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Vodacom Cup

Vodacom CupWhile the four teams who will contest the Vodacom Cup quarter-finals from the South Section have been decided, the race to get into the playoffs in the North Section is not over yet after the penultimate round of pool action.

And to add some spice, in the final round (in two weeks’ time) four of the top five teams in the North Section take on each other in two highly anticipated clashes. The defending champion Golden Lions (currently fourth on the log) host 2013’s runners-up the Steval Pumas (first), while GWK Griquas (second) have to travel to North West province to take on the Leopards XV (fifth).

The Vodacom Blue Bulls (third) host their neighbours to the north, the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls, in Pretoria and a likely win should cement their place in the quarter-finals.

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Vodacom CupThe Down Touch Griffons and Cell C Sharks XV were the big winners in the first round of the 2014 Vodacom Cup, which kicked off across the width and breadth of South Africa this weekend.

These two teams top the North and South Section logs after round one when they managed to bag a full-house of five log points in their opening victories over the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls and Border Bulldogs respectively.

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EP KingsSiviwe “Shakes” Soyizwapi and Scott van Breda will start against the Tusker Simba XV in Cape Town on Saturday in the Eastern Province Kings first Vodacom Cup match of the season.

Vodacom Cup head coach, Mzwandile Stick, said both Soyizwapi and Van Breda, who had been on loan to the Stormers, had returned to the Kings this week, as they had not been selected as part of the Stormers touring squad.

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South AfricaJean de VilliersSpringbok captain Jean de Villiers on Wednesday became only the sixth player to be named South African Rugby Player of the Year more than once, while Eben Etzebeth was named the Young Player of the Year for 2013 for the second successive season at a glittering ceremony at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg.

De Villiers led the Springboks to 10 wins in 12 Tests in 2013 and scored five tries in the process following an outstanding Vodacom Super Rugby campaign for the DHL Stormers. His first-class record now stands at 254 matches with 91 tries scored.

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Vodacom CupKenya will add an international flavour to the Vodacom Cup this year when they compete in this 17th annual edition of this national competition for the first time.

The South African Rugby Union (SARU) on Wednesday confirmed that Kenya will form part of the Vodacom Cup in the place of Argentina’s Pampas XV, Vodacom Cup champions in 2011.

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GWK GriquasMartin BezuidenhoutTiaan MeyerGriekwas het die dienste van twee Leeus-staatmakers vir die Vodacombeker- en Curriebeker-reeks bekom.

Die haker Martin Bezuidenhout en die skrumskakel Tiaan Meyer, wat albei sterk aanspraakmakers op insluiting by die Cheetahs se Superrugby-span sal wees, sluit hulle later vandeesweek by die span in die Diamantstad aan.

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WhistleA lot of rugby will be played this weekend, with the much awaited friendly between Saracens and the Cell C Sharks, the HSBC Sevens World Series tournament in Las Vegas and the LV Cup, amongst others, happening.

The Referees & Match Officials have been named.

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EP KingsGary GoldThe Eastern Province Kings may be keen, but they are a long way off from securing the services of Gary Gold.

Media reports on Friday suggested the former Springbok assistant coach could be heading to Port Elizabeth – to fill the void left by the departure of another former Bok assistant, Alan Solomons, and New Zealander Matt Sexton.

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EdinburghCarl BezuidenhoutEdinburgh Rugby have recruited 2013 Currie Cup (First Division) and Vodacom Cup winning stand-off Carl Bezuidenhout on an extended trial until the end of the season.

The 27 year-old began training with the squad at Murrayfield Stadium this morning (Monday 30 December) two months after the Pumas’ unbeaten Currie Cup First Division triumph, in which he ended the season as tournament top points’ scorer.

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Jean de VilliersBismarck du PlessisEben EtzebethWillie le RouxDuane VermeulenFive key members of the Springbok squad in 2013 will go head-to-head for the annual SA Rugby Player of the Year Award, while the Steval Pumas have been rewarded for their great form this season with nominations in four categories.

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers, the winner in 2008 who led South Africa to 10 victories in 12 Tests in 2013, will go up against Bismarck du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Willie le Roux and Duane Vermeulen for the most prestigious individual award in South African rugby.

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Vodacom CupLosing will not be an option when the four Vodacom Cup quarter-finals take place across the country this weekend. Durban, Cape Town, Nelspruit and Pretoria will host the top eight teams on Friday and Saturday in a weekend where second best will no longer be good enough.

Exactly the same eight teams that played in the quarter-finals in 2012, are back again this year. Even their positions from last year are almost the same. The Vodacom Blue Bulls “replace” GWK Griquas as hosts, while the Sharks XV, Steval Pumas and DHL Western Province will all host a quarter-final for the second successive year.

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Vodacom_cupThe Steval Pumas and Sharks XV are still the only teams in the Vodacom Cup with perfect records and held onto their positions at the top of the North and South Section respectively with solid away victories this weekend.

They are followed, in the south, by the Argentinean Pampas, who’ve won three on the trot after a draw in the opening round, and in the north by the Leopards XV, who recorded an impressive win in Pretoria over the Vodacom Blue Bulls.

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The Vodacom Bulls on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of Victor Matfield as their new Forwards and Attack Coach for the 2013 Vodacom Super Rugby season, while also naming Derick Hougaard as a skills and kicking coach and Handrè Pollard as part of their extended playing squad for the new season.

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Users: MacroBull, Nama, Gena_ZA, 6 Guests, 11 Bots




Recent Comments

  • MacroBull 20 Apr 2014, 17:51 SAST - But the be fair to mournitz the lions line out lost to themselves. so he rarely got good ball.
  • MacroBull 20 Apr 2014, 17:49 SAST - @ Nama: that will include a whole bunch of bonus points though?
  • MacroBull 20 Apr 2014, 17:47 SAST - anyway well done stormers. I thought that first half was probably the best the stormers have played since the highlanders...
  • Nama 20 Apr 2014, 17:46 SAST - @ nortierd: Hahaha... all we have left Nortie. Stay positive until the last possible moment. The fact is that the...
  • MacroBull 20 Apr 2014, 17:40 SAST - good thing michael rhodes got sighted for that irresponsible tackle. it is strange the ref just let him off so...
  • MacroBull 20 Apr 2014, 17:37 SAST - @ Nama: aplon is nearing pension


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