National Clubs Round-up: Murray Cup set for kick-off
August 15, 2013
South Africa's oldest club knockout competition, the Castle Lager Murray Cup, kicks off once again this weekend with eight matches taking place across the length and breadth of KwaZulu-Natal.

The competition is named after the first president of the Natal Rugby Union, Sir TK Murray, who presented the trophy for the first time in 1890, to Savages of Pietermaritzburg.

The format, whose aim is to help revive club rugby on the KZN platteland, sees the province's eight premier division sides drawn to play against the top eight first division teams in the opening round of 16.

What makes the Murray Cup fascinating is that these matches all take place at the home grounds of the minnows.

This year's draw has produced another set of intriguing match-ups, with the pick of them being Community Cup runners-up College Rovers, who have just claimed an eighth successive KZN Moor Cup league title, travelling down the South Coast to play newly-crowned first division champions Amanzimtoti.

The Toti-Rovers match will be an emotional occasion for Toti coach Jeff Harper, a former Rovers player who helped revive the fortunes of the South Coast outfit in the mid-1990s as a hard-working flanker.

Pietermaritzburg Collegians face the longest trek of all after being drawn to play Piet Retief – a return trip of 850km! – while Harlequins, who play Amanzimtoti in a premier division promotion-relegation match after the Murray Cup, travel to Newcastle for the third time in succession.

Meanwhile, Ferros became the eighth team to qualify for the 2014 Cell C Community Cup, when they beat fierce rivals Malelane 62-25 in the Mpumalanga Buscor League final at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Saturday.

The Emalahleni-based side join College Rovers (KZN), Brakpan (Falcons), Roodepoort (Golden Lions), Sishen (Griquas), GAP Despatch (defending champions), Bloemfontein Crusaders (Free State) and newcomers Centurion (Blue Bulls) in the second edition of SARU's elite tournament for non-university clubs.

Elsewhere around the country, Hamiltons moved two points clear of Durbanville-Bellville in their ding-dong two-horse race for a Community Cup qualifying place from the Western Province Super League A, following their bonus-point 26-7 victory over Victorians in Green Point on Wednesday night.

Hammies now have 55 points from 15 matches, and will need to win all three of their remaining games, against Maties (this coming Saturday, at home, kick-off 16h00), Tygerberg (24 Aug, away) and Helderberg (7 Sep, away) if they hope to pip their northern-suburbs rivals to the single automatic qualifying place on offer.

Durbell might be trailing by two points going into this weekend's away match against Bellville, but crucially they have a game in hand, with matches against Helderberg (24 Aug, home), Maties (28 Aug, home) and UCT (31 Aug, away) still to play.

Defending Super League champions Maties, who beat Durbell to the 2012 league title on points difference, remain favourites to retain their crown after a 57-15 win over Tygerberg on Wednesday that puts the Stellenbosch students three points clear with two games in hand over their open club rivals.

And up north, all club roads lead to UJ Stadium in Johannesburg for the Predator League semi-finals, which see UJ face Community Cup bronze medallists Brakpan and Rustenburg Impala continue their growing rivalry against Raiders, against whom they drew 30-all in the Community Cup.

Down south, Community Cup wild cards Roses United remain unbeaten in the Boland Premier League but they face their stiffest test of the season so far when they host champions Villagers Worcester in Wellington.

And up north, Limpopo champions Noordelikes face an equally stern test when they welcome Pietersburg in a keenly-anticipated Polokwane derby.

This weekend's Premier League club fixtures from around SA (as supplied to SARU by its provincial unions):

Cross-border Predator Super League, Saturday (Cup Semi-finals):

UJ vs Brakpan (UJ Stadium A field, 14h00)
Rustenburg Impala vs Raiders (UJ Stadium A field, 16h00)

Blue Bulls – Carlton League:

League & Cup final won by Tuks.

Blue Bulls Limpopo – Boet Fick Senior League, Saturday:

Noordelikes vs Pietersburg

Boland – Premier League, Saturday (Round 14 of 18):

Roses Utd vs Villagers Worcester
Robertson vs Ceres
Black Leaves vs Saldanha
Hawston vs Vredenburg
Wellington vs Wesbank

Border – Premier League:

Round-robin stages completed. Quarter-finals 24 August.

EP – Grand Challenge:

No matches.

Free State – City League:

No matches – League & Cup final won by Shimlas.

Golden Lions – Pirates Grand Challenge:

League won by Roodepoort. See above for Predator fixtures involving Lions teams.

Griffons – 1st League:

No matches – date of final between Welkom Rovers and one of Welkom or Henneman TBC.

Griquas – Super League:

No matches – League won by Sishen.

KZN – Castle Lager Murray Cup, Saturday (Round of 16, all 14h30):

Amanzimtoti vs College Rovers
Piet Retief vs Pietermaritzburg Collegians
Newcastle vs Harlequins
Ballito Dolphins vs Zululand Rhinos
Vryheid vs Varsity College
Richards Bay vs Durban Collegians
Hillcrest vs Crusaders
Westville Old Boys vs UKZN Impi

Leopards – Neser A League:

League & Cup final won by Potch Dorp. See above for Predator fixtures involving Leopards teams.

Mpumalanga – Buscor Super League:

No matches – League & Cup final won by Ferros.

SWD – Premier League, Saturday (Round 20 of 22):

All Blacks vs Crusaders
Progress vs Silver Stars
Barbarians vs Bridgton
Groot-Brakrivier vs Uniondale
Bonnievale Utd vs Blanco
Swellendam vs Evergreens

Valke – Peregrine Super League:

League & Cup final won by Brakpan. See above for Predator fixtures involving Valke teams.

WP – Super League A, Saturday (Week 20 of 24):

Hamiltons vs Maties
UCT vs Helderberg
Victorians vs Belhar
Bellville vs Durb-Bell

Vodacom Super Rugby
Saturday, March 07 2015
08:35 - Blues vs Emirates Lions
QBE Stadium, Albany, Auckland
10:40 - Reds vs Waratahs
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Cell C Community Cup
15:00 - Ferros vs Despatch
Puma Stadium, Emalahleni
16:00 - Springs vs PE Police
Springs Rugby Club, Springs
16:00 - Old Selbornians vs Rustenburg Impala
Kempston Park, East London
16:00 - Pretoria Police vs College Rovers
Police RFC, Groenkloof
16:00 - Noordelikes vs Raiders
Noordelikes Rugby Club, Polokwane
16:00 - Evergreens vs Wanderers
Pacaltsdorp Sports Ground, George
16:00 - Villagers Worcester vs Hamiltons
Boland Park, Worcester
16:00 - Wesbank vs Durban Collegians
Wesbank Sports Grounds, Malmesbury

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