Champions and wildcards off to winning start in Gold Cup

Posted on September 13, 2017  /  Issued by SA Rugby
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 10: Stewart Jacobs of Tygerberg during the Gold Cup match between Tygerberg and Progress Uitenhage at Florida Park on September 10, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
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Gold Cup champions Newrak Rustenburg Impala got off to a winning start while there were also significant wins for tournament wildcards Swallows and Tygerberg in the first round of SA Rugby’s flagship three-nation champions’ league for non-university clubs.

In Pool A, Impala, winners in 2014 and 2016, were made to work very hard for a 28-10 victory over visitors Recall Security Bloemfontein Police, who led 3-0 at the break. In the other match, debutants Sasol Hydra-Arc Secunda picked up five valuable log points on the road with a come-from-behind 40-24 win over Human Auto Welkom in the northern Free State.

Pool B provided arguably the biggest upset of the weekend when Zimbabwe’s champions, Old Georgians, beat fancied Golden Lions representatives Raiders 57-36 in Harare, with wing Jafnos Chiwanza kicking no fewer than 32 points. Northam Platinum Rhinos of Limpopo meanwhile recorded their first-ever Gold Cup win with a nailbiting 27-21 away victory over first-timers Speedy Car Sales Vaal Reefs in Orkney.

Pool C is anyone’s to win, with wildcards Swallows edging Border champions Mike Pendock Motors Old Selbornians 25-24 in the big East London derby, while Tygerberg, following a nervy start which saw them concede three early tries, ran out impressive 54-27 winners over EP champions Gap Management Progress Uitenhage in a match which saw centre Deon Taljaard kicking 24 points.

Go Nutz College Rovers, the last national champions of the pre-Gold Cup era in 2012, came away from Windhoek with a 46-17 win over newcomers Western Suburbs, while 2016 runners-up Direct Axis False Bay made their title aspirations known with a strong 43-19 win at home over Boland champions Roses United, with hard-running right wing Danie Roux crossing four times to lead the try-scoring charts after round one.

This weekend’s second round sees the action once again take place across the length and breadth of South Africa – in Secunda, Bloemfontein, Setaria, Pretoria, Despatch, George, Wellington and Kathu.

Broadcast partners SuperSport have confirmed that they will televise the Gold Cup quarter-finals (Sunday 15 October), semi-finals (Sunday 22 October) and final (Sunday 29 October).

ROUND 2 FIXTURES (all kick-off times 15h00 unless otherwise stated):

Saturday 16 September:

Pool A:

Sasol Hydra-Arc Secunda v Newrak Rustenburg Impala (Sasol Rugby Club, Secunda, 15h30)

Recall Security Bloemfontein Police v Wesizwe Vereeniging (Bobbies Park, Bloemfontein)

Pool B:

Northam Platinum Rhinos v Old Georgians (Setaria Recreation Club, Limpopo, 16h00)

QBR v Speedy Car Sales Vaal Reefs (Harlequins Club, Pretoria, 16h00)

Pool C:

Progress George v Tygerberg (Rosemore Stadium, George)

Pool D:

Roses United v Western Suburbs (Pelikaan Park, Wellington)

IMT Sishen v Direct Axis False Bay (Sivos Stadium, Kathu)

Sunday 17 September:

Pool C:

Gap Management Progress Uitenhage v Swallows (WJ de Wet Stadium, Despatch, 14h00)

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – SEPTEMBER 09: Percival Williams of Roses United and Ashley Wells of False Bay during the Gold Cup match between DirectAxis False Bay and Roses United at Phillip Herbstein on September 09, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Peter Heeger/Gallo Images)