Community Cup preview (Round 3)

The Community Cup enters a crucial stage on Saturday with just three rounds remaining for 20 sides to secure a place in the eight-team Easter play-offs.

No clear winner has emerged in any of the four pools, which each see at least three sides in strong contention for the two qualifying slots on offer.

There are a number of big clashes scheduled for round three, with matches in South Africa’s premier club tournament for non-university clubs taking place as far afield as Malmesbury, Worcester, Springs, East London, Pretoria, Polokwane, George and Emalahleni.

Up north, all eyes will be on the top-of-the-table clash in Pool B between home side Pretoria Police and College Rovers. The two sides last met in the final of the old National Club Championships in Rustenburg in 2012 – a match the Durban side won comfortably.

Three years on, it’s difficult to pick a winner. The Pretoria Bobbies have picked up a full house of 10 points in their two matches thus far – including an impressive come-from-behind 31-26 victory last week against the Bloemfontein Crusaders. Rovers, on the other hand, opened their campaign last week with an encouraging 54-15 win at home over Noordelikes, which saw former Springbok wing Jongi Nokwe score a brace.

Noordelikes will be hoping to get their first win in the competition, when they host Raiders in Polokwane in the second pool match.

In Pool A, Springs will look to bounce back from their disappointing defeat to Durbanville-Bellville in their debut match when they host PE Police, who were somewhat surprise victors over Old Selbornians last week. Old Boys, meanwhile, face an acid test, albeit at home, against defending champions Rustenburg Impala.

In Pool C, Evergreens resume their quest to qualify for Easter when they host high-flying Wanderers, fresh off their 40-40 draw against Hamiltons last week, at the Pacaltsdorp Sports Grounds.

In the pool's other match, SA’s oldest club Hamiltons travel to the Boland to face Villagers Worcester, who were themselves established in 1883 – making it a total of 272 years of history coming together at Boland Park.

And in Pool D, Durban’s other team in the tournament, Moor Cup champions Durban Collegians, will also get their first taste of cross-country travel when they fly to Cape Town for a mouthwatering clash in Malmesbury against Wesbank.

Collegians had to work hard for a bonus-point victory over Rovers Welkom at home last week and will be under no illusions about the challenge of playing the Boland Premier League runners-up in front of thousands of supporters and with temperatures expected to be in the high 30s.

Meanwhile, Despatch will play in Emalahleni for the very first time when they take on Ferros in the day’s first match.

Round 3 fixtures (all 4:00pm kick-offs unless otherwise stated):

Pool A 
Springs vs PE Police (Springs Rugby Club)
Old Selbornians vs Rustenburg Impala (Kempston Park, East London)

Pool B 
Pretoria Police vs College Rovers (Police Rugby Club, Groenkloof)
Noordelikes vs Raiders (Noordelikes Rugby Club, Polokwane)

Pool C 
Evergreens vs Wanderers (Pacaltsdorp Sports Grounds, George)
Villagers Worcester vs Hamiltons (Boland Park, Worcester)

Pool D 
Wesbank vs Durban Collegians (Wesbank Sports Ground, Malmesbury)
Ferros vs Despatch (Puma Stadium, Emalahleni, 15h00)

Byes: Durbanville-Bellville (A), Bloemfontein Crusaders (B), Sishen (C), Rovers Welkom (D)

Photo: ImageSA/Saru

Post by

Mariette Adams