February 17, 2013 in Uncategorized
Super Rugby Week 1:
Super Rugby kicked off a week early in Oz with two derbies, Rebels vs Force and Brumbies vs Reds. Both matches were error-strewn as the teams tried to get rid of the off-season rust – playing pre-season practice matches just isn’t the same as the real deal. The Force will need to sort out their lineouts and the Reds are just not the same without Will Genia while the Rebels may just surprise a number of teams this year and the Brumbies look like possible play-off contenders, on merit and not just because they top the Aussie conference.
Super Rugby Warm-Ups:
The last of the Super Rugby worm-up games were played and now it’s on to the real thing. FYI, the Sharks beat the Pumas, the Chiefs beat the Canes and the Blues beat the Clan.
Western Force Touring Squad:
The Force announced their touring squad for their trip to South Africa with the inclusion of four Wallabies back from injury, captain Matt Hodgson, winger Nick Cummins, prop Salesi Ma’afu and flanker/lock Hugh McMeniman.
Chris Alcock, Richard Brown, Nathan Charles, Sam Christie, Angus Cottrell, Pek Cowan, Nick Cummins, Patrick Dellit, Sias Ebersohn, Tetera Faulkner, Kyle Godwin, Jayden Hayward, Matt Hodgson, Kieran Longbottom, Toby Lynn, Salesi Ma’afu, Alfie Mafi, Alby Mathewson, Ben McCalman, Hugh McMeniman, Junior Rasolea, Mick Snowden, Winston Stanley, Heath Tessmann, Will Tupou, Sam Wykes.
Apart from Eben Etzebeth, Tiaan Liebenberg, Scarra Ntubeni and Schalk Burger it looks like Juan de Jongh will also miss the opening Super Rugby fixture next weekend against the Bulls, although there is hope that Burger may be ready.
Cell C Community Cup Kicks Off:
The club championships for non-varsity clubs kicked off on Saturday with wins by some of the big guns, College Rovers (KZN), Pretoria Police (Blue Bulls) and Rustenburg Impala (Leopards), but also wins by some of the wild cards, Raiders (Lions), African Bombers (EP) and Roses United (FS). A number of former junior and senior provincial players were on show including Tian Meyer (Pumas & Lions) and Wandile Mjekevu (Lions) for College Rovers and Naas Olivier (Griquas & Cheetahs) for Rustenburg Impala.
Vodacom Cup Warm-Ups: Griquas name a strong side:
A strong Griguas side, even stronger than the one that beat the Southern Kings, beat the SWD Eagles 54-17 in a Vodacom Cup warm-up match. The Griquas included a number of returning Cheetahs extended squad members in the run on side with only six players who started against the Kings starting against the Eagles.
15 PJ Vermeulen, 14 Luzuko Vulindlu, 13 Jean Stemmet, 12 Walter Venter, 11 Richard Lawson, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Jacques Coetzee, 8 Leon Karemaker, 7 Justin Downey, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Jaco Nepgen, 4 Ligtoring Landman, 3 Eugene Butterworth, 2 Ryno Barnes, 1 Janro van Niekerk.
Replacements: 16 Matt Dobson, 17 Simon Westraadt, 18 Steph Roberts, 19 Brummer Badenhorst, 20 Edwin Hewitt, 21 Joubert Horn, 22 Deon Carney, 23 Enrico Acker, 24 Marnus Hugo, 25 Burton Francis, 26 Rocco Jansen.
Pre-season indications are that the Blue Bulls and Griquas will be the main contenders for the 2013 Vodacom Cup