Community Cup preview (Round 2)

Two traditional rivals with a combined 267 years of history will meet on Saturday when Hamiltons host Wanderers.

The Pool C match from the Stephan Oval in Green Point will be broadcast live on SuperSport 1, starting at 2:15pm.

Hamiltons, established in 1875, are South Africa’s oldest rugby club and celebrate a landmark 140th anniversary this year. Wanderers, meanwhile, were founded in 1888. The two clubs, who between them have produced over 60 Springboks, have not played each other in 47 years.

The Gautengers, whose famous ex-players include the likes of Okey Geffin, Syd Nomis, Rudolf Straeuli, Hannes Strydom, Warren Brosnihan, John Robbie and Murray Mexted, will make their Community Cup debut in the Mother City after enjoying a bye in last week’s first round.

Hammies, who boast Springboks including Bennie Osler, Gerry Brand, Freddie Turner, Tiny Naudé, Rob Louw, Carel and Michael du Plessis and Toks van der Linde, returned from the Northern Cape with four valuable log points after coming from behind to beat Griquas champions Sishen 25-24 in Kathu.

The encounter will also signal the return to action of top referee Jason Jaftha, after a prolonged absence due to injury.

The match is one of eight second-round clashes taking place across the country this weekend, as the 20 competing sides begin to jockey for position in their respective pools. The top two clubs from each of the four pools will qualify for the Easter play-offs in Rustenburg, which take place from 2-6 April this year at the Impala Rugby Club. All 12 Easter matches will be live on SuperSport.

In Pool C’s other match, Villagers Worcester will look to bounce back from their opening round loss to Evergreens when they host Sishen at Boland Park in Worcester. Defeat for either side will in all likelihood see them knocked out of the race to Rustenburg.

In Pool A, Port Elizabeth Police will find themselves in a similar predicament when they welcome high-flying Border champions Old Selbornians to Kemsley Park for the Eastern Cape derby. Old Boys beat Durbanville-Bellville in round one and another victory on Saturday will see them take a big step towards Easter qualification.

Durbell’s defeat means that they too cannot afford to slip up when they host newcomers Springs, who had a bye in round one, in Cape Town.

Pool B sees Pretoria Police travel to Bloemfontein looking for a second five-point haul against Bloemfontein Crusaders, who suffered a 20-16 loss to Raiders at home last week. College Rovers, who finished fourth overall last year, open their campaign on the home ground of their greatest rivals, Durban Collegians.

Collegians, the KZN champions, and Rovers have agreed to host one Community Cup double-header each this season. The action gets underway at 2:15pm when Rovers play Noordelikes, after which Collegians will face Rovers Welkom in Pool D in what has been a long-awaited debut match in the tournament for Durban’s historically most successful club.

The other Pool D match sees Despatch, who recorded the opening round’s biggest win, a 69-32 defeat of Rovers Welkom, up against Wesbank of Malmesbury. The Bolanders opened their account with a 32-13 win over Ferros but will have to be at their best to upstage the 2013 champions at their Despatch fortress.

Round 2 fixtures (all 4:00pm kick-offs unless otherwise stated):

Pool A
PE Police vs Old Selbornians (Kemsley Park, PE)    
Durbanville-Bellville vs Springs (Durbell Rugby Club, Cape Town)                          

Pool B
College Rovers vs Noordelikes (KP10, Kings Park, Durban, 14h15)     
Bloemfontein Crusaders vs Pretoria Police (Clive Solomon Stadium, Heidedal)

Pool C
Villagers Worcester vs Sishen (Boland Park, Worcester)
Hamiltons vs Wanderers (Stephan Oval, Green Point, 14:30 – live on SuperSport 1)            

Pool D
Despatch vs Wesbank (WJ de Wet Stadium, Despatch)                          
Durban Collegians vs Rovers Welkom (KP10, Kings Park, Durban)

Byes: Rustenburg Impala (A), Raiders (B), Evergreens (C), Ferros (D)

Photo: ImageSA/Saru

Post by

Simon Borchardt