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BrightRock and MyPlayers join forces to host  first-ever awards by rugby players for rugby players

Johannesburg , 20 October 2017 – Provider of needs-matched life insurance, BrightRock and the MyPlayers, the South African rugby players’ organisation are proud to announce that they will be launching the first-ever BrightRock Players Choice Awards – an event by the players, for the players where professional South African rugby players will honour and acknowledge their peers.

The awards – the first of their kind in South Africa – will be taking place on 12 December 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre and will be hosted and attended by players from all over the country. It allows professional players from all fourteen unions to recognise their peers through a nomination and voting process, which will culminate in an entertaining evening where winners will be announced in seven award categories. The flagship award will be the coveted Players’ Player of the Year award.

Through the Fans’ Choice category, the BrightRock Players Choice Awards will also allow fans to vote for their favourite players.

According to Elma Smit, marketing manager for MyPlayers, the launch of the BrightRock Players Choice Awards is the realisation of a goal set by the organisation years ago: To host a fun event where players from all over the country, as well as fans, can celebrate the successes and triumphs of their peers and heroes.

“MyPlayers is the official organisation representing all the professional rugby players in South Africa. The organisation is 100% owned by the players and our organisation provides players with wide ranging support, such as managing their rights all the way to assisting with their career development. The BrightRock Players Choice Awards is an extension of our organisation’s offering by providing our players with a new platform to acknowledge and celebrate each other’s achievements at the end of the rugby season. Continue reading

Jaco Peyper will referee his third Currie Cup Final in six seasons on Saturday when the Cell C Sharks host DHL Western Province at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban at 16h00.

Saturday’s Final will also mark back-to-back Currie Cup Final appointments for the 37-year-old Peyper, as he took charge of the season-finale between the Toyota Free State Cheetahs and Vodacom Blue Bulls in Bloemfontein last year. Interestingly, Saturday’s match will be a repeat of his first Final, which was also in Durban in 2012, while it will also mark his 41stCurrie Cup match since his debut appointment in 2008, in a match between the Hino Valke and Boland.

Stephan Geldenhuys will take charge of the SA Rugby U21 Championship Final between the Vodacom Blue Bulls and DHL Western Province at 13h00, while Vusi Msibi will hold the whistle in the SA Rugby U19 Championship Final between the Xerox Golden Lions and Toyota Free State Cheetahs at 11h00. Both matches are curtain-raisers to the Currie Cup Final in Durban.

Cwengile Jadezweni, meanwhile, will be the man in the middle in Gold Cup Final between DirectAxis False Bay and Go Nutz College Rovers at the Phillip Herbstein Field in Cape Town on Saturday, while Marius van der Westhuizen will referee the Currie Cup promotion-relegation match between Tafel Lager Griquas and the Down Touch Griffons in Kimberley on Friday evening at 18h30.

Peyper will be assisted by Egon Seconds and AJ Jacobs in the Currie Cup Final, with Marius Jonker being tasked with the Television Match Official (TMO) duties, while Archie Sehlako and Ruhan Meiring have been named the assistant referees for the U21 and U19 Finals, with Christie du Preez and Willie Vos on TMO duty respectively.

In the Gold Cup Final Aimee Barrett-Theron, who officiated the SA Rugby U20 Championship Final last week, and Paul Mente have been appointed the assistant referees, while Rasta Rasivhenge and Ben Crouse will assist Van der Westhuizen in the promotion-relegation clash with Pro Legoete tasked with the TMO responsibilities. Continue reading

This from sport24.co.za:

Cape Town – The Western Province Rugby Union (WPRU) looks set to move to the Cape Town Stadium and leave Newlands behind.

According to Netwerk24, an official agreement has notbeen signed, but WPRFU president Thelo Wakefield said it was a ‘business decision’ to be finalised in the near future.

Despite the news, both the Stormers and Western Province are expected to remain at Newlands next year, and Wakefield could not confirm if the move will be made as early as 2019.

“I know there are emotions involved, but in the end that does not pay the bills. It is inevitable that we move … If our vision is to be the leading union in the world, we must also have world-class facilities,” he said.

The Cape Town Stadium was built to stage matches at the 2010 Soccer World Cup and will play host the South African leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series on December 9-10, 2017.

 

The Cell C Sharks and DHL Western Province will meet in the Currie Cup Final – sponsored by DirectAxis and Nashua – in Durban on Saturday after powering their way to victories against the Vodacom Blue Bulls and Xerox Golden Lions respectively in the semi-finals.

Log-leaders, the Cell C Sharks, defeated the Pretoria side 37-27 in Durban, while DHL Western Province took advantage of the Johannesburg outfit’s ill-discipline in Cape Town to secure a 19-5 victory.

These results reaffirmed their status as the top teams in the competition and steered them to a repeat of the 2012 and 2010 Currie Cup Finals in Durban.

The Cell C Sharks started their semi-final with a bang at Growthpoint Kings Park as they scored two tries in the first six minutes compliments of centre Lukhanyo Am and winger Kobus van Wyk, and added another two by scrumhalf Louis Schreuder and lock and captain Ruan Botha before the break. In turn, they limited the Vodacom Blue Bulls to a converted try and two penalty goals, which earned the hosts an encouraging 28-13 halftime lead.

The visitors worked their way back into striking distance of the home team on the scoreboard as they added two tries to their score in the third quarter, while their effective defence denied the Cell C Sharks from crossing the tryline again in the match. However, two penalty goals and a drop goal by flyhalf Curwin Bosch guided them to a 37-27 victory and their first final berth since 2013. Interestingly that Final was also against DHL Western Province, but hosted in the Mother City.

In Cape Town the clash between DHL Western Province and the Xerox Golden Lions was a hard grind from the outset as both sides tried to make their presence felt, but were limited by the solid defence, which resulted in each side scoring only one try in the match. Both tries were scored in a first half, while the hosts’ flyhalf Robert du Preez slotted over two penalty goals to push his team 13-5 ahead going into the break. Continue reading

Talented youth given the opportunity to travel to Cape Town to prove themselves in front of Rabada, Gibson and van Zyl

20 October 2017. Cape Town.  The Audi Q5 Fast Track, South Africa’s first cricket development initiative designed to utilise state-of-the-art technology to identify bowling talent, held its national final this week at the Clifton Oval in Cape Town.  The final included Proteas players who were on hand to scout for the next fast bowling stars and brought together 24 of the best young bowlers from around the country. The aim of the day was to allow standout young bowlers to showcase their talent in front of Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) development team.  Gerhardus Fourie from Limpopo and Constance Sardick from Gauteng emerged as winners in the day, recognising their all-round bowling skills.

Sardick, who experienced her first trip to Cape Town, said “The Audi Q5 Fast Track final was definitely one of the most exciting experiences of my life.  Not only did I get to experience the amazing technology of the Audi Bowling Lab or have the opportunity to show my talent in front of Cricket South Africa but I also got to meet my heroes and experience Cape Town for the first time.”

The Audi Q5 Fast Track initiative, in collaboration with CSA, was conceived with the aim of utilising the Audi Bowling Lab (a set-up which uses world-leading Pitchvision technology to assess a bowler’s action, line, length and speed) to identify young bowling talent in untapped rural areas.  It has since visited Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Limpopo and Western Cape.  Former Protea fast bowler, Mfuneko Ngam, served as the lead talent scout and was directly involved in selecting standout bowlers in each region who would ultimately make it through to the national final.

Ngam commented, “The Audi Q5 Fast Track was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my career. Audi has helped us to realise the depth of bowling talent that exists across our country – something which makes me very hopeful for the future of South African cricket.” Continue reading

Friday marks the 10th anniversary of the Springboks’ second Rugby World Cup final victory, beating England, 15-6, in Paris to become only the second team in history to win the Webb Ellis Cup twice.

SA Rugby President, Mr Mark Alexander, said on Friday that the Bok Class of 2007, under the coaching of Jake White and captaincy of John Smit, had done the country a wonderful service when they won the World Cup in the French capital.

“It was a great day for South Africa,” said Mr Alexander.

“We must never forget what that team did for us as a country, but also for rugby as a sport here in South Africa. They achieved something very few thought was possible and did so with grace and humility, something that lifted South Africans and showed what we can achieve.

“Just like the 1995 team of the late Kitch Christie and Francois Pienaar, rugby united our country in a very special way. These teams will always be dear to our hearts.”

Mr Alexander thanked the 2007 Springbok squad once again for their efforts of a decade ago and reaffirmed that they held a special place in the hearts of South Africans, both today and always.

The Boks kicked off the tournament with a 59-7 victory over Samoa in their pool match in Paris before they laid down a significant marker by disposing of England, then the defending champions, 36-0, at the Stade de France. Continue reading

DHL Western Province U19 will face Toyota Free State Cheetahs U19 in their semifinal clash which will be played as a curtain-raiser for the Currie Cup semifinal at DHL Newlands on Saturday.

DHL Western Province U19 topped the standings, having claimed 11 wins from their 12 matches in the regular season and will face the fourth-placed visitors from the Free State in a clash that kicks off at 14h30 on Saturday.

Captain Salmaan Moerat leads a settled side that has performed well as a unit all season, scoring 529 points including 76 tries and conceding just 176 for a points difference of 353.

Centre and vice-captain Lyle Hendricks, who is also the goalkicker, is third on the list of top points-scorers this season, with 115 points to his name, while powerful wing Christian Ambadiang is second on the list of top tryscorers with 14 five-pointers.

DHL Western Province U19 Head Coach Nazeem Adams said that his team are determined to make the most of the opportunity tio play at DHL Newlands in the semifinal.

“It will be a special experience for the players, a chance for them to build on all of the hard work they have put in this season.

“It is pleasing that we have been so consistent, but we also need to ensure that we are as accurate as possible in the play-offs,” he said.

DHL Newlands season tickets are valid for the Currie Cup semifinal, with match tickets available from wprugby.computicket.com or any Computicket outlet.

DHL Western Province U19: 15 Marko Labuschagne, 14 Christian Ambadiang, 13 Lyle Hendricks, 12 Henlo Marias, 11 Mike Mavovana, 10 Wian van Zyl, 9 Labib Kannemeyer, 8 Muller Uys, 7 Shaine Orderson, 6 Charl Serdyn, 5 BJ Dixon , 4 Salmaan Moerat (captain), 3 Sazi Sandi, 2 Schalk Erasmus, 1 Leon Lyons.
Replacements: 16 Daniel Jooste, 17 Reece Buizendenhout, 18 Adam Neethling, 19 Bernard Jansen, 20 Regardt du Plessis, 21 Deon Carstens, 22 Francke Botha, 23 Sako Makata.

Cobus Wiese will start for DHL Western Province U21 in their semifinal against Xerox Golden Lions U21 at Emirates Airline Park on Friday.

There are just two changes to the team that faced Leopards U21 in the last round of league fixtures, for the clash which kicks off at 14h30 in Johannesburg on Friday.

Both changes come in the forward pack with Wiese starting at blindside flank and captain Ernst van Rhyn shifting to the second row where he will partner the returning Eddie Zandberg.

The only changes to the replacements bench are the inclusion of lock Ruben de Villiers and utility back Cornel Smit.

DHL Western Province U21 Head Coach Jerome Paarwater said that his team are looking forward to the challenge of travelling up to Johannesburg to play some knock-out rugby.

“This is a great opportunity for this team to show what they are capable of against a strong Xerox Golden Lions U21 team.

“The players have put in the hard work, so the challenge now is to make sure we execute our plan as accurately as possible,” he said.

DHL Western Province U21: 15 Aidynn Cupido, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 David Brits, 12 Michaine Fick, 11 Edwill van Der Merwe, 10 Tiaan Swanepoel, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Daniel Maree, 5 Eddie Zandberg, 4 Ernst van Rhyn (captain), 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Nico Peyper, 1 Wikus Groenewald.
Replacements: 16 Percy Mngadi, 17 Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, 18 Ruben de Villiers, 19 Nama Xaba, 20 Paul de Wet, 21 Jordan Chait, 22 Cornel Smit.

The pressure on the four Currie Cup Premier Division semi-finalists – the Cell C Sharks, DHL Western Province, Xerox Golden Lions and Vodacom Blue Bulls – will reach boiling point on Saturday as they go head-to-head in their biggest match of the season for a place in the Final.

The Cell C Sharks, who finished the pool stages as the top team, will take on 2016 runners up, the Vodacom Blue Bulls, at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban at 14h30, while DHL Western Province will host the Xerox Golden Lions at DHL Newlands in Cape Town at 17h00.

The clash in Durban is the KwaZulu-Natalians’ first appearance in a Currie Cup knock-out match since 2014. It’s also the first time the Cell C Sharks and Vodacom Blue Bulls meet in the semi-final in five seasons.
Fuelling the hosts’ motivation, they won both encounters between the sides in the pool stages, while they have only gone down once against the Pretoria outfit at home in the competition in more than a decade – since 2006.

The visitors, meanwhile, will draw inspiration from the fact that the Cell C Sharks’ winning margins against them in the competition were by only eight and 13 points respectively, while most of their defeats in Durban have also been by less than 10 points. Adding to this, they have been fighting for their survival in their competition for several weeks, and will be up for the challenge. Continue reading

DHL Western Province have made some changes to the backline for the Currie Cup semifinal against Xerox Golden Lions at DHL Newlands on Saturday.

There are three positional switches in the backline and just one change to the forward pack for the knock-out clash, which kicks off at 17h00 on Saturday.

Dillyn Leyds moves from wing to fullback, with Ruhan Nel taking his place out wide and EW Viljoen back in midfield alongside Huw Jones.

This means that Damian Willemse and Werner Kok feature on the replacements bench along with scrumhalf Jano Vermaak who returns from injury.

Flank Kobus van Dyk is the only change to the forward pack which started in the win against the Cell C Sharks in Durban last week, with props Ali Vermaak and Frans van Wyk both among the replacements.

DHL Western Province Head Coach John Dobson said that his team are determined to make the most of home advantage at DHL Newlands.

“It is going to be a special occasion for everyone involved with a Currie Cup home semifinal at DHL Newlands so we are looking forward to it.

“The players have worked incredibly hard to get to this point and now the challenge is to make the most of this opportunity,” he said. Continue reading

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