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Pic: Stormers Twitter

Pic: Stormers Twitter

A 28-man DHL Stormers squad will get a thorough work-out against four different teams on Varsity Day at Florida Park in Ravensmead on Saturday.

In the first pre-season fixture of the 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby campaign, the extended squad will face University teams UCT, Maties, CPUT and a DHL WP XV as part of a festival of rugby hosted by Tygerberg RFC.

Gates at Florida Park will open at 09h30 on Saturday morning and the DHL Stormers squad will play their first period against CPUT at 13h30, followed directly by 20 minutes against DHL WP XV at 14h00.

The players will then take a break as the Varsity teams battle it out amongst each other, with the final two 20-minute periods against UCT and five-time Varsity Cup champions Maties ending the day.

Entrance on the day at Florida Park will be R20, with parking also R20. The non-playing DHL Stormers will have a signing session at 14h30.

In the 28-man squad for the four 20-minute periods are several players with Vodacom Super Rugby experience such as Jean-Luc du Plessis, Godlen Masimla, Chad Solomon, Ernst van Rhyn, Ali Vermaak, Chris van Zyl and Leolin Zas, as well as former Springbok Hilton Lobberts who has returned to the Western Cape to play club rugby.

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Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell knows the route to the top of the podium at the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens – he has after all lifted the trophy more than once as a player, and watched his team do the same as a coach.

The Dubai tournament – the first of ten in the 2019/20 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – starts at The Sevens Stadium on Thursday, with the Blitzboks playing Kenya in their only match of the day.

Ann according to Powell, the Blitzboks arrived in Dubai confident after good preparation in Stellenbosch for the last two months.

“We also played in a warm-up tournament, so a lot of things we wanted to do have happened – but the real test remains here in Dubai when the tournament and series start,” said Powell.

South Africa have won the Dubai title six times before and for Powell a good start has always indicated what the season has in store for the Blitzboks.

“The pre-season normally manifests itself here and in Cape Town next weekend, but I think we have laid a good foundation for the opening two weeks,” he explained.

“There are a couple of challenges though. We needed to get through the 10-hour flight and its effects, and then a slight mindset change as the tournament is now starting a day earlier and will be played over three days and not the usual two.”

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Junior Springbok assistant coach, Bafana Nhleko – who is serving in the same capacity on the SA Under-19 team’s tour to Georgia – looked back at the positives from their 28-21 victory against the hosts on Monday, and singled out a few areas to work on ahead of their second and final tour match on Thursday.

The team overturned a halftime deficit of 18-14 to win their first match at the Shevardeni Rugby Stadium in the country’s capital, Tbilisi.

After reviewing the match on Tuesday morning, Nhleko said: “With such short preparation time and the testing playing conditions, the players did well to try to stick to the game plan. They adapted particularly well to the defensive breakdown interpretation, especially after conceding a few penalties in the first half.

“I also felt that we created opportunities on attack, but it is about being alert so that we can capitalise on them. We were also pleased with the defensive character the boys showed, and the fact that they limited the hosts to only three points in the second half,” he added.

Casting an eye on their next match-up on Thursday, Nhleko said: “Our leg drive in the tackle is a work on, as we lost some collisions, and we would also like to improve our ability to set early so that we can move the ball when the options are on.

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SA Rugby confirmed on Wednesday that the Springboks will face Scotland and Georgia in three home Tests in the new international window of July 2020, as part of the Castle Lager Incoming Series match schedule.

The newly-crowned Rugby World Cup champions are scheduled to play two Tests against Scotland, on 4 and 11 July, before hosting Georgia in a historical first home Test, on Saturday, 18 July.

It will be the Scots’ first visit to South Africa since June 2014, when the Boks beat them by 55-6 in Port Elizabeth. The Springboks and Georgia have only met once before, in a pool match at the Rugby World Cup in 2003 in Sydney, when SA won 46-19.

SA Rugby will confirm the venues and kick-off times of the three matches at a later stage.

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 08: a view of kids during the KFC Mini-Cricket Festival at PPC Newlands on March 08, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – MARCH 08: a view of kids during the KFC Mini-Cricket Festival at PPC Newlands on March 08, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

South Africa is a nation that celebrates and is passionate about sport, yet thousands of children have limited access to playing sport they are passionate about. Sport is more than just a game, it allows young boys and girls to engage in teamwork, discipline, tolerance and the value of fair play.

Claire Terblanche, Head Coach: Western Province Women and Girls Pipeline, sat to discuss the beauty of grassroot development and what it potentially means for a budding cricketer in an age of pursuing a healthy mind, body and psyche.

Before Terblanche became a respected cricket coach, she watched from the side-lines as a little girl until she took it upon herself to go for that she wanted, bowling and batting in the streets of her neighbourhood. She says, “I was drawn to cricket because of the contention between opponents, the possibility to establish friendships, travelling to places I have never been to and meeting new people. I hold the game of cricket in high regard as it taught me lessons about life that helped me navigate through the good and the misfortunes that life had handed me.”

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Amid controversy over the Boks not passing by certain areas in Port Elizabeth such as the Northern Areas and certain spots in Uitenhage, the tour was seen by what could’ve been hundreds of thousands. The Bok trophy tour started in Pretoria and Jozi where after they moved to Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth. The final leg of the tour continues today in Cape Town. There were reports of tyres being set alight in the Northern Areas after residents were upset because the tour did not include them after waiting for hours. SA Rugby has apologised on its Facebook page reasoning the high traffic volumes and running way behind schedule. According to my watch they were probably running around 3 hours late, which is unavoidable with congestion and what looked like a logistical nightmare for the team on the ground literally running alongside the 4 or so buses. I also noted that the players were notably burnt out and looked extremely exhausted and they probably cannot wait to finally be with their families and sleep in their own beds after more than two months.

We were on the media bus and had a birds eye view of what was transpiring and it blew my mind how many people came out on a fairly ominous day with 50% chance of rain, to see their heroes. Unbelievable scenes as roads were blocked and thousands upon thousands lining the streets to see the Rugby World Cup winners!

All in all a lovely day and experiencing such euphoria was unbelievable.

Here’s to the 2023 trophy tour!

Pic: sport24The fifth and final leg of the Springboks’ RWC Trophy Tour will take place in Cape Town on Monday.

The route plan for Cape Town is as follows (all time approximate):

10h30: Tour starts at City Hall and bus departs along Darling Street
Left onto Adderley Street
Right onto Wale Street
Left onto Long Street
Right onto Buitensingel
Right onto Loop Street
Right onto Strand Street
Left onto Adderley Street
Right onto Hertzog Boulevard onto Nelson Mandela Boulevard
13h00: Second leg via N2 to Langa, Belhar and Elsies River
13h30: Take Bhunga Avenue offramp
Right onto Washington Drive towards Jakes Gerwel and right towards N2
14h30: Depart for Belhar via N2 and R300 onto Stellenbosch Arterial
Right onto Symphony Way into Robert Sobukwe
15h15: Left onto De la Rey Street through Ravensmead
Left onto Francie van Zijl Drive towards Uitsig and Elsies River
Left onto Jakes Gerwel onto the N2 and back to the hotel (arrival approximately 17h00)

The third and fourth legs of the Springboks’ RWC Trophy Tour will take place in East London on Saturday and Port Elizabeth on Sunday, with the final leg scheduled for Cape Town on Monday. The first two legs were in Gauteng and Durban.

The actual bus trips are for filming purposes only and that no media will be allowed on the bus, however, you are free to position yourself along the route for footage.

The route plan for East London on Saturday, 9 November (all times approximate):

09h30: Parade starts at East London City Hall
Proceed along Oxford Street
Left into Park Avenue
Right onto the North West Expressway
Left into Douglas Smith Highway
Right into Windyridge Road
Right into Parkside Road
Right into Greenpoint Road
Left into Dunoon Road
Left onto Mdantsane Access Road
Right onto link road towards Woolwash Road
Left into Woolwash Road
Along Scenery Park Main Road
Left onto Mdantsane Access Road
Right into Masaule Road
Right towards Kakaza
Left into Billie Road
Along Spine Road
Left into Link Road
Right onto Voortrekker Road R102
Into Mayfair Avenue
Into Devereaux Avenue past Vincent Park Shopping Mall
Right into Old Transkei Road
Left into Galway Road
Right into John Bailie Road
Left into Link Road
End at Moore Street

The route plan for Port Elizabeth on Sunday, 10 November (all times approximate):

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The mastermind behind the Springboks’ inspirational Rugby World Cup campaign, said it had been a privilege for the team to attempt to give South Africa a moment of hope.

Rassie Erasmus, South Africa’s director of rugby, said after the team’s ultimately crushing, 32-12 victory over England in Japan that the team had been inspired by the opportunity to bring some light and joy into the daily lives of their fellow countrymen

He said it had been the mental shift the team needed after the disappointment of defeat in the opening match against New Zealand – a performance the Springboks turned on its head by becoming the first team to win the title after losing a pool match.

“The first All Black game was a great test run for us in terms of handling pressure,” said Erasmus.

“We were terrible in that week in terms of talking about things and getting tense – it was a terrible build up that told us a lot about how to play the play offs.

“We were quite honest with one another about that. We started to talk a lot about what is pressure.

“In South Africa, pressure is not having a job or if one of your close relatives is murdered. In South Africa there are a lot of problems, which is pressure. We started talking about things like that.

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