NEWS ARTICLES
Despatch kicks off Club Champs against White River
September 12, 2012
Two-time champions Despatch will have the honour of playing in the first match of this year's new-look SARU National Club Championships when they take on White River on Saturday morning at the Impala club in Rustenburg.

The Championships will be hosted by the Leopards Rugby Union for the first time in its 38-year history, while the tournament will also break new ground by not including any university teams in its line-up this year, following a SARU decision to provide as many of the country's top 'open' clubs as possible with the opportunity to play on the national stage.

It is interesting to note that had the tournament been open to Varsity teams, only UJ, Shimlas and NMMU would have qualified.

2010 national champions College Rovers, of KZN, and Western Province's number-one ranked club, Durbanville-Bellville, are the overwhelming favourites for the title along with hosts Rustenburg Impala and Blue Bulls champions Pretoria Police.

Durbell, who currently lead the Western Province Super League A by 10 points after home-and-away victories over both Maties and UCT this season, will be battle-hardened going into their opening match against SWD league winners Blanco following a hard-fought 38-17 victory over Belhar last weekend.

Rovers, in contrast, will have had a three-week break by the time they meet Limpopo champions Noordelikes on Saturday. The Durban side, coached by former Springbok scrumhalf Robert du Preez, wrapped up the KZN Moor Cup league title for a seventh consecutive time in July before beating Crusaders in the Castle Murray Cup final last month.

Rovers are the most successful club in South African rugby in recent years. Since 2006, they have reached the Club Champs final three times, winning once, and have only once failed to reach the semi-finals. Rovers' Murray Cup final victory on 25 August was also their 75th in 79 matches dating back to April 2009 – a remarkable achievement when one considers that this statistic includes three Club Champs campaigns.

Pretoria Police are one side who will not be over-awed by Rovers' impressive track record. The Bobbies beat reigning Varsity Cup champions Tuks 27-23 in this year's Carlton Cup final at Loftus Versfeld – something College Rovers could not do when they lost to the Pretoria students in a festival match in Durban earlier this year.

Impala will have the huge advantage of playing on their home ground, and boast a team brimful of players with provincial experience. Coached by Chris Buitendach, Impala reached the semi-finals of this year's Predator Super League before losing to reigning national club champions Pukke.

The winners of Saturday's eight first-round matches will advance to the Cup quarter-finals on Monday, with the losers competing for the Plate. The Cup and Plate semi-finals will be played on Wednesday, while both the Cup and Plate finals will be broadcast live on SuperSport next Friday, 21 September.

Day 1 fixtures (Sat, Rustenburg Impala Rugby Club):

B Field:
10h00: Sishen vs Brakpan
11.H30 Pretoria Police vs Welkom Rovers
14h30: Durbanville-Bellville vs Blanco

A Field:
08h30: White River vs Despatch
10h00: Bloemfontein Police vs Old Selbornians
11h30: College Rovers vs Noordelikes
14h30: Roodepoort vs Naka Bulls
16h00: Rustenburg Impala vs Villagers Worcester

MATCH CENTRE
FIXTURES
     
RESULTS
     
Absa Under 19 Competition
Friday, September 05 2014
17:00 - EP Kings U19 vs Sharks U19
NMMU Stadium, PE
Absa Under 21 Competition
18:00 - Border U21 vs Sharks U21
BCM Stadium, East London
Absa Currie Cup Premier Division
19:10 - DHL Western Province vs EP Kings
DHL Newlands, Cape Town
The Castle Lager Rugby Championship
Saturday, September 06 2014
09:35 - New Zealand vs Argentina
McLean Park, Napier
Absa Under 19 Competition
11:00 - Free State U19 vs Leopards U19
Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
11:45 - Griffons U19 vs Boland U19
North West Stadium, Welkom
12:00 - Valke U19 vs SWD U19
Barnard Stadium, Kempton Park
The Castle Lager Rugby Championship
12:05 - Australia vs South Africa
Patersons Stadium, Perth
2015 Community Cup Qualifying - Regional Play-Offs
12:45 - Leopards 2 (Vaal Reefs) vs Valke 2 (Brakpan)
Olen Park, Potchefstroom
Absa Under 21 Competition
13:00 - Free State U21 vs Leopards U21
Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein

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