The Cell C Community Cup Easter Playoffs looks set for a thrilling start in Rustenburg on Thursday as the top eight non-university club teams in the country go head-to-head at the Impala Rugby Club for the historic Gold Cup.
Hamiltons, Wesbank, Durbanville-Bellville, Jonsson College Rovers, GAP Management Despatch, Vaseline Wanderers, Pretoria Police, and hosts and defending champions Rustenburg Impala will battle it out for the title.
The tournament, which will be broadcast live on SuperSport, will run over three days, with four matches played per day on Thursday (2 April), Saturday (4 April) and Monday (6 April) respectively.
Of the eight teams Hamiltons, Jonsson College Rovers, GAP Management Despatch and Rustenburg Impala participated in the tournament in George last season.
“The Cell C Community Cup has grown from strength to strength in the last three seasons and this year it will have a special element to it in the sense that it will be hosted at a participating club’s home ground,” said SARU CEO Jurie Roux. “One of the main aims of this tournament was to revive club rugby in South Africa and hopefully by having the tournament at one of the top clubs television viewers and spectators will be able to see first-hand what makes club rugby so special. Hopefully this will assist in further boosting club rugby.”
Given the nail-biting end to the pool stages in which 10 teams were in the running on the final weekend for the last six places up for grabs in the Easter Playoffs, the final stages are expected to be thrilling.
“The quality of rugby in the Cell C Community Cup has improved immensely in the last few seasons, and the tight finish to the pool stages this season proved that,” said Roux. “Any one of the eight teams could be crowned the champions on Monday, so it will be an exciting few days of rugby.
“I wish all the teams luck for the tournament.”
Hamiltons and Wesbank will kick off the opening day’s play when they meet at 10h00 on Thursday, while Rustenburg Impala will take on Pretoria Police in the final match of the day at 16h00.
Cell C Community Cup Easter Playoffs – Day 1 fixtures:
10h00 – Hamiltons vs Wesbank
12h00 – Durbanville-Bellville vs Jonsson College Rovers
14h00 – GAP Management Despatch vs Vaseline Wanderers
16h00 – Pretoria Police vs Rustenburg Impala