NEWS ARTICLES
Absa Currie Cup First Division kick-off pushes domestic season into full swing
June 27, 2013
SA’s domestic rugby season will go up a gear on Friday as the Absa Currie Cup First Division begins and the Vodacom Super Rugby series resumes.

In an action-packed Absa Currie Cup First Division opening day the Valke host the Griffons in Kempton Park, Border take on South Western Districts in East London and the EP Kings meet the Steval Pumas in Port Elizabeth.

In the only clash on Saturday the Regent Boland Cavaliers go up against the Leopards in Wellington.

An important feature in these matches will be the implementation of the new experimental laws, which includes the new scrum engagement process whereby the front rows have to bind before the “set” call. This has resulted in the call being adjusted to “crouch, bind, set”.

The match-up of the weekend is expected to be the EP Kings battling it out with the Steval Pumas in a repeat of last year’s final. But, with the defending champions, the Kings, missing several star players due to their Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Vodacom Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, their depth will be tested.

The visitors will also have the luxury of their top players being in good form and match fit following the SA President’s XV’s Tbilisi Cup victory in Georgia two weeks ago, which featured several Steval Pumas players and their coach Jimmy Stonehouse.

Despite these hurdles EP Kings director of rugby Alan Solomons was confident that his team would rise to the occasion and said: “Obviously it is a massive challenge for us because I think this might be the first time in the history of South African rugby that a union has to field a Super Rugby and Currie Cup team on the same weekend. That has placed a massive strain on our player resources. But we have worked hard to meet that challenge and I believe we are putting out a good team.”

Looking ahead at the match, Solomons said: “This is a challenging opening game because the Pumas are one of the best teams in the competition. This clash, however, will give us a good idea of where we are in terms of our quality of play.”

The clash between the Regent Boland Cavaliers and the Leopards will also be thrilling. While the big challenge for the hosts will be to match the Leopards’ physically, especially in the set pieces, the visitors will have to deliver a strong defensive effort to contain the exciting Boland backline.

The matches between the Valke and Griffons, and Border and South Western Districts respectively, are also expected to be tightly contested, and with all four teams letting themselves down in the Vodacom Cup earlier this year, they will be determined to start the series on a high note.

For Griffons captain Werner Griesel, in particular, the clash will mark a special milestone in his career as he will earn his 100th cap for his province.

This weekend’s clashes:

Valke vs Griffons
Date: 28 June 2013
Venue: Barnard Stadium, Kempton Park
Time: 15:00

Border vs SWD
Date: 28 June 2013
Venue: BCM Stadium, East London
Time: 19:00

EP Kings vs Steval Pumas
Date: 28 June 2013
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Time: 19:10

Regent Boland Cavaliers vs Leopards
Date: 29 June 2013
Venue: Boland Stadium, Wellington
Time: 16:00

MATCH CENTRE
FIXTURES
     
RESULTS
     
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Friday, August 01 2014
20:00 - Potgietersrus vs Northam
IRB Women's Rugby World Cup
20:45 - France vs Wales
Marcoussis 1, Paris, France
2015 Community Cup Qualifying - Border Super League
21:00 - Old Selbornians vs All Blacks
Kempston Park, East London
Absa Under 19 Competition
Saturday, August 02 2014
11:00 - Leopards U19 vs EP Kings U19
Profert Olen Park, Potch
Vodacom Super Rugby
11:40 - Waratahs vs Crusaders
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Absa Under 21 Competition
12:30 - Leopards U21 vs Border U21
Profert Olen Park, Potch
Inter Provincial Women B
15:00 - Griquas vs Pumas
Nababeep Stadium, Springbok
2015 Community Cup Qualifying - Mpumalanga Leagues
15:30 - Sasol vs Shumba Ferros
Puma Stadium, Witbank
2015 Community Cup Qualifying - KZN Fidelity Security Moor Cup
15:30 - SA Home Loans Durban Collegians vs Jonsson College Rovers
Kings Park 10, Durban
15:30 - Varsity College vs FNB UKZN Impi
Riverside Sports, Durban North

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