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Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images.

Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images.

Boland champions and Gold Cup qualifiers Onelogix United Bulk Worcester Villagers had to dig deep to beat neighbours and arch-rivals Young Hamiltons 26-20 last weekend in a match played in front of one of the largest recorded crowds to ever watch a club league match in South Africa.

The 11,347 fans who packed Esselen Park in Worcester for the much-anticipated showdown were treated to a thrilling encounter between two clubs with a combined age of 201 years – Villagers having been founded in 1883 and Hammies in 1948.

The match comes just a fortnight after Alberton Rugby Club in Gauteng drew a crowd of 16,784 for a provincial-club double header, with the Xerox Golden Lions playing the Vodacom Blue Bulls in a curtain-raiser to a Pirates Grand Challenge league match between Alberton and Union.

“It’s very clear looking at these massive crowd figures that club rugby is thriving around the country,” said SARU CEO Jurie Roux. Continue reading

Kobus van Dyk will make his DHL Western Province debut against the Cell C Sharks XV at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban this weekend.

The 22-year-old utility forward comes into the team to replace the injured Tertius Daniller in one of three changes to the starting line-up as DHL Western Province aim for their fourth consecutive victory in a match that kicks off at 17h30 on Saturday.

The other changes see Godlen Masimla reclaim his place at scrumhalf after recovering from concussion, while Meyer Swanepoel gets an opportunity to start at flank with Jurie van Vuuren moving back to lock.

DHL Western Province coach John Dobson knows that his team will have to produce an 80-minute performance if they are to continue their winning ways.

“We have had three very hard games to start and we have another one this week against the Cell C Sharks XV. Continue reading

This from

Absa Premiership
Result: AmaTuks 0-3 Sundowns
Date: 4 May 2016
Venue: Tuks Stadium
Mamelodi Sundowns did everything right on Wednesday night as they thrashed AmaTuks 3-0 to secure the Absa Premiership title.
The Brazilians surged ahead only three minutes into the game as Anthony Laffor opened the scoring. Mashaba did the hard work on the left flank before squaring for the Liberian to bundle it home.
Pitso Mosimane’s men bossed the midfield after taking the lead and doubled it in the 20th minute. On this occasion Khama Billiat instigated the attack as he left his marker for dead before crossing for Laffor to tap home for his brace.
Sundowns looked comfortable with their two-goal lead and were never really threatened by the hosts who were reduced to attempting long-range shots at goal which more often than not went over the bar.
The visitors continued their dominance after the break and came close to scoring a third when Mabunda smashed a shot just wide of the post from long range.
Keagan Dolly then threatend to score from just inside the box but directed his shot inches wide of the near post with the goalkeeper beaten.
Sundowns secured the victory and their Absa Premiership silverware in the 59th minute as Laffor completed his hat-trick. Billiat provided the assist again as he slid a pin-point pass through to the striker who slotted it.

Full story here:

Springbok Sevens player Francois Hougaard on Tuesday re-joined the Springbok Sevens squad at their training base in Stellenbosch and will be considered for the forthcoming Paris and London legs of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Hougaard played in the first four tournaments in Dubai, Cape Town, Wellington and Sydney and just returned from a stint with English Premiership club Worcester.

Springbok Sevens coach Neil Powell was pleased to see Hougaard back and in contention for selection for the last two tournaments of the 2015/16 series.

“It is nice to see Francois back,” said Powell. Continue reading

There were no new injury concerns for the DHL Stormers heading into the bye week following their clash with the Waratahs at DHL Newlands.

On the long-term injury list there are a number of players that have made good progress, with the likes of Wilco Louw, Jaco Taute, Jano Vermaak and Robert du Preez expected to be available for selection following the June international break.

Eben Etzebeth is in the final stages of his rehabilitation from a calf injury, and may travel with the team to face the Sunwolves in Singapore on May 14 depending on his progress this week.

Taute will return to training for the first time this week since picking up an ankle injury in pre-season, while scrumhalf Vermaak (neck injury) and flyhalf Du Preez (knee injury) should be back on the training pitch next month.

Lock Jean Kleyn who injured his arm is also expected to return to full fitness before the end of the Vodacom Super Rugby season.

The Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) has welcomed South Western Districts back into the DHL Stormers fold.

South Western Districts formed part of the original DHL Stormers franchise which was formed in 1998, and after a 10 year absence the union has once again been made official partners in the DHL Stormers franchise. Continue reading

The South African Rugby Union on Monday extended condolences to the family of former Springbok captain, Cornelius Michael “Nelie” Smith, who passed away in the early hours of Monday morning.

“Oom Nelie”, 81, passed away due to heart failure, in Strand where he lived, only a week before his 82nd birthday on 8 May.

The president of SA Rugby, Mr. Oregan Hoskins, said rugby across the globe is poorer today. Continue reading

Think you have what it takes to master the BIG5?

Swimming, cycling and running mixed with food, wine-tastings, live music and lots of oysters – that’s what you can expect at the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival from 1 to 10 July 2016. With more than 100 activities spread over ten days there will be no shortage of fun. But, if the idea of a week of nothing but indulgence leaves you restless why not sign up for theBIG5 Sport Challenge?

The BIG5 Sport Challenge not only offers the unique opportunity to experience some of South Africa’s most spectacular natural scenery while enjoying the sport you love, but the impressive multisport event has gained massive popularity over the last few years and has become a bucket list ‘must’ on the local and international endurance and adventure race calendar. Continue reading

DHL Stormers stalwart Nic Groom will be leaving at the end of the season to join English Premiership side the Northampton Saints.

The scrumhalf recently brought up his half-century of Vodacom Super Rugby caps for the DHL Stormers in their victory against the Reds at DHL Newlands.

The 26-year-old double Currie Cup winner, who has also played in 59 Currie Cup matches for DHL Western Province, has spent his entire professional career at DHL Newlands having come through the Western Province Rugby Institute. Continue reading

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