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The Emirates Lions face a tricky assignment in Buenos Aires on Saturday against the rugged Jaguares in their quest to finish in the overall top spot of the Vodacom Super Rugby standings. The match is the last of the weekend’s fixtures and kicks off at 23h40 SA time.

As things currently stand, the Highvelders are one point in front of the Chiefs, who are leading a pack of New Zealand sides still in contention for places in the playoffs.

A bonus point win will guarantee the Emirates Lions (52 points) first spot on the overall log and with that the privilege of home ground advantage throughout the playoffs. The Chiefs (51) could make a move for the overall top position with a bonus-point over the Highlanders, however, the Johannesburg side have a far stronger point difference in the event of both teams finish on the same amount of league points.

From a South African perspective, the DHL Stormers (46) have already made sure of their place in the playoffs thanks to a haul of 10 log points collected from their two recent away games in Australia. The Emirates Lions and the DHL Stormers are the two African conference winners, while the Cell C Sharks (39) are currently two points ahead of the Vodacom Bulls in the race for the local wildcard spot. Continue reading

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) on Thursday included an experienced and powerful squad of 12 players to compete at the Rugby Sevens as part of Team South Africa at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

Kyle Brown will captain the squad that will compete as part of Team SA as rugby returns to the Olympics 92 years since the 15-man format was last played at the Olympics, in 1924 in Paris.

Current World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year, Werner Kok, was included in the team after he missed out in all of the 2015/16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series following a knee injury. He has been joined by Springbok midfielder, Juan de Jongh, who has played in 14 Test matches for South Africa. Continue reading

Providing blankets and soup with bread to the needy in and around the Southern Suburbs is part of the Cape Cobras and Western Province Cricket Association’s (WPCA) celebration of Mandela Day, Monday 18th July 2016.

The players and staff will team up and make soup at their home ground, PPC Newlands. Thereafter, they will be visiting various organizations in need such as Beit-ul-Aman (Home for the Aged), The OWL Haven Shelter and needy individuals living on the streets of Cape Town.
“We are currently experiencing such freezing cold temperatures and the Cape Cobras and WPCA players and staff wish to share the warmth with those who need support,” said Jasmiena Davids, Marketing Manager of WPCA.

“Mandela Day celebrates the potential that each individual has to transform the world. Each of us is asked to take responsibility for ourselves and act on the responsibilities we have towards others.” Continue reading

Wayde van Niekerk joins Team Visa Olympic and Paralympic Athletes

Johannesburg, July 14, 2016 In the days shortly after he was born, Wayde van Niekerk’s mother Odessa woke up every morning at the Groote Schuur hospital in Cape Town not knowing whether her son would be alive or dead.

The 400m world champion had been born almost two months prematurely, weighing just 900 grams. But, like his mother, the future 400-metre world champion was a fighter. He fought from the day he was born, overcoming obstacles and set-backs. Today, 24 years and 71kg later, her son is a world champion, a record breaker and he stands on the brink of becoming an Olympic gold medallist.

Van Niekerk has had help along his hard path to become the best 400-metre runner on the planet. His family and coach always believed in him, and he is also part of the Team Visa Olympic programme, “a group of world-class Olympic and Paralympic athletes who embody Visa’s values of acceptance, partnership and innovation”. Team Visa gives athletes financial and marketing support for the Olympics, as part of their 30-year association with the Games. Continue reading

Lock Chris van Zyl will make his DHL Stormers debut if he comes off the replacements bench in the Vodacom Super Rugby clash with the Southern Kings at DHL Newlands on Saturday.

The hard-working Van Zyl has shown great form as captain of DHL Western Province this season, and is joined on the replacements bench by prop JC Janse van Rensburg and scrumhalf Jano Vermaak who both make a return from injury.

Huw Jones will start his first match of the season at outside centre in place of Daniel du Plessis who has been ruled out with concussion, and the only other change in the backline sees scrumhalf Louis Schreuder come into the starting line-up for Nic Groom who is being rested. Continue reading

Big wins on Wednesday took centre stage in the main games of the Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week and Coca-Cola Academy Week at Kearsney College in Durban to spice up the competition as the final day’s play draws nearer.

In the last two matches in the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, DHL Western Province outplayed hosts, the Sharks, 60-5, and the Pumas overpowered Namibia 51-15. In the Coca-Cola Academy Week, the Sharks defeated Border 40-25.

In stark contrast, DHL Western Province had to work hard for their 31-29 victory against the Bidvest Golden Lions in the Coca-Cola Academy Week to emerge as one of the main contenders to battle it out in the final match of the tournament on Saturday.

The victories for all four teams ensured that they will enter the final day’s play on Saturday unbeaten.

Wednesday’s play was riveting, with a total of 702 points scored across the two tournaments – 350 of which were scored in the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week from 50 tries and 352 in the Coca-Academy Week from 52 tries.

In the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, Western Province, who won the final match of the 2015 tournament with a stunning 95-0 victory, showed that they could be equally threatening this season as they as they cruised to a 43-0 half-time score against the Sharks.

Such was the high quality of their attack they ran circles around the Sharks to cross the chalk seven times, while their effective defence denied the hosts from getting close to the tryline. The Cape side continued to force their way through the defence in the second half to add two more tries to their tally. Continue reading

SA Rugby on Wednesday welcomed Nashua to its family of partners with the business solutions provider agreeing to an exciting three year sponsorship of the iconic Currie Cup.

The revamped Currie Cup competition consisting of nine teams in the Premier Division and six in the First Division, kicks off early next month following on from the qualifying competition, which started in April and still has two rounds remaining.

“This partnership doesn’t only mark a new era in Nashua’s long-standing history of support for South African sport, but is massively exciting for us as it’s the first time that they have gotten involved at this level in rugby,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.

“In a way, Nashua’s involvement in the Currie Cup completes a cycle that started in 1990, when they became the first sponsor to prominently display their branding on a local rugby jersey – that of the Blue Bulls, who were then still called Northern Transvaal. Continue reading

The Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week and Coca-Cola Academy Week continued to keep fans gripped on day two of the SA Rugby Youth Week events at Kearsney College in Durban as a handful of teams stamped their authority in an entertaining day’s action.

The Enrista Blue Bulls, Bidvest Golden Lions and Konica Minolta Free State registered impressive victories to open up their campaign in the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, while the Blue Bulls, Leopards, Pumas CD, Sharks CD and Namibia secured big wins in the Coca-Cola Academy Week.

Boland, meanwhile, overcame a determined Konica Minolta Free State team 20-14 in a tight closing match in the Coca-Cola Academy Week.

In a thrilling second day 333 points were scored in the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week with 50 tries scored, while 390 points and 56 tries were scored in the Coca-Cola Academy Week.

In the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, the Blue Bulls defeated Border 48-15, while the Golden Lions overpowered SWD 59-26 and the Free State beat the Valke 68-26.

The Blue Bulls got their clash against Border off to a flying start as they ran hard on attack, which earned them three tries in the first 27 minutes. They supported this with a solid defensive effort, and limited Border to scoring only a penalty in the first half, for a 19-3 lead. Border, however, showed their fighting spirit as they scored two tries in two minutes almost immediately after the break to force their way back into the match. Both teams showed intent on attack as the match progressed, but while the Pretoria side converted their chances to score four more tries, unforced handling errors denied Border from adding to their score. This forced them to settle for a 48-15 defeat. Continue reading

The Under-18 Coca-Cola Craven Week and Coca-Cola Academy Week teams are raring to go in the grand finale of the SA Rugby Youth Weeks series starting on Monday at Kearsney College in Durban following two weeks of high-octane school rugby.

GWK Griquas Rural will take on Old Mutual Zimbabwe in the opening match of the flagship event of SA Rugby Youth Weeks, the U18 Coca-Cola Craven Week, at 09h05 on Monday, while the Blue Valke and SA LSEN teams will kick off the Coca-Cola Academy Week a little earlier at 08h00.

The tournaments will mark the end of the SA Rugby Youth Weeks series, which has seen the LSEN Week being hosted in Pretoria, the U13 Coca-Cola Craven Week and U16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Weeks in Paarl, the National Girls U16 Week in Welkom and the National Girls U18 Week in Kimberley in the last two weeks. Continue reading

The SA Rugby Women’s Interprovincial Competition got off to a solid start on Saturday, with defending champions Border, Eastern Province and KwaZulu-Natal kicking off the A Section on a winning note.

In the B Section, the Golden Lions and Pumas scored 50 points a piece to register morale boosting victories.

Border, who secured a hat-trick of titles in the competition last season, picked up where they left off in 2015 as they cruised to a 74-3 victory against SWD at the Bridgton Sports Grounds in Oudtshoorn, while Eastern Province registered a valuable 32-17 home win against Western Province at the Zwide Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

In the other A Section encounter, KwaZulu-Natal overcame a tough challenge from 2015 finalists, the Blue Bulls, to register a narrow 14-10 victory. Continue reading

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