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Talented youth given the opportunity to travel to Cape Town to prove themselves in front of Rabada, Gibson and van Zyl

20 October 2017. Cape Town.  The Audi Q5 Fast Track, South Africa’s first cricket development initiative designed to utilise state-of-the-art technology to identify bowling talent, held its national final this week at the Clifton Oval in Cape Town.  The final included Proteas players who were on hand to scout for the next fast bowling stars and brought together 24 of the best young bowlers from around the country. The aim of the day was to allow standout young bowlers to showcase their talent in front of Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) development team.  Gerhardus Fourie from Limpopo and Constance Sardick from Gauteng emerged as winners in the day, recognising their all-round bowling skills.

Sardick, who experienced her first trip to Cape Town, said “The Audi Q5 Fast Track final was definitely one of the most exciting experiences of my life.  Not only did I get to experience the amazing technology of the Audi Bowling Lab or have the opportunity to show my talent in front of Cricket South Africa but I also got to meet my heroes and experience Cape Town for the first time.”

The Audi Q5 Fast Track initiative, in collaboration with CSA, was conceived with the aim of utilising the Audi Bowling Lab (a set-up which uses world-leading Pitchvision technology to assess a bowler’s action, line, length and speed) to identify young bowling talent in untapped rural areas.  It has since visited Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Limpopo and Western Cape.  Former Protea fast bowler, Mfuneko Ngam, served as the lead talent scout and was directly involved in selecting standout bowlers in each region who would ultimately make it through to the national final.

Ngam commented, “The Audi Q5 Fast Track was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my career. Audi has helped us to realise the depth of bowling talent that exists across our country – something which makes me very hopeful for the future of South African cricket.” Continue reading

Friday marks the 10th anniversary of the Springboks’ second Rugby World Cup final victory, beating England, 15-6, in Paris to become only the second team in history to win the Webb Ellis Cup twice.

SA Rugby President, Mr Mark Alexander, said on Friday that the Bok Class of 2007, under the coaching of Jake White and captaincy of John Smit, had done the country a wonderful service when they won the World Cup in the French capital.

“It was a great day for South Africa,” said Mr Alexander.

“We must never forget what that team did for us as a country, but also for rugby as a sport here in South Africa. They achieved something very few thought was possible and did so with grace and humility, something that lifted South Africans and showed what we can achieve.

“Just like the 1995 team of the late Kitch Christie and Francois Pienaar, rugby united our country in a very special way. These teams will always be dear to our hearts.”

Mr Alexander thanked the 2007 Springbok squad once again for their efforts of a decade ago and reaffirmed that they held a special place in the hearts of South Africans, both today and always.

The Boks kicked off the tournament with a 59-7 victory over Samoa in their pool match in Paris before they laid down a significant marker by disposing of England, then the defending champions, 36-0, at the Stade de France. Continue reading

DHL Western Province U19 will face Toyota Free State Cheetahs U19 in their semifinal clash which will be played as a curtain-raiser for the Currie Cup semifinal at DHL Newlands on Saturday.

DHL Western Province U19 topped the standings, having claimed 11 wins from their 12 matches in the regular season and will face the fourth-placed visitors from the Free State in a clash that kicks off at 14h30 on Saturday.

Captain Salmaan Moerat leads a settled side that has performed well as a unit all season, scoring 529 points including 76 tries and conceding just 176 for a points difference of 353.

Centre and vice-captain Lyle Hendricks, who is also the goalkicker, is third on the list of top points-scorers this season, with 115 points to his name, while powerful wing Christian Ambadiang is second on the list of top tryscorers with 14 five-pointers.

DHL Western Province U19 Head Coach Nazeem Adams said that his team are determined to make the most of the opportunity tio play at DHL Newlands in the semifinal.

“It will be a special experience for the players, a chance for them to build on all of the hard work they have put in this season.

“It is pleasing that we have been so consistent, but we also need to ensure that we are as accurate as possible in the play-offs,” he said.

DHL Newlands season tickets are valid for the Currie Cup semifinal, with match tickets available from wprugby.computicket.com or any Computicket outlet.

DHL Western Province U19: 15 Marko Labuschagne, 14 Christian Ambadiang, 13 Lyle Hendricks, 12 Henlo Marias, 11 Mike Mavovana, 10 Wian van Zyl, 9 Labib Kannemeyer, 8 Muller Uys, 7 Shaine Orderson, 6 Charl Serdyn, 5 BJ Dixon , 4 Salmaan Moerat (captain), 3 Sazi Sandi, 2 Schalk Erasmus, 1 Leon Lyons.
Replacements: 16 Daniel Jooste, 17 Reece Buizendenhout, 18 Adam Neethling, 19 Bernard Jansen, 20 Regardt du Plessis, 21 Deon Carstens, 22 Francke Botha, 23 Sako Makata.

Cobus Wiese will start for DHL Western Province U21 in their semifinal against Xerox Golden Lions U21 at Emirates Airline Park on Friday.

There are just two changes to the team that faced Leopards U21 in the last round of league fixtures, for the clash which kicks off at 14h30 in Johannesburg on Friday.

Both changes come in the forward pack with Wiese starting at blindside flank and captain Ernst van Rhyn shifting to the second row where he will partner the returning Eddie Zandberg.

The only changes to the replacements bench are the inclusion of lock Ruben de Villiers and utility back Cornel Smit.

DHL Western Province U21 Head Coach Jerome Paarwater said that his team are looking forward to the challenge of travelling up to Johannesburg to play some knock-out rugby.

“This is a great opportunity for this team to show what they are capable of against a strong Xerox Golden Lions U21 team.

“The players have put in the hard work, so the challenge now is to make sure we execute our plan as accurately as possible,” he said.

DHL Western Province U21: 15 Aidynn Cupido, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 David Brits, 12 Michaine Fick, 11 Edwill van Der Merwe, 10 Tiaan Swanepoel, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Daniel Maree, 5 Eddie Zandberg, 4 Ernst van Rhyn (captain), 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Nico Peyper, 1 Wikus Groenewald.
Replacements: 16 Percy Mngadi, 17 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 18 Ruben de Villiers, 19 Nama Xaba, 20 Paul de Wet, 21 Jordan Chait, 22 Cornel Smit.

The pressure on the four Currie Cup Premier Division semi-finalists – the Cell C Sharks, DHL Western Province, Xerox Golden Lions and Vodacom Blue Bulls – will reach boiling point on Saturday as they go head-to-head in their biggest match of the season for a place in the Final.

The Cell C Sharks, who finished the pool stages as the top team, will take on 2016 runners up, the Vodacom Blue Bulls, at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban at 14h30, while DHL Western Province will host the Xerox Golden Lions at DHL Newlands in Cape Town at 17h00.

The clash in Durban is the KwaZulu-Natalians’ first appearance in a Currie Cup knock-out match since 2014. It’s also the first time the Cell C Sharks and Vodacom Blue Bulls meet in the semi-final in five seasons.
Fuelling the hosts’ motivation, they won both encounters between the sides in the pool stages, while they have only gone down once against the Pretoria outfit at home in the competition in more than a decade – since 2006.

The visitors, meanwhile, will draw inspiration from the fact that the Cell C Sharks’ winning margins against them in the competition were by only eight and 13 points respectively, while most of their defeats in Durban have also been by less than 10 points. Adding to this, they have been fighting for their survival in their competition for several weeks, and will be up for the challenge. Continue reading

DHL Western Province have made some changes to the backline for the Currie Cup semifinal against Xerox Golden Lions at DHL Newlands on Saturday.

There are three positional switches in the backline and just one change to the forward pack for the knock-out clash, which kicks off at 17h00 on Saturday.

Dillyn Leyds moves from wing to fullback, with Ruhan Nel taking his place out wide and EW Viljoen back in midfield alongside Huw Jones.

This means that Damian Willemse and Werner Kok feature on the replacements bench along with scrumhalf Jano Vermaak who returns from injury.

Flank Kobus van Dyk is the only change to the forward pack which started in the win against the Cell C Sharks in Durban last week, with props Ali Vermaak and Frans van Wyk both among the replacements.

DHL Western Province Head Coach John Dobson said that his team are determined to make the most of home advantage at DHL Newlands.

“It is going to be a special occasion for everyone involved with a Currie Cup home semifinal at DHL Newlands so we are looking forward to it.

“The players have worked incredibly hard to get to this point and now the challenge is to make the most of this opportunity,” he said. Continue reading

A group of 12 Springboks have been invited to a four-day training, assessment and conditioning camp, from 23 to 26 October in Cape Town.

Current Springbok squad members who are playing for their provinces in the Currie Cup playoffs, as well as those who are playing for clubs in England and Japan, were not considered for the camp.

The purpose of the camp is to give Springbok management first-hand opportunity to assess the medical, conditioning and fitness status of the selected group as the Springboks step up their preparations for the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour.

South Africa’s opponents during their month-long European tour are Ireland (11 November, Dublin), France (18 November, Paris), Italy (25 November, Padova) and Wales (2 December, Cardiff).

The small group will work under the supervision of the Springbok medical and conditioning team, while the coaches will also put them through their paces with skills training and tactical planning sessions.

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee said the camp forms an important part of their preparation for the end of year tour.

“The European tour will provide us with different challenges and we will therefore use the four days to spend some time on our fundamentals, continued rehabilitation and conditioning of this group of players,” said Coetzee. Continue reading

Entries are still open for the second Torpedo SwimRun, which takes place on 19 November in Cape Town. Extreme open water and ice swimmer Ryan Stramrood has entered the race with fellow extreme swimmer Mark de Klerk as his teammate. Ryan has never worn a wetsuit for open water swimming before, and he does not own a pair of running shoes, but has decided to step far out of his comfort zone to take up the challenge.

The Torpedo SwimRun is a two-person team race where teams swim and run together from start to finish across Cape Town’s most iconic beaches and bays, with Llandudno, Oudekraal, Camps Bay and Clifton forming part of the 16km route.

Based on the popular overseas format, SwimRun attracts athletes from all spectrums of the sporting community, from surfers to trail runners, triathletes to paddlers – athletes with one common thread – the love of being in nature and challenging their bodies. SwimRun will see these athletes compete against each other over terrain that is both foreign and familiar to them, with short beach-to-beach swims and bursts of running, scrambling and rock-hopping.

Ryan is a well-recognized inspirational speaker, and spends significant time pushing all his audiences to remove themselves from anything that resembles a comfort zone. The mental process and toughness needed to overcome and greatly extend time in extreme cold water conditions will inform his training, but when it comes to Torpedo SwimRun, Ryan considers himself a novice:

“Torpedo SwimRun is a great opportunity to do just what I say – to my push personal boundaries and go into territory unfamiliar to me. I have never run an official race before, and participating wearing a wetsuit and running shoes will certainly be a whole new ballgame for me and my teammate Mark. With only five weeks left before the race, we are getting stuck into learning how to run and experimenting with swimming in a wetsuit and shoes! I am not used to competing with anyone but myself, so this race represents a significant number of firsts for me, and we are looking forward to it.” Continue reading

The Down Touch Griffons Currie Cup First Division and SA Rugby U20 Championship teams will look to replicate the form that earned them back-to-back titles last season in a rewarding day for the union when they host their respective finals at the HT Pelatona Projects Stadium in Welkom on Friday.

In the Currie Cup First Division final – sponsored by Nashua and DirectAxis – the Down Touch Griffons take on the Leopards in a match that marks the team’s first home final since 2014, and the second successive final between the sides, while the Griffons U20’s will meet the Limpopo Blue Bulls.

The Down Touch Griffons’ senior side come off a solid season in which they suffered only one defeat – and that was in their final pool match against the Border Bulldogs after they had sealed the top spot on the log – while the Leopards, who hosted the final for the last two seasons and secured a morale-boosting away win against the Hino Valke in the semi-final, won five of their eight league games.

The teams have been closely matched on attack and defence this season, with the Down Touch Griffons scoring 57 tries and conceding 269 points to the 51 tries scored and 267 points conceded by the Leopards throughout the competition, setting the scene for a nail-biting clash. Continue reading

An updated stats summary of the Currie Cup Premier Division, now also including infringements (penalties) per team, is attached.

With the pool stages of the Currie Cup Premier Division – sponsored by DirectAxis and Nashua – a thing of the past, key statistics from the last 14 weeks indicate two thrilling semi-finals await this weekend.

The table-topping Cell C Sharks, who have had the most offloads and second best defensive record in the Currie Cup, will face tough competition from the Vodacom Blue Bulls in Durban at 14h30 on Saturday, as the visitors not only lead the try-scoring and overall ball-carrying statistics with 64 tries and 1,508 ball carries, they also boast the top try-scorer in fullback Warrick Gelant.

DHL Western Province, meanwhile, who will host the Xerox Golden Lions at DHL Newlands in the second semi-final at 17h00 on Saturday. Judging by the stats, the men from Johannesburg will have to be at their attacking best to score some tries, as the hosts boast the highest tackle percentage at an impressive 88.8%.

Reaffirming their defensive prowess, DHL WP loose forward Nizaam Carr leads the statistics with the most successful tackles and most tackle involvements, while the Capetonians’ lock JD Schickerling is on top in the dominant tackle category.

But DHL Western Province will have to be at their best behaviour, as the Xerox Golden Lions’ Jaco van der Walt has been the most successful goal kicker among the top four sides with an 88.6% success rate and a 100% kicking record last weekend, while the Gautengers also dominated the ball-carrying and tackle statistics in the final pool round.

Currie Cup Premier Division – Final Standings
Continue reading

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