Rugby is back, and to start the oval ball rolling the Tafel Lager Griquas will entertain neighbours the Toyota Cheetahs at Tafel Lager Park tomorrow (Saturday) at 10.30am in a warm-up match ahead of the upcoming Currie Cup competition.
Rugby is back, and to start the oval ball rolling the Tafel Lager Griquas will entertain neighbours the Toyota Cheetahs at Tafel Lager Park tomorrow (Saturday) at 10.30am in a warm-up match ahead of the upcoming Currie Cup competition. Griquas will then travel to Bloemfontein for the return leg of the warm-up matches next Friday, October 3.
Speaking about the Griqua clashes, Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie said in an interview: “We are all looking forward to those matches (against Griquas) and defending the Currie Cup. We want to win the title again.”
Meanwhile, Griquas have been working hard at practice after the long lockdown was eased and they were finally allowed to do contact drills. Head coach Scott Mathie told the DFA that the players are keen to get stuck in after their long break.
“We are looking forward to the game, the players have last played rugby more than a year ago, so the energy and excitement is up there. This game is really just a good hit-out for us. It allows us to shake off the cobwebs and get the boys some much-needed contact and help them re-adjust to the pace of the game.
“We will be using a squad of 32 players, so everyone should get ample game time,” he said.
According to SARU, South Africa’s seven franchises will battle it out for Vodacom Super Rugby Unlocked and Currie Cup honours when the domestic season resumes next month, after a complete re-working of fixtures and competition structures has been forced by the six-month interruption.
Following the Vodacom Super Fan Saturday matches in Pretoria tomorrow and the Castle Lager Springbok Showdown in Cape Town (October 3), the seven provincial teams will head into a double round of local action over 16 weekends with two trophies up for grabs – Vodacom Super Rugby Unlocked and the Currie Cup.
The first round of matches – from October 10 to November 21 – will be a league-type competition for Vodacom Super Rugby Unlocked honours. The Vodacom Bulls, Cell C Sharks, Emirates Lions, DHL Stormers, Cheetahs, Griquas and Phakisa Pumas will face off to haul in the most log points possible.
All log points from this competition will then be carried forward into the second round – the Currie Cup from November 28 to January 9 next year. The top teams in the Currie Cup will contest the sem-ifinals on January 16 and the final on January 23.
Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby, expressed his excitement at the prospect of rugby finally getting under way.
“We are very grateful for the excellent co-operation we’ve had from our sponsors, broadcast partner, the unions and other stakeholders to get to a point where we can actually start looking forward to actual rugby matches on weekends again,” he said.
“Depending on our participation in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, we’ll see our top local Springboks in action in the coming weeks and months. The impact of the pandemic on the season has been extraordinary and we have had to come up with an extraordinary solution to be able to complete the Vodacom Super Rugby season and contest the Currie Cup. We believe that this is the best solution for everyone involved.
“All the teams will face each other home and away, and will enjoy two byes during the four months we believe will deliver top-class local rugby and unearth the next generation of stars for South African rugby,” he added.
SA Rugby has, meanwhile, also announced a five-team Provincial Under-21 competition between the Blue Bulls, Free State, Golden Lions, Sharks and Western Province. The details of this competition will be confirmed shortly.