It is crystal clear that “the powers that be” (read Super Sport and SARU) understand all too well the fanaticism and obsession associated with rugby and how some folks gladly schedule their lives and salaries around it. And inevitably this becomes the fire that fuels the constant search for further innovative ways to gain more out of the public and the players, with little or no regard for the consequences to either. The spectators and viewers might not feel too hard done by presently, but would they be as forgiving should the franchise they support suddenly find itself demoted to a less prestigious competition? Could SARU expect the same support for their new Currie Cup venture from the Bulls should they continue their dreadful run of form and slip into relegation-waters? To put it mildly, it will be cold day in hell!
So that begs the question, could this new format work or will it be amended to suit the needs of the more financially affluent unions? Add to this dilemma, the political pressure to create an opportunity for Cheeky Watson and his EP Kings in the amended Currie Cup and you could have a true melting pot, with genuine riots on hand. (more…)
In this Rugby World Cup (RWC) year you might find yourself tempted to predict the future at any one of the number of braais you might be attending over the next 50 or so days until the spectacle actually gets round to kicking off, and why not – the couch-coach game is a game we all love playing, especially if we are using that trusty old brown glass amber-filled crystal ball to aide us in our predictions: who should be in the Bok team and who not, who we’ll beat with that particular selection, who we’ll struggle against and then ultimately beat anyway and any other derivative of that science best left to only the most committed of us couch potatoes.
Invariably, much of what you attempt to sell your mates around the braai regarding the rugby future is based on recent form, with even those most objective of rugby analysts, the Aussie TV commentators, prepared to link the Super 15 form of The Reds to the fate of their national team in the coming year. (more…)
Would you like to win a R1 million? It was announced yesterday that a South African rugby fan could win a million Rand in the Absa Currie Cup’s ultimate drop goal kicking competition.
Three lucky winners will be chosen at random from SMS entrants to attempt a drop goal in this year’s Absa Currie Cup Final which takes place on the 31 October 2009. The first successful contestant will walk away with R1m.
The competitors will drop from the intersection of the corner of the 10m and 5m lines. The competition is not open to professionals or first-league club players.
“Rugby fans should start practicing whenever they can squeeze in a session,” said Steward Masela of Absa Group Marketing.
Oregan Hoskins, President of the South African Rugby Union, said at the launch of the competition on Monday that the Bok management decided to releases “as many players as possible” for this coming weekend’s opening matches.
Hoskins, describing it as “the word’s best domestic competition”, said it is obvious that the public want to see the top players in action.
The Currie Cup, one of the oldest competitions in the world and still regarded as the cornerstone of South African rugby, kicks off this Friday when the Boland Cavaliers host the competition newcomers, the Leopards, in Wellington.
It’s all systems go for this year’s ABSA Currie Cup and it will start with the Boland Cavaliers hosting the Platinum Leopards in Wellington on Friday.
And to mark the occasion SA Rugby and Absa have launched a new logo to renew the identity of Absa’s long-standing sponsorship of South Africa’s 118-year Currie Cup.
“The nature of the game is constantly changing, increasing competition for ‘market share’ so that competing in sports sponsorship necessitates a strategic review of tournament reach and flex in a developing market place”, said Bronwen Rautenbach, Absa Executive Creative Director.
“Absa is confident that the new identity will reflect the nature of rugby in South Africa as it is today, as the logo captures the emotion, professionalism and energy of the current game.”
Eight teams – Boland Cavaliers, GWK Griquas, Platinum Leopards, The Sharks, Vodacom Blue Bulls, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs and Vodacom Western Province and the Xerox Lions, will battle it out for domestic rugby’s most important prize in the Premier Division competition.
The men from Potchefstroom, the Platinum Leapords are back with the big boys in the Currie Cup Premier division after beating the Valke twice in a row.
“The Leopards – who finished the regular part of the First Division season in first place, before losing to the Griffons in the final on October 10 – beat the Valke 27-19 to make it two from two against the Brakpan-based side, having beaten them 29-24 last weekend.
The Leopards ended the promotion/relegation fortnight as the only unbeaten team and they will be joined in the Premier Division in 2009 by the Boland Cavaliers, despite the Bolanders going down 50-42 to the Griffons in Welkom on Friday afternoon.
Boland beat the Griffons 54-15 last week and that victory was enough to see the Bolanders – who finished seventh in the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division – retain their Premier Division status once again.
South Africa’s premier Union Rugby competition, the ABSA Currie Cup is set to welcome a new team into their midst.
“The Leopards took a giant leap towards inclusion in South Africa’s top echelon when they edged the Falcons 29-24 in their First Round promotion/relegation match in Brakpan on Friday.
The Leopards, who will take a handy advantage into next week’s second leg, could join the ranks of big animals like the Sharks, Blue Bulls, Cheetahs and Lions – not to mention Western Province, Griquas and Boland Cavaliers – next year.
The Cavaliers have virtually secured their place in the Premier Division for another year with a runaway 54-15 win over the First Division champions, the Griffons, in Wellington earlier on Friday.
The second leg is in Welkom, but Griffons have several mountains to climb if they are to get promotion.
We look at the first leg of the promotion/relegation matches:
Falcons 24-29 Leopards
The Leopards, beaten in the First Division Final last week, have one foot in the big time after beating the Falcons in Brakpan on Friday. The visitors from Potchefstroom deservedly won the match after trailing 6-10 at half-time.