• Newrak Rustenburg Impala to face Durbanville-Bellville
• Rustenburg to host third Final in four years
• Match is repeat of 2015 Final won by Durbell
• SuperSport to televise Final on Sunday at 14h30 on SS1 & SS10
Note to Editors: A rights free image of Newrak Rustenburg Impala centre McDonald Duma scoring a try in his team’s semi-final victory over Northam Platinum Rhinos is attached. Credit: Sydney Seshibedi, Gallo Images.
Two teams who between them have lifted the Gold Cup three times in the past five seasons will resume their rivalry on Sunday in the biggest match of the season in South African amateur club rugby.
Newrak Impala — champions in 2014 and 2016 — will host 2015 winners Durbanville-Bellville on Sunday in Rustenburg in the Final of the 2019 SSG Gold Cup, presented by Blu Approved & M4Jam and championed by 2007 Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok captain John Smit.
The Final will be televised live on Sunday at 14h30 on SuperSport 1 and 10 (DStv channels 201 and 210).
Impala and Durbell reached the final after convincing semi-final victories over Northam Platinum Rhinos and Hollywoodbets Swallows respectively, bringing to a climax five weeks of thrilling rugby that drew capacity crowds from all walks of life to community venues across the country.
Springbok Sevens forward Zain Davids will undergo shoulder surgery on Wednesday and has been ruled out of the last three tournaments of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
The 22-year-old Davids injured his shoulder in training in Hong Kong last week and had to return to South Africa before the start of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, where the Blitzboks finished in seventh position.
The injury comes at a bad time for the Blitzboks as their two worst results of the season – in Las Vegas and Hong Kong – happened in Davids’ absence.
But there was good news on the injury front too, with confirmation that regular captain, Philip Snyman, the experienced Cecil Afrika and young guns JC Pretorius and Mfundo Ndhlovu are all available for selection for the final two tournaments in the series, in London (25-26 May) and Paris (1-2 June). All of them are in the final stages of rehabilitation at the team’s home base in Stellenbosch.
The Blitzboks are in a tight race with England to retain the fourth spot on the World Series log – which will give them automatic entry to the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan – and that challenge will continue in Singapore this weekend.
Junior Springbok coach Chean Roux said his team will take the lessons learned from their U20 International Series clash against Georgia on Tuesday despite walking away with a 58-10 victory at Paarl Gymnasium.
A four-try brace by Junior Springbok No8 and captain, Francke Horn, sparked an eight-try romp against their World Rugby U20 Championship pool opponents, although the team was tested thoroughly by the physical Georgian forwards.
“It was a difficult game and we couldn’t get rhythm,” said Roux. “They slowed things down and we knew that we needed to speed it up. They also had a powerful scrum, although we expected that.
“These players are young and it was a good learning curve for them. That said, we are satisfied with the win.”
Roux was particularly pleased with their defence, as the only points scored against them was a penalty try and a penalty goal.
There are seven changes in the DHL Stormers starting line-up to face the Reds in at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Friday, with five of those coming up front.
A combination of injuries and squad rotation has resulted in a fresh look up front for the DHL Stormers in their first match in Australia, which kicks off at 11h00 SA time on Friday.
There is an all-new front row, with props Corne Fourie and Frans Malherbe on either side of hooker Scarra Ntubeni. Tighthead Michael Kumbirai is in line to make his DHL Stormers debut off the replacements bench.
Cobus Wiese comes into the second row alongside Chris van Zyl, with Kobus van Dyk at blindside flank to complete the loose trio with captain Siya Kolisi and No.8 Jaco Coetzee.
There are two changes in the backline, with scrumhalf Justin Phillips making his first start of the season and Ruhan Nel back at outside centre.
DHL Stormers Head Coach Robbie Fleck said that his team is excited about what they can do at Suncorp Stadium on Friday.
“We have had a good week of preparations here and the players are looking forward to the opportunity this weekend,” he said.
DHL Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Justin Phillips, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Corne Fourie.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Michael Kumbirai (DHL Stormers debut), 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Juarno Augustus, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Joshua Stander, 23 SP Marais.
The Toyota Cheetahs and Isuzu Southern Kings will look to bounce back strongly from their disappointing Guinness PRO14 tours when they host Welsh sides, Ospreys and the Dragons, respectively this weekend in the third-last pool round.
With only two matches remaining after this round and the sides seeing out the season in South Africa, they will be highly motivated to finish the competition on a memorable note.
Ospreys’ Guinness PRO14 fate in Toyota Cheetahs hands
The Toyota Cheetahs can expect a fierce challenge from Ospreys, who are fighting for survival in the Conference A playoff race, when they meet in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
The visitors are in a similar situation to that which the Free Staters faced two weeks ago, as they need to win all of their remaining matches with bonus points to keep alive their slim hopes of progressing beyond the pool stages.
The Toyota Cheetahs will enter their match against Ospreys with one goal in mind when the teams take to the field at the Toyota Stadium on Saturday, and that will be to return to winning ways at home.
· Injury-hit DHL Stormers looking for redemption in Brisbane
· Mtawarira to claim SA appearance record in Joburg encounter
· Vermuelen handed Vodacom Bulls captaincy for Loftus derby
The injury-hit DHL Stormers continue with the Australasian leg of their Vodacom Super Rugby campaign as they take on the Reds in Brisbane on Friday morning. The Emirates Lions host the Cell C Sharks later that evening in Johannesburg, while the Vodacom Bulls tackle the Jaguares on Saturday afternoon in Pretoria. All matches will be televised live on SuperSport 1.
Injury-hit DHL Stormers looking for redemption in Brisbane
A combination of injuries and squad rotation have resulted in seven changes to the DHL Stormers team for their Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Reds in Brisbane, which kicks off at 11h00 SA time on Friday.
The Capetonians will start with an all-new front row, with Corne Fourie and Frans Malherbe on either side of hooker Scarra Ntubeni, while tighthead prop Michael Kumbirai is set to make his debut off the bench. Cobus Wiese comes into the second row alongside Chris van Zyl, with Kobus van Dyk at blindside flank to complete the loose trio with captain Siya Kolisi and No 8 Jaco Coetzee.
In the backline, Justin Phillips is in line to make his first start of the season at scrumhalf, with Ruhan Nel returning at outside centre.
The Cape side have lost Eben Etzebeth, Dan du Plessis and Wilco Louw through injury the past weekend, while Pieter-Steph du Toit is also unavailable having returned home for the birth of his first child.
Overall, the DHL Stormers have a good record in Australia, having won four of their last five matches Down Under, but they will have to give an improved performance against the Queensland side to secure success.
What they said:
DHL Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck said they are excited about what they can do at Suncorp Stadium on Friday: “We have had a good week of preparations here and the players are looking forward to the opportunity this weekend.”
Teams: Continue reading
What happened in Vancouver, should stay in Vancouver. That is, sort of, how Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell feels on the eve of the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.
The Blitzboks completed their training for the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens on Thursday and bar a quick captain’s run a couple of hours before their opener on Friday against Japan (kick-off at 12h06 SA time), Powell was pleased with the week’s preparations.
“There are a couple of changes and a total of four new players from the Vancouver tournament and that considered, I am happy with the way things went,” said Powell.
Powell stressed the fact that the team will start with a clean slate, despite winning in Vancouver last month, their first tournament victory in the 2018/19 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
“That win will not mean anything here in Hong Kong,” said Powell.
“It did help with the belief and was good reward for the work done up to that point. It gave the squad some momentum. We start afresh here in Hong Kong though and all focus will be on delivering a performance we can be proud of in our first match against Japan.”
Flat fast course, beautiful route and world-class organisation of Sanlam Cape Town Marathon are major drawcards
Johannesburg, 4 April 2019 – Africa’s only IAAF Gold Label-status marathon officially kicked off preparations for this year’s springtime event with a press conference this afternoon in Sandton. This inaugural Joburg launch marks the significance of an event witnessing growing support from the country’s northern provinces.
Ninety percent of the marathon’s total entries for last year were South African runners, of which just under half fell outside the host province of the Western Cape. International interest in the marathon is also exceptionally high, with more than 82 countries having been represented at the 2018 event.
“Its route undoubtedly is what’s attracting people, and its low altitude coupled with a flat and fast course offer a record-breaking opportunity for professional and novice runners alike,” says race ambassador and Olympian Elana van Zyl-Meyer.
Held on the weekend of 15 September, when Cape Town normally experiences cool, clear, wind-free weather, the 42.2km marathon is the pinnacle of a series of running events that attract major interest. This year’s weekend festival of running kicks off on Saturday 14 September with the 22km and 12km Peace Trail Runs and a 5km Peace Run. On Sunday 15 September the iconic 42.2km city marathon takes place, and for those who aren’t quite ready to undertake a full marathon, there’s the option of a 10km Peace Run.
Wing Seabelo Senatla and utility forwards Johan du Toit and Ernst van Rhyn are flying out to join the DHL Stormers on tour in Australia.
The DHL Stormers are in Brisbane preparing to face the Reds on Friday, but will be without Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth and Dan du Plessis for the rest of the tour.
Du Toit is flying back for the birth of his first child, while Etzebeth (calf) and Du Plessis (knee) picked up injuries in the encounter with the Blues in Auckland.
Prop Wilco Louw has an ankle injury and a call on his involvement against the Reds will be made later in the week.