Defending champs Durbell off to a good start
GOLD CUP WRAP: SA Rugby’s three-nation championship for non-university clubs kicked off in style last Saturday when defending champions Durbanville-Bellville march to a 40-14 win over Old Selbornians.
Meanwhile, visitors Welkom Rovers upset hosts Worcester Villagers 39-29 at Boland Park in Worcester.
Scrumhalf Jaco Pretorius, who scored a hat-trick of tries, and flyhalf Tiaan van Wyk, who kicked 19 points, helped the Griffons champions to a bonus-point victory against the oldest club in the tournament.
While, 2014 champions Rustenburg Impala in Pool B, newcomers False Bay in Pool C, and Pretoria Police and Port Elizabeth Police in Pool D all secured big wins.
The latter two sides kick-off the second round’s action with a much anticipated Police derby on Friday at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, in a tussle which might well decide who tops Pool D.
The match is a curtain-raiser to the Currie Cup clash between the Blue Bulls and Griquas.
There is further Currie Cup curtain-raiser action on Saturday when Durban Collegians, who were beaten 37-19 by False Bay on the opening weekend, host White River, who were edged 20-18 at home by Zimbabwe champions Old Georgians.
In the other Pool C match, False Bay face an acid test of their title credentials when they travel to Bosman Stadium to face Siyaya Brakpan.
In Pool A, Welkom Rovers will host champions Durbell with both teams looking for a second win in as many weeks.
While the group’s other heavyweight side, two-time national club champions College Rovers, open their campaign at home against Worcester Villagers.
And in Pool B, Pirates, having held on at home to beat an impressive Wanderers Windhoek 28-26 last weekend, will look to make it two from two when they welcome Platinum Rhinos.
In possibly the most talked about match of the weekend, Impala travel to George to face SWD champions Evergreens, who will no doubt be spurred on by a packed house at the Pacaltsdorp Sports Ground.
The Gold Cup format is simple and identical to that of the Rugby World Cup:
20 clubs are divided into four pools of five, with each team playing two home and two away matches over a five-week period from September 10 to October 8 .
The top two clubs in each pool advance to the quarterfinals, scheduled for October 15. All knockout matches, including the televised semi-finals (October 22) and Final (October 29) will be hosted at participating clubs.
Round 1 Results:
Worcester Villagers 29-39 Welkom Rovers
Durbanville-Bellville 40-14 Old Selbornians
Pirates 28-26 Wanderers Windhoek
Platinum Rhinos 19-46 Rustenburg Impala
False Bay 37-19 Durban Collegians
White River 18-20 Old Georgians Harare
Belaz Sishen 17-44 Pretoria Police
PE Police 35-11 Bloemfontein Police
Round 2 Fixtures (all matches 15.30 unless otherwise indicated):
Friday, September 16 :
Pretoria Police vs Port Elizabeth Police (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, 16.15)
Saturday, September 17:
Durban Collegians vs White River (Growthpoint Kings Park, Durban, 12.15)
College Rovers vs Worcester Villagers (KP3, Kings Park, Durban, 13.00)
Welkom Rovers vs Durbanville-Bellville (Rovers Rugby Club, Welkom)
Evergreens vs Rustenburg Impala (Pacaltsdorp Sports Ground, George)
Pirates vs Platinum Rhinos (Pirates Rugby Club, Greenside, Johannesburg)
Siyaya Brakpan vs False Bay (Bosman Stadium, Brakpan)
East London Police vs Belaz Sishen (Police Park, East London)