A CLUB match in the Northern Cape will bring the curtain down on the South African domestic season when Upington and Durbanville-Bellville fight it out for the final place in the 2015 Cell C Community Cup.
‘Dorp’ and ‘Durbell’ – as the two sides are more affectionately known – will clash in Community Cup Qualifying’s Repechage final at Die Eiland sports ground, which is situated on the banks of the Orange River. Kick-off is at 16h30.
The match will end two months of regional qualifying across the country, involving the second-best open clubs from all 14 Unions, to decide the five so-called ‘wild card’ teams to complete the 20-team field in the third edition of SARU’s flagship tournament for non-university clubs.
The 2015 Community Cup kicks off on 21 February, with five weeks of pool action reaching its climax on 21 March. The Easter Top 8 play-offs for the best two teams from each Pool will take place from 2-6 April, with the prized Gold Cup once again to be handed to the winners on Easter Monday. All 12 Easter weekend matches will be televised live on SuperSport, as will the opening game.
Vaseline Wanderers (North), Jonsson College Rovers (Central), Port Elizabeth Police (South East) and Wesbank (South West) have already qualified and will be evenly divided amongst the four Pools when they are announced next week and the fixtures released in a fortnight’s time.
The winner of Saturday’s Repechage final will join defending champions Rustenburg Impala, Kempston Old Selbornians (Border) and Springs (Valke) in Pool A, along with one of the four regional qualifiers.
“The very successful addition of the Qualifiers this year means that the Cell C Community Cup, with 66 matches, is now the biggest tournament that SARU runs in terms of total matches,” said CEO, Jurie Roux.
“Over the past two months the Cell C Community Cup brand has increased its footprint, especially on the platteland. We made a number of new stops including Secunda, Upington, Kimberley, Uitenhage and Paarl. Our Unions have also come to the party by providing a platform for the clubs to play at, amongst others, Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, Durban’s Growth-Point Kings Park, GWK Park in Kimberley, and Olen Park in Potchefstroom.
“The season might have been a bit longer than we would have hoped, due to some provincial leagues finishing later than others, but we are hopeful of moving towards a more ‘global’ season in which all the country’s club leagues are better aligned, thereby making for a better club rugby product for players, fans and sponsors,” added Roux.
The 2015 Community Cup Pools will be finalised after Saturday’s Repechage final and announced next week.
The fixtures for the tournament’s 40 Pool matches, which get underway on 21 February, will be announced in the week of 17 November.
Pool A – Rustenburg Impala (Leopards, defending champion), Kempston Old Selbornians (Border), Springs (Valke), repechage winner (Upington or Durbanville-Bellville), regional qualifier.
Pool B – Raiders (Golden Lions), Pretoria Police (Blue Bulls), Bloemfontein Crusaders (Free State), BB Truck Noordelikes (Limpopo), regional qualifier.
Pool C – Hamiltons (WP), Villagers Worcester (Boland), Aveng Moolmans Sishen (Griquas), Evergreens (SWD), regional qualifier.
Pool D – SA Home Loans Durban Collegians (KZN), Gap Management Despatch (EP), Eagle Towing Welkom Rovers (Griffons), Shumba Ferros (Mpumalanga), regional qualifier.