THE rugby community of Mossel Bay will come to a standstill on Saturday when local side Barbarians host Kempston Old Selbornians in a Cell C Community Cup Pool A match that could well decide the fate of the two sides in this year’s tournament.
And elsewhere around the country, similar crunch ties will play themselves out in Malmesbury, Roodepoort, Oudtshoorn, Boksburg, Cape Town, Welkom and Brakpan as the penultimate round of pool action in SARU’s flagship tournament for non-university clubs looks set to confirm who will join Roodepoort and defending champions Gap Management Despatch in next month’s play-offs in George.
With six quarter-final places at Outeniqua Park on 17 April still up for grabs, the likes of Barbarians, G5 Metals Brakpan, Refreshhh! Centurion, Wesbank and Shumba Ferros will be looking for victories that could keep them in the play-off hunt.
In Pool A, unbeaten Old Selbornians travel to D’Almeida Stadium on Saturday knowing that victory over the Barbarians will guarantee qualification, and set up a fight for the top spot in the group when they host Despatch in East London in the final round next Saturday.
Pool B’s top-of-the-table clash comes a week early, with Jonsson College Rovers travelling to Rand Leases to take on Roodepoort in a match that will decide who tops that group.
Pool C leaders Roses United, with 13 points from 3 matches, have a bye this weekend but look set to qualify regardless, although there is still a mathematical chance that both G5 Metals Brakpan, who host bottom-placed BB Truck Noordelikes, and unbeaten Refreshhh! Centurion, who are away to Kaufela Boksburg, can still overtake them.
Adding spice to the permutations is that Centurion host Brakpan next weekend in the final round.
Pool D heavyweight Rustenburg Impala and Hamiltons are both unbeaten and are in pole position to advance, but Impala face a tricky away match in Malmesbury against Wesbank, while Hammies are at home to Ferros.
Upcoming Cell C Community Cup fixtures (all kick-off times 16h00 unless otherwise indicated):
Round 4 – Saturday 29 March:
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) – Eagle Towing Rovers vs E-Car Welkom (Rovers Rugby Club, Welkom, 17h00)
Match 28 (Pool B) – Roodepoort vs Jonsson College Rovers (Rand Leases Sports Ground, Roodepoort)
Match 29 (Pool C) – G5 Metals Brakpan vs BB Truck Noordelikes (Bosman Stadium, Brakpan, 18h00)
Match 30 (Pool C) – Kaufela Boksburg vs Refreshhh! 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, Aveng Moolmans Sishen.
Round 5 – Saturday 5 April:
Match 33 (Pool A) – Spring Rose vs Mossel Bay Barbarians (New Brighton Oval, Port Elizabeth, 15h30)
Match 34 (Pool A) – Kempston Old Selbornians v Gap Management Despatch (Kempston Park, East London)
Match 35 (Pool B) – Jonsson College Rovers vs Eagle Towing Rovers (KP3, Kings Park, Durban, 15h00)
Match 36 (Pool B) – E-Car Welkom vs Bloemfontein Crusaders (Griffons Rugby Stadium ‘B’ field, Welkom)
Match 37 (Pool C) – Refreshhh! Centurion vs G5 Metals Brakpan (Centurion Rugby Club, Centurion)
Match 38 (Pool C) – BB Truck Noordelikes vs Roses United (Noordelikes Rugby Club, Polokwane, 16h30)
Match 39 (Pool D) – Rustenburg Impala vs Hamiltons (Rustenburg Impala Rugby Club, Rustenburg)
Match 40 (Pool D) – Aveng Moolmans Sishen vs Wesbank (Sivos Rugby Stadium, Kathu)
Byes: Bridgton, Roodepoort, Kaufela Boksburg, Shumba Ferros.
Easter Championship Play-offs – Outeniqua Park, George (all matches live on SuperSport. K/o times tbc):
Day 1 – Thursday 17 April:
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:
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:
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)