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The Currie Cup semi-finals have begun to take shape following a number of telling results this weekend. In the Currie Cup Premier Division with the Toyota Free State Cheetahs became the first team to cement their semi-final place, while the Hino Valke claimed the last semi-final berth in the First Division.

The Toyota Free State Cheetahs opened up the weekend’s action last Thursday with a 37-29 victory against the Xerox Golden Lions in Bloemfontein, which stretched their unbeaten run to six matches – a feat they last achieved in the 2009 season – to hold onto the No 1 spot on the log table and secure a semi-final berth.

The Cell C Sharks, Vodacom Blue Bulls and Griquas remained in positions two to four on the log table respectively, but the Kimberley side’s defeat against the Vodacom Blue Bulls forced them six points back. Continue reading

FirstLady – Helaia Johannes, First lady of Sanlam Cape Town Marathon 2016 10km Peace Run

FirstLady – Helaia Johannes, First lady of Sanlam Cape Town Marathon 2016 10km Peace Run

FirstMan – Mamakoe Nkhasi, Winner of Sanlam Cape Town Marathon 2016 10km Peace Run

After a good and positive start in the opening half, the Springboks were unable to replicate their first-half form against the All Blacks in the second period, who won their Castle Lager Rugby Championship Test 41-13 at the AMI Stadium in Christchurch on Saturday. New Zealand led 15-10 at halftime.

Allister Coetzee, the Springbok coach, said afterwards a few couple of mistakes allowed New Zealanders to take the game away from them after the South Africans have made a good start to the match.

“We scored a great try and just after the kick-off we let New Zealand in,” said Coetzee. “It also happened the second half when we were a bit indecisive on the exit, they got another scrum and then capitalised on it.”

Regarding the difference between the two sides, Coetzee said: “The New Zealanders are very clinical. They know when to play, where to play, and although they made a couple of mistakes in the first half, they took their chances. That’s the difference between the two teams at this point in time. Continue reading

Note to Editors: A rights-free image is attached of the Springbok Women’s Sevens after winning the Rugby Africa Women’s Sevens in Harare on Sunday.

The Springbok Women’s Sevens on Sunday continued their fine form in the Rugby Africa Women’s Sevens in Harare, Zimbabwe, to advance through the competition unbeaten and claim the title.

The team opened up the competition on Saturday with convincing victories against hosts, Zimbabwe, Senegal and Namibia, and then overpowered Uganda and Kenya on Sunday to claim the title.

Captain Lorinda Brown and her team wasted no time making their presence felt on Sunday as they combined an effective attacking and defensive effort to defeated Uganda 29-7 to book their place in the Cup Final against arch rivals Kenya. Continue reading

Springbok captain Adriaan Strauss said the prospects of playing the All Black in New Zealand is an exciting one for both newcomers as well as experienced players.

The Springboks and the All Blacks play against each on Saturday at the AMI Stadium in round four of the 2016 Castle Lager Rugby Championship. Strauss, who will be playing in his 61st Test, addressed the media in Christchurch on Friday morning.

“This week the focus was massively on our own execution, what we need to do better and how to execute our plan much better,” said Strauss. “We want to be more clinical, make less errors and make the right decisions.”

According to the Springbok captain there is definitely progress within the team, despite some of the results that have gone against his side so far this season.

“There were really some good moments against Australia, when we played some good rugby,” said Strauss. Continue reading

CAPE TOWN. – The Western Cape Cricket Board (WCC) resolved on Thursday evening (15thSeptember) that they will meet the coach, Paul Adams, and the contracted players soon about the grievances regarding Adams before making a decision on the future.

The decision was made after a deliberation in which the content of the mediator report by the former South African physical conditioning coach Paddy Upton came under the spotlight.

Adams’ position was scrutinized recently.

An independent panel of Prof William Pick, Prof Cyril O’ Connor, Archbishop emeritus Njongonkulu Ndugane, Rushdi Magiet and Rev. Courtney Sampson was appointed to address a formal complaint lodged by some senior Cape Cobras players about Adams’ performance as coach.

The primary recommendation of the panel was that a mediator be appointed and this was also the position of the South African Cricket Players Association prior to the independent panel’s work.

Continue reading

Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Renfred Dazel said on Thursday his team were bracing themselves for an onslaught in the Rugby Africa Women’s Sevens as the team departed for Zimbabwe.

The competition, which the Springbok Women’s Sevens won in 2014, 2011, 2008, 2007 and 2006, will be hosted in Harare on Saturday and Sunday. The South Africans have been drawn in Pool A with hosts Zimbabwe, Namibia and Senegal, while Kenya, Uganda, Madagascar and Tunisia will battle it out in Pool B. The Cup and Plate Finals are scheduled for Sunday.

“Our preparations in the last two weeks have been good and we are excited for the challenge ahead,” said Dazel. Continue reading

The burning desire to stay in the running for semi-final berths will be a key driving force in the Currie Cup Premier Division this weekend, while SWD and the Hino Valke will battle it out for the last semi-final spot as the pool phase in the First Division comes to a close.

In a thrilling climax to the Currie Cup – brought to you by DirectAxis and Nashua – eight of the nine Premier Division teams still have at least a mathematical chance of advancing to the semi-finals, although this number is expected to be reduced following the weekend’s matches. In the First Division, meanwhile, the fourth semi-finalist will be confirmed by Saturday evening.

Currie Cup Premier Division:

The Toyota Free State Cheetahs will be hunting their sixth successive victory in the Currie Cup when they host the Xerox Golden Lions in Bloemfontein on Thursday evening. In turn, the visitors will look to build on their 58-32 victory against DHL Western Province and possibly play their way into the top four on the log table. Continue reading

Pic: rugby15.co.za

Pic: rugby15.co.za

The Springboks are excited to resume their rugby rivalry with New Zealand when the two teams meet in the fourth round of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship at the AMI Stadium in Christchurch on Saturday.

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee and flanker Francois Louw, who will earn his 50th Test cap for South Africa on Saturday, addressed the media earlier on Thursday at their team hotel in Christchurch.

Looking forward to the big clash this weekend, Coetzee said: “This is definitely a great opportunity for us and whenever South Africa have played New Zealand in the past, it’s always been a big battle.

“We are looking forward to it because tradition and history tell you that it is going to be a physical battle and skill sets will be tested. We playing against the world’s number one team and it’s going to be a great test of where we are as a team and how much progress we have made up until now. Continue reading

pringbok wing Cornal Hendricks carries the Gold Cup trophy into Boland Park ahead of the tournament’s opening match in Worcester last Saturday. Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images.

pringbok wing Cornal Hendricks carries the Gold Cup trophy into Boland Park ahead of the tournament’s opening match in Worcester last Saturday. Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images.

The Gold Cup – SA Rugby’s three-nation championship for non-university clubs – kicked off in style last Saturday when visitors Tiger Wheel & Tyre Welkom Rovers upset hosts OneLogix United Bulk Worcester Villagers 39-29 in the tournament’s televised opening match at Boland Park in Worcester.

Scrumhalf Jaco Pretorius, who scored a hat-trick of tries, and flyhalf Tiaan van Wyk, who kicked 19 points, helped the Griffons champions to a bonus-point victory against the oldest club in the tournament, who were spurred on by a fanatical 5,000-strong crowd.

Elsewhere around the country, there were big wins for defending champions Durbanville-Bellville in Pool A, 2014 champions Rustenburg Impala in Pool B, newcomers DirectAxis False Bay in Pool C, and Pretoria Police and Port Elizabeth Police in Pool D. Continue reading

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