KZN), Gap Management Despatch (EP), Eagle Towing Welkom Rovers (Griffons), Shumba Ferros (Mpumalanga), regional qualifier.