DEFENDING champions GAP Despatch will square up to arch-rivals Spring Rose while a daunting cross-country journey of almost 3,000km awaits 2013 bronze-medallists Brakpan on the opening weekend of the 2014 Cell C Community Cup, after SARU on Friday confirmed the fixtures for SA’s flagship tournament for non-university clubs.
The Community Cup kicks off on Saturday 8 March 2014 with eight matches at club venues spread across the length and breadth of the country, from Wellington in the south to Polokwane in the north, and Mossel Bay in the east to Rustenburg in the north-west.
The tournament opener between Gap Management Despatch and wild cards Spring Rose in Pool A will be televised live on SuperSport from what is expected to be a jam-packed WJ de Wet Stadium in the Eastern Cape Town.
In Pool C, title contenders Brakpan, the Valke champions, travel from the East Rand to the West Coast to play Boland champions Roses United at Pelican Park in Wellington. Another capacity crowd is expected at the D’Almeida Stadium in Mossel Bay where Barbarians, another of the tournament’s five wild cards, will host Bridgton in an all-SWD affair.
Adding spice to this Southern Cape derby is the fact that Barbarians lost 25-24 to Bridgton in the SWD Premier League final at the neutral venue of George, thanks to a try after the hooter. Barbarians will be hoping that their formidable home-ground advantage will help them to reverse that heartbreaking loss.
“The countdown to the second edition of the Cell C Community Cup is now well and truly underway and with just over 100 days to go till kick-off the interest is already building,” said SARU CEO Jurie Roux. “It’s an incredibly demanding tournament and doubly so if you think that none of the 600-odd players who will take part are professional rugby players.
“Teams will be travelling a combined distance of almost 24,000km during the Pool stages, which is an average return trip of 600km for each of the 40 matches that will be played. No other tournament we run covers as much ground or has the potential to leave its mark on so many geographically and culturally diverse communities in such a short period of time. For the players it will be an unforgettable experience and a perfect platform to showcase their skills, not only to the crowds that will turn out to watch them, but also to the provincial coaches who will be watching the matches with interest.”
The two highest-placed clubs in each of the four Pools will qualify for the Easter Championship play-offs, to be played once again at Outeniqua Park in George from 17-21 April 2014.
The Cell C Community Cup 2014 fixtures:
POOL STAGES (all kick-off times tbc):
Round 1 – Saturday 8 March 2014:
Match 1 (Pool A) – Gap Management Despatch vs Spring Rose (WJ de Wet Stadium, Despatch)
Match 2 (Pool A) – Mossel Bay Barbarians vs Bridgton (D’Almeida Stadium, Mossel Bay)
Match 3 (Pool B) – Roodepoort vs Bloemfontein Crusaders (Rand Leases Sports Ground, Roodepoort)
Match 4 (Pool B) – Jonsson College Rovers vs Welkom Club (KP3, Kings Park, Durban)
Match 5 (Pool C) – BB Truck Noordelikes vs Boksburg (BB Truck Noordelikes Rugby Club, Polokwane)
Match 6 (Pool C) – Roses United vs Brakpan (Pelican Park, Wellington)
Match 7 (Pool D) – Shumba Ferros vs Wesbank (Puma Stadium, Emalahleni/Witbank)
Match 8 (Pool D) – Rustenburg Impala vs Sishen (Rustenburg Impala Rugby Club, Rustenburg)
Byes: Kempston Old Selbornians, Welkom Rovers, Centurion, Hamiltons.
Round 2 – Saturday 15 March 2014:
Match 9 (Pool A) – Bridgton vs Gap Management Despatch (Bridgton Sports Grounds, Oudtshoorn)
Match 10 (Pool A) – Spring Rose vs Kempston Old Selbornians (New Brighton Oval, Epakeni, Port Elizabeth)
Match 11 (Pool B) – Welkom Club vs Roodepoort (Griffons Rugby Stadium ‘B’ field, Welkom)
Match 12 (Pool B) – Bloemfontein Crusaders vs Welkom Rovers (Clive Solomon Stadium, Heidedal)
Match 13 (Pool C) – Boksburg vs Roses United (Prince George Park, Boksburg)
Match 14 (Pool C) – Centurion vs BB Truck Noordelikes (Centurion Rugby Club, Centurion)
Match 15 (Pool D) – Hamiltons vs Sishen (Stephan Oval, Green Point, Cape Town)
Match 16 (Pool D) – Shumba Ferros vs Rustenburg Impala (Puma Stadium, Emalahleni/Witbank)
Byes: Mossel Bay Barbarians, Jonsson College Rovers, Brakpan, Wesbank.
Round 3 – Saturday 22 March 2014:
Match 17 (Pool A) – Kempston Old Selbornians vs Bridgton (Kempston Park, East London)
Match 18 (Pool A) – Gap Management Despatch vs Mossel Bay Barbarians (WJ de Wet Stadium, Despatch)
Match 19 (Pool B) – Bloemfontein Crusaders vs Jonsson College Rovers (Clive Solomon Stadium, Heidedal)
Match 20 (Pool B) – Welkom Rovers vs Roodepoort (Rovers Rugby Club, Welkom)
Match 21 (Pool C) – Roses United vs Centurion (Pelican Park, Wellington)
Match 22 (Pool C) – Brakpan vs Boksburg (Bosman Stadium, Brakpan)
Match 23 (Pool D) – Sishen vs Shumba Ferros (Sivos Rugby Stadium, Kathu)
Match 24 (Pool D) – Wesbank vs Hamiltons (Wesbank Sports Grounds, Malmesbury)
Byes: Spring Rose, Welkom Club, BB Truck Noordelikes, Rustenburg Impala.
Round 4 – Saturday 29 March 2014:
Match 25 (Pool A) – Mossel Bay Barbarians vs Kempston Old Selbornians (D’Almeida Stadium, Mossel Bay)
Match 26 (Pool A) – Bridgton vs Spring Rose (Bridgton Sports Grounds, Oudtshoorn)
Match 27 (Pool B) – Welkom Rovers vs Welkom Club (Rovers Rugby Club, Welkom)
Match 28 (Pool B) – Roodepoort vs Jonsson College Rovers (Rand Leases Sports Ground, Roodepoort)
Match 29 (Pool C) – Brakpan vs BB Truck Noordelikes (Bosman Stadium, Brakpan)
Match 30 (Pool C) – Boksburg vs Centurion (Prince George Park, Boksburg)
Match 31 (Pool D) – Wesbank vs Rustenburg Impala (Wesbank Sports Grounds, Malmesbury)
Match 32 (Pool D) – Hamiltons vs Shumba Ferros (Stephan Oval, Green Point, Cape Town)
Byes: Gap Management Despatch, Bloemfontein Crusaders, Roses United, Sishen.
Round 5 – Saturday 5 April 2014:
Match 33 (Pool A) – Spring Rose vs Mossel Bay Barbarians (New Brighton Oval, Epakeni, Port Elizabeth)
Match 34 (Pool A) – Kempston Old Selbornians v Gap Management Despatch (Kempston Park, East London)
Match 35 (Pool B) – Jonsson College Rovers vs Welkom Rovers (KP3, Kings Park, Durban)
Match 36 (Pool B) – Welkom Club vs Bloemfontein Crusaders (Griffons Rugby Stadium ‘B’ field, Welkom)
Match 37 (Pool C) – Centurion vs Brakpan (Centurion Rugby Club, Centurion)
Match 38 (Pool C) – BB Truck Noordelikes vs Roses United (BB Truck Noordelikes Rugby Club, Polokwane)
Match 39 (Pool D) – Rustenburg Impala vs Hamiltons (Rustenburg Impala Rugby Club, Rustenburg)
Match 40 (Pool D) – Sishen vs Wesbank (Sivos Rugby Stadium, Kathu)
Byes: Bridgton, Roodepoort, Boksburg, Shumba Ferros.
Easter Championship Play-offs – Outeniqua Park, George (all matches live on SuperSport. K/o times tbc):
Day 1 – Thursday 17 April 2014:
Match 41 (Cup QF1) – Winner Pool C vs Runner-up Pool D
Match 42 (Cup QF2) – Winner Pool B vs Runner-up Pool A
Match 43 (Cup QF3) – Winner Pool D vs Runner-up Pool C
Match 44 (Cup QF4) – Winner Pool A vs Runner-up Pool B
Day 2 – Saturday 19 April 2014:
Match 45 (Losers’ match 1) – Loser Match 41 (QF1) vs Loser Match 42 (QF2)
Match 46 (Losers’ match 2) – Loser Match 43 (QF3) vs Loser Match 44 (QF4)
Match 47 (Cup SF1) – Winner Match 41 (QF1) vs Winner Match 42 (QF2)
Match 48 (Cup SF2) – Winner Match 43 (QF3) vs Winner Match 44 (QF4)
Day 3 – Easter Monday, 21 April 2014:
Match 49 (7th/8th Place Play-off) – Loser Match 45 vs Loser Match 46
Match 50 (5h/6th Place Play-off) – Winner Match 45 vs Winner Match 46
Match 51 (3rd/4th Place Play-off) – Loser Match 47 (SF1) vs Loser Match 48 (SF2)
Match 52 (Cup Final) – Winner Match 47 (SF1) vs Winner Match 48 (SF2)