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The Under-13 Coca-Cola Craven Week and Under-16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Weeks got off to a thrilling start at Paarl Gymnasium on Monday with a healthy mix of big wins and tight clashes entertaining an enthusiastic crowd.

The National Girls Under-18 Week, meanwhile, also provided good entertainment at the Northern Cape High School in Kimberley with Border, Western Province, the Leopards, Boland, Zimbabwe, the Limpopo Blue Bulls and the Pumas kicking off their campaigns with victories.

In Paarl, a total 19 matches were played on the opening day of the tournament, which saw the U13 and U16 teams alternating on four fields in a festival of rugby.

In the U13 Coca-Cola Craven Week, hosts, DHL Western Province, who completed the 2015 edition of the tournament as the top team, started their campaign on a winning note as they defeated the Pumas 28-19 in a tightly-fought clash. Continue reading

DHL Stormers loose forward Nizaam Carr will fly home to Cape Town from Perth due to a shoulder injury he picked up in the 57-31 victory against the Rebels in Melbourne.

Carr left the field at AAMI Park in the 36th minute on Saturday, and will see a specialist in Cape Town after further assessment by the DHL Stormers medical staff ruled him out of the clash with the Force this weekend.

There will be no replacement flown out to Perth as DHL Stormers Head Coach Robbie Fleck is happy with the cover he has at his disposal.

“We brought 16 forwards with us on tour initially, so we feel we have enough cover and will not need an extra player to fly out for this match.

“Our focus is on the Force this weekend, and the players are determined to build on our performance against the Rebels to make it two wins from our two games in Australia,” he said.

Chippa United celebrate winning the 2016 Engen Knockout Challenge PE during Day 3 of the 2016 Engen Knockout Challenge PE at Galvandale Sports Complex, Port Elizabeth on 3 July 2016  ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Chippa United celebrate winning the 2016 Engen Knockout Challenge PE during Day 3 of the 2016 Engen Knockout Challenge PE at Galvandale Sports Complex, Port Elizabeth on 3 July 2016 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Chippa United beat a gallant Rangers FC to successfully defend their 2016 Engen Knockout Challenge, Port Elizabeth title at the Gelvandale Sports Complex on Sunday, 03 July, 2016.

Three days of intense competition produced some exciting football culminating with Rangers and Chippa United squaring up against each other in the 2016 Engen Knockout Challenge final in front of a large local football following.

After 90 minutes of intense end-to-end action the game ended goalless leading to a dreaded penalty shootout.

The net bulged with frequent regularity as player after player succeeded with his penalty kick, eventually the fate of the title was settled when Chippa scored their winning penalty in a sudden death shootout after a Rangers player miscued his shot.

Sixteen of the best u/17 youth teams in the Eastern Cape contested the 2016 Engen Knockout Challenge tournament at the John Nance Sports Complex in Port Elizabeth from Friday, 01 July to Saturday 03 July, 2016. Continue reading

The Under-13 Coca-Cola Craven Week and Under-16 Coca-Cola Grant Khomo Week tournaments will kick off at Paarl Gymnasium on Monday in a fresh and exciting new tournament format as part of the SA Rugby Youth Weeks Series.

The competitions will be hosted simultaneously from Monday to Friday, with four fields accommodating the 19 matches being played on the opening day.

Only the Under-13 teams will be in action on Tuesday and Thursday, while the Under-16 teams will take to the field on Wednesday. The U13 and U16 sides will again share the stage on Friday in a jam-packed final day.

Another SA Rugby Youth Weeks tournament, the National Girls Under-18 Week, meanwhile, will also kick off on Monday at the Northern Cape High School in Kimberley. Continue reading

The Emirates Lions clinched their spot in the Vodacom Super Rugby playoffs with a comprehensive 37-10 victory over the Cell C Sharks at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Saturday evening.

The Highveld side claimed the African Conference Two title and are now 12 points ahead of the second-placed Cell C Sharks with just two weeks to play. They now have 47 points, the most by any side in the campaign, and on Saturday they scored their tenth win from 13 outings.

The DHL Stormers defeated the Rebels 57-31 in Melbourne, scoring seven tries in their bonus-point away win on Saturday to enable them to consolidate their top spot in the second Africa Conference 41 points. As things stand, the Cell C Sharks are in the wildcard position.

The Cape side’s tally of 57 points are their biggest score yet in a match on Australian turf.

The Toyota Cheetahs dominated the first half against the Western Force but then had to withstand a fierce fightback from the Australian side in the second half to edge the visitors 30-29 in their meeting in Bloemfontein. Continue reading

The Springbok Sevens team on Saturday showed good form at the inaugural Assupol7s tournament played at Markötter Stadium in Stellenbosch, winning all three matches played on the final day and walking away with the overall spoils.

The tournament, held to provide the Blitzboks some game time as part of their preparations towards the Rugby Sevens event at the Olympic Games in Rio next month, saw the South Africans finishing the day strongly with wins over outfits from Zimbabwe and Western Province.

The SA side won their opening match of the second day against Zimbabwe by 48-0, then saw off the challenge of a Western Province Invitational team 45-5 before beating Western Province in a very competitive final, winning 34-5.

Coach Neil Powell expressed satisfaction with the effort by his team. Continue reading

Border on Friday emerged as the top team at the National Girls U16 Week at the HT Pelatona Projects Stadium in Welkom, as they defeated Western Province 15-7 in a tight final match.

The teams also met in last season’s final game, but Western Province edged the East London side 12-10 to take top honours.

This season, however, Border, who won all three of their matches, made no mistake and succeeded in building on their victories against the Blue Bulls and their neighbours, the Limpopo Blue Bulls.

SWD, who registered back-to-back victories in their opening two matches, meanwhile, suffered their first defeat of the tournament as they went down 27-0 against Eastern Province. Continue reading

Boland and the Valke will meet in the grand finale of the LSEN Week at Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool (Affies) in Pretoria on Thursday after strong performances in the first two rounds of the tournament.

The clash will mark Boland’s third consecutive appearance in the final match of the LSEN Week.

Last season they defeated Western Cape neighbours, Western Province, 25-12 in Worcester, while they defeated SWD 45-3 in Potchefstroom in the 2014 edition of the tournament.

Boland and the Valke were among three teams that remained unbeaten after the second round of matches on Tuesday. The Free State was the third unbeaten team. Continue reading

DHL Western Province coach John Dobson has been forced to make some changes to his team for their Currie Cup Qualifying clash with South Western Districts Eagles at City Park on Saturday.

A number of call-ups to the DHL Stormers touring squad in Australia have meant that Dobson has had to shuffle his resources as his team go in search of their 10th win from 11 games this season.

DHL Western Province Under-19 will face Golden Lions U19 in a curtain-raiser at 14h15, before the Currie Cup Qualifier kicks off at 16h00 with entry R20 at the gate.

In the front row prop Wesley Chetty makes his first appearance of the season, with Kyle Whyte shifting across to the tighthead side.

David Ribbans makes his first start at lock since his return from injury, and in the loose trio Luke Stringer shifts across to the blindside with Beyers de Villiers getting an opportunity to start at openside flank.

In the backline Tim Whitehead partners EW Viljoen in midfield, with Johnny Kotze moving out to the right wing and Sibahle Maxwane coming in on the left wing. Continue reading

Jaco Taute will make his first appearance this season for the DHL Stormers in their clash with the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park on Saturday.

The powerful utility back suffered a knee injury in pre-season, and makes his return to Vodacom Super Rugby action at fullback in place of Cheslin Kolbe who is currently on national Sevens duty.

A fit-again Schalk Burger also returns to the starting line-up at No.8 and will captain the side in the absence of Juan de Jongh who is also with the Springbok Sevens squad.

The only other change to the team that started the 31-24 victory against the Toyota Cheetahs at DHL Newlands before the June break sees Vincent Koch replace the injured Frans Malherbe at tighthead prop.

On the replacements bench prop JP Smith and utility back Scott van Breda are both in line to make their DHL Stormers debut should they take the field. Continue reading

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