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Defending SA Rugby Women’s Interprovincial champions, Border, continued to set the pace in the A Section of the competition this weekend as they defeated KwaZulu-Natal to remain the only unbeaten team after two rounds.

Border, who secured a hat-trick of Women’s Interprovincial titles last season, kicked off the 2016 season with a 72-3 victory against SWD and built on this with a 27-3 win against KwaZulu-Natal at the BCM Stadium in East London on Saturday.

Western Province and the Blue Bulls, meanwhile, secured their first victories of the season, with Province thumping SWD 51-3 at the Pniel Villagers Rugby Club outside of Stellenbosch, while the Blue Bulls overpowered Eastern Province 38-17 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

In the B Section, the Limpopo Blue Bulls bounced back from their round-one defeat with a 19-15 victory against the Valke at the NWU Vaal Rugby Club in Vanderbijilpark, while the Leopards kicked off their season with a 53-10 victory against the Pumas at Profert Olën Park, Potchefstroom. Continue reading

Vodacom Super Rugby enters the exciting knockout phase this weekend when four matches will be played across three countries, in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa respectively.

One match takes place on Friday morning, while the rest of the action is scheduled for Saturday, when the three South African teams – the Emirates Lions, DHL Stormers and Cell C Sharks – will all be in action.

Australian conference winners the Brumbies kick-start the playoffs when they host the Highlanders on Friday in Canberra in a 10h00 kick-off (SA time).

Wildcard entry, the Cell C Sharks, will be the first South African side in action in the playoffs when they front up to table-topping Hurricanes in Wellington on Saturday morning. This match at the Westpac Stadium starts at 09h35 SA time.

The Emirates Lions, who finished the league stages of the competition in overall second place and as Africa Conference 2 winners, are next in action on Saturday. The Highveld outfit take on the visiting Crusaders in a 16h30 kick-off at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg. Continue reading

Flyhalf Robert du Preez will make his return for the DHL Stormers in their Vodacom Super Rugby quarterfinal against the Chiefs at DHL Newlands on Saturday.

After starting the first two games of the season, Du Preez injured his knee against the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein in Round Two and comes into the starting line-up for Jean-Luc du Plessis who was injured in the victory against the Southern Kings at DHL Newlands last week.

There is just one other change to the backline, for the match which kicks off at 19h00 on Saturday, as Nic Groom returns after being rested against the Southern Kings, with Louis Schreuder and Brandon Thomson providing backline cover on the replacements bench.

In the front row Bongi Mbonambi starts at hooker with Scarra Ntubeni moving to the replacements bench where he will be joined by props Oli Kebble and co-captain Frans Malherbe who are both returning from injury.

Locks Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit both return after sitting out last week, whilst the only change to the loose trio sees Siya Kolisi return to the starting XV with Rynhardt Elstadt and a fit-again Nizaam Carr amongst the replacements. Continue reading

DHL Western Province will be aiming to finish the Currie Cup Qualifiers on top of the standings when they face Namibia Welwitschias in their final game in Windhoek on Saturday.

Coach John Dobson’s team has lost just one of their 13 games this season, and are currently tied with ORC Griquas on log points.

ORC Griquas play the Leopards on Friday night, so DHL Western Province will know exactly what is required to top the standings when their clash with Namibia Welwitschias kicks off at 15h00 on Saturday.

There have been a number of changes to the team that registered their 13th victory of the season against the Border Bulldogs at DHL Newlands last week.

Up front loosehead prop JC Janse van Resnburg will make his DHL Western Province debut, while Jurie van Vuuren and returning captain Chris van Zyl will link up in the second row. Continue reading

The SA Rugby Women’s Interprovincial Series will gain momentum on Saturday as the teams contest the second round of matches following an opening round dominated by big wins earlier this month.

Western Province will meet SWD in the opening match of the A Section at the Pniel Villagers Rugby Club outside Stellenbosch, while defending champions, Border, will host KwaZulu-Natal at the BCM Stadium in East London, and the Blue Bulls will go up against Eastern Province at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

Border, Eastern Province and KwaZulu-Natal will be hunting their second victories of the season, while the Blue Bulls and Western Province will be looking to make the most of their first home games to close in on the early pace-setters in the competition. Continue reading

Pat Lambie braaiing in a township, Willie le Roux in the back of a police van and Beast Mtawarira at Khayelitsha Rugby Club are just some of the moments from a #LoveRugby video that is taking social media by storm after it was released by SA Rugby over the weekend.

The video – available here on the Springboks’ Facebook page or on YouTube – has clocked up more than 100,000 views across all platforms since it was released on Friday afternoon on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

The video was filmed on the morning of the Bok squad’s first assembly, with new coach Allister Coetzee setting them an unusual task at Cape Town International Airport. Unbeknown to the players, the team bus had been left in the garage and instead the players had to hitch-hike to their training base in Stellenbosch after completing some specific tasks in various communities. Continue reading

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 18: General views of players interacting with children during the Christine Revell Children’s Home visit by the Springbok and Sevens players for "67 minutes on Nelson Mandela Day" in Athlone on July 18, 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – JULY 18: General views of players interacting with children during the Christine Revell Children’s Home visit by the Springbok and Sevens players for “67 minutes on Nelson Mandela Day” in Athlone on July 18, 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

Springboks Lood de Jager, Trevor Nyakane, Jan Serfontein joined Springbok Sevens stars Carel du Preez and Sandile Ngcobo and Springbok Women’s players Veroeshka Grain, Marithy Pienaar and Chané Stadler at two children’s homes in Cape Town on Monday as part of the SA Rugby activities to celebrate Mandela Day.

The players as well as SA Rugby staff members visited the Leliebloem Child and Youth Care Centre and the Christine Revell Children’s Home, both situated in Athlone, Cape Town.

At the youth care centre, the players participated in a number of fun games with the youngsters and they also made a donation of blankets. The kids, in turn, presented the players with some drawings.

They then moved to the Christine Revell Children’s Home, where they donated groceries – collected by the SA Rugby staff members – and sweets parcels to the young toddlers. Afterwards, the players joined in the fun, playing some Rugby Tots games while others read storybooks to the youngsters. Continue reading

The Emirates Lions will face the Crusaders next week in Johannesburg, the DHL Stormers host the Chiefs in Cape Town and the Cell C Sharks have to travel to Wellington, New Zealand, for clash against the Hurricanes after the Vodacom Super Rugby quarter-final draw was confirmed on Sunday morning.

The draw for the playoffs was finalised following completion of Round 17, the final round of regular fixtures, over the weekend.

In the last match of the round, which kicked off just before midnight SA time on Saturday, the Emirates Lions lost 34-22 to the Jaguares in Buenos Aires, which placed them second overall on the combined standings.

Earlier on Saturday the DHL Stormers finished as Africa Conference 1 winners after beating the Southern Kings 52-24 and they enter the playoffs as third seeds. The Cell C Sharks won their Friday evening match 40-29 against the Sunwolves in Durban to clinch their wildcard qualification spot. Continue reading

DHL Western Province on Saturday took top honours in the Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week and the Coca-Cola Academy Week at Kearsney College in Durban in a satisfying day for the provincial union, which wrapped up the SA Rugby Youth Weeks.

Western Province defeated the Bidvest Golden Lions 27-20 in an entertaining final match of the Coca-Cola Craven Week, while their Coca-Cola Academy Week counterparts fought until the end against the Blue Bulls for a 23-12 victory.

The victory for the Coca-Cola Craven Week team ensured that they retained their status as the top team after a 95-0 victory in the final match last season against Eastern Province, while the Western Province Academy Week team built on the success of the side in the final match since the 2014 season.

In a thrilling closing day to the Youth Weeks, a total of 22 matches featuring all 44 teams were played at Kearsney College and Glenwood High School respectively.

Over the five days in the Coca-Cola Craven Week 269 tries and 1888 points were scored, while 268 tries and 1902 points were scored in the Coca-Cola Academy Week.

The main game of the Coca-Cola Craven Week between Western Province and the Lions was scintillating as both teams gave everything to get onto the front foot. The difference between the sides, however, was that Western Province made better use of their point-scoring chances, and they backed this up with a determined defensive effort. The opening exchanges of the clash were tight as the teams exchanged penalty goals. Western Province scored the first try of the match in the 15th minute compliments of Manuel Rass as they spread the ball wide, but this was cancelled out by Lions flyhalf Tyrone Green, who won a turnover and later touched down under the posts. The Cape side, however, had the final say with a try by Muller Uys to take a 20-10 halftime lead. Continue reading

The clash between the Pumas and the Sharks has been moved from 12h00 to 13h35, while the Enrista Blue Bulls and Bizhub Free State will meet at 12h00.

The amended fixtures are as follows:

U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week day five fixtures (Saturday, 16 July):

08h00 – Zimbabwe vs Namibia (Osler Field, Kearsney College)

08h50 – Boland vs Border (Stott Field, Kearsney College)

09h35 – Griquas CD vs Border CD (Osler Field, Kearsney College)

10h25 – EP vs SWD (Stott Field, Kearsney College)

10h50 – Komati Fruit Limpopo Blue Bulls vs EP CD (Osler Field, Kearsney College)

12h00 – Enrista Blue Bulls vs Bizhub Free State (Stott Field, Kearsney College)

12h15 – Thepa Trading Griffons vs Leopards (Osler Field, Kearsney College)

13h35 – Pumas vs Sharks (Stott Field, Kearsney College)

13h40 – Valke vs GWK Griquas (Osler Field, Kearsney College)

15h10 – DHL Western Province vs Bidvest Golden Lions (Stott Field, Kearsney College) Continue reading

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