The 2 early pacesetters in the race for the vital Currie Cup Qualifier top spot, the Leopards and ORC Griquas, will meet on Saturday at Profert Olën Park in Potchefstroom in 1 of the main matches this weekend.
The Leopards are at top of the standings after collecting 10 points from 2 bonus-point wins. Last weekend they were in fine form in their clash against the Hino Valke and dominated proceedings to secure a 53 / 7 victory at home.
The men from Kimberley, on the other hand, scored a bonus-point win over the Boland Cavaliers to shoot up to 2nd place on the standings.
The Leopards have shown a healthy appetite so far this season to run with the ball and the rewards have followed. However, the Potchefstroom team will again be looking to their pack to provide a good platform so that they can bring their speedy backline into play. In-form wing Adri Jacobs is their danger man out wide with 2 hat-tricks already under his belt in the campaign.
After suffering a defeat in Round 1, Griquas bounced back to form to beat Boland 48 / 17 in Kimberley last week. Much will depend on the form of their No 8 Carel Greeff, who scored 4 tries against the Bolanders last week.
In the other 14:30 SA Time encounter on Saturday at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park, hosts the Hino Valke entertain the SWD Eagles.
Both teams will be eager to find their rhythm after losing last weekend and since they have both yet to win a match, which could result in a hard-fought encounter.
In the other match-up, the Boland Cavaliers play host to the Border Bulldogs in Wellington. The East London team secured a surprise 1st-round win over Griquas 2 weeks ago and after their BYE of last weekend, they will be keen to maintain their good start to the qualifying campaign.
The Down Touch Griffons have a BYE this weekend.
The Leopards and Boland Cavaliers took an early lead in the ABSA Currie Cup Qualifiers this weekend as they both secured bonus-point victories in the opening round.
The Qualifiers features 7 teams battling it out for the last remaining spot in the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division. The remaining 6 teams will participate in the ABSA Currie Cup First Division.
The Leopards defeated the SWD Eagles 45 / 17 at Outeniqua Park in George on Friday thanks to an impressive 6 tries, while the Boland Cavaliers were guaranteed of their bonus-point for 4 tries in the 1st half against the Down Touch Griffons on Saturday, which set them up for a 32 / 22 victory in Malmesbury.
In the other match the Border Bulldogs surprised the ORC Griquas with a 20 / 13 victory at the BCM stadium in East London following a closely contested 1st half.
The Hino Valke, meanwhile, had a BYE.
The battle for the last available position in the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division will begin on Friday as 6 of the 7 teams participating in the in the ABSA Currie Cup Qualifiers go-head to-head over the weekend.
The top team on the Log table at the end of the Qualifiers, which feature 7 Rounds of matches, will gain automatic entry into the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division, while the remaining 6 teams will battle it out in the ABSA Currie Cup First Division.
It will be between GWK Griquas, who participated in the ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division last season, the Down Touch Griffons, champions of the First Division in 2014, as well as the Boland Cavaliers, Border Bulldogs, Leopards, SWD Eagles and the Hino Valke in the competition.
In Friday’s opening matches, the SWD Eagles will host the Leopards at Outeniqua Park in George and Border takes on GWK Griquas at the BCM Stadium in East London. In the only match on Saturday, Boland meet the Down Touch Griffons at the Malmesbury Sports Grounds.
The clash between the SWD Eagles and Leopards is expected to be tight as the teams were closely matched in terms of their attack in the recent Vodacom Cup competition. SWD, however, are expected to bank on their more effective defence as 1 of the areas which could give them an edge.
GWK Griquas, meanwhile, will enter their clash against Border as favourites after showing good form in the 1st half of the season. They will also draw on their experience gained in last year’s ABSA Currie Cup Premier Division as they look to make their presence felt. Border, however, will enter the match with confidence after registering a morale-boosting victory against Boland in their final Vodacom Cup match.
In Malmesbury the battle between Boland and the Down Touch Griffons could also come down to the wire as both teams look to make up for their slow start to the season. The visitors, in particular, will be inspired by their successful ABSA Currie Cup First Division season last year, but they may have to work hard for an invaluable away-win.
The Hino Valke, meanwhile, have a bye.
Dewey Swartbooi has been appointed head coach of the Boland Cavaliers for the Currie Cup season.
Swartbooi, a former Boland, Bulls, Lions and Cats centre, will replace Abe Davids, who accepted a severance package following a long court battle with the union.
It was reported last week that former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers would get the job as Boland coach, but the Boland top brass has obviously had a change of heart and appointed Swartbooi instead.
According to tabloid press, De Villiers was a shoo-in for the job, but uncertainty at the embattled union led to a change in plans.
Swartbooi, who has been involved in coaching at Boland since 2012, will be assisted by Randall Modiba (backline coach) and Andries Human (forwards consultant).
Former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers is being linked with the head coaching position of the Boland Cavaliers.
De Villiers has been Director of Rugby at the University of the Western Cape for the last few seasons, but his contract expired at the end of this year’s Varsity Shield competition.
He recently indicated that he was in the market for a new job.
According to Thursday’s Die Son newspaper, De Villiers is set to be named as the new Boland coach, replacing Abe Davids who left his post earlier in the week.
In a statement issued on Thursday SARU said the investigator’s role will be to inquire into claims that attempts were made to influence the outcome of club league matches, as well as and any other matters that may arise out of the investigation.
“Allegations that the results of matches may have been fixed – or that an attempt was made to rig results – are very serious indeed, no matter at what level of the game,” said SARU President Oregan Hoskins.
“Rugby is built on the ethos of a fair contest and it is repugnant to our game to think that that might not be the case. Allegations have been sent to us relating to this offence and we have now appointed an independent attorney to look into them.”
The Boland Cavaliers gave the Stormers plenty to ponder as they beat them 29-24 in a pre-season friendly in Wellington on Saturday.
It may have been a young and experimental Stormers side, which showed plenty of guts, but it would not have been the way coach Allister Coetzee would have wanted to end the pre-season.
The Stormers have received a major boost at prop this year with the rise in form of promising young loosehead Oliver Kebble.
Kebble was excellent for the WP in last year’s Under-21 provincial competition and he will get a chance on Saturday to show what he can do in the team’s friendly match against the Boland Cavaliers in Wellington.
Coach Allister Coetzee has announced a much-changed line-up for the DHL Stormers’ final warm-up game ahead of the 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby season.
The DHL Stormers will take on the Boland Cavaliers in Wellington on Saturday afternoon and Coetzee has named a new-look side in a bid to give his entire group of players a run before the start of the season proper.
Experienced hooker Tiaan Liebenberg will lead the Stormers into battle this weekend, with flyhalf Gary van Aswegen serving as his vice-captain.
The Boland Rugby Union and Western Province Rugby Football Union have announced a brand new club rugby competition, the Community Challenge Club Rugby Competition.
A total of eight clubs – four clubs each from the Boland and Western Province premier leagues – will form part of the inaugural Community Challenge, which kicks off on March 1, 2014. The finals will take place on March 29, 2014.
The EP Kings, SWD Eagles and Leopards this weekend all booked their semifinal berths in the Absa Currie Cup First Division alongside log-leaders, the Steval Pumas, with one pool round remaining.
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers will lead the DHL Stormers into battle in their second pre-season friendly of 2013, when the men from the Cape take on neighbours, the Regent Boland Cavaliers, at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday (14:45).
Sevens specialist and Boland winger Cornal Hendricks swops places with Phillip Snyman. Snyman will join the Bok 7’s squad and Cornal Hendricks will add further depth to the Cheetahs squad. It is a win-win situation, as the Cheetahs have great depth at centre but need good quality wingers.
Sharks coach, John Plumtree, has named his team to take on the Boland Kavaliers on Friday evening 10 February 2012 at 19:00.
Again JP Pietersen is used at outside centre whilst Frederic Michalak is used as scrumhalf.
The South African Rugby Union (SARU), with the backing of the National Lottery and Department of Sport and Recreation, plans to launch a major academy project that is aimed at developing promising young players.
Sonny Bill Williams has withdrawn from the Baa-Baas and is replaced by Richard Kahui.
Drew Mitchel is injured again and expected to miss the opening Rounds of Super Rugby.
Conrad Smith is named as Hurricanes Captain for 2012.
Derick Hougaard could be back at the Bulls.
Bolla Conradie, Elgar Watts & Clemen Lewis, all from Boland, as well as Burton Francis are included in Stormers plans for 2012.
Graham Henry rules out England coaching job.
Last night I watched the semi finals of the IRB Womens Rugby World Cup between France and New Zealand, and England and Australia. New Zealand totally outplayed France and England beat Australia in a typical low scoring Northern hemisphere type of match. Watching these games last night I was terribly disappointed in the lack of eye candy on display. I mean, one would expect a world class event to at least show some semblance of quality, but really, these Rugby games were so error ridden and clumsy, I could not enjoy it. It was frustrating to say the least!
I do not get why women want to play Rugby in any event. Rugby is a collision sport and women are not genetically designed for this type of game. Well, unless you are a Mamma Nonu with breast implants, with nipples harder than nails pointing through your breast pads! Either that girl was on a testosterone high or she was very pleased to be playing the game! Either way, the sheer physical nature of the game is not fitting for women, not to even speak about the type of embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions which may occur. White is just not a fitting colour for a women’s rugby jersey!