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WP Club Rugby Season starts, CPUT win Varsity Shield

It’s been a fantastic week for WP Rugby as CPUT walked away as the Varsity Shield Champions and Maties and Durbell both booked finals.
Coaches Ricky Peterson and Rito Hlongwane have certainly shown his coaching pedigree in his teams' Varsity Shield debut. After narrowly losing to the Madibaz earlier in their campaign, CPUT bounced back with tries from Butsha Mputa, Colin April, Keadon Consul, George-Lee Erasmus and three conversions by Ralton October, CPUT scored a fantastic 32-28 victory to win the Varsity Shield.
We want all our rugby fans to get down to the Craven Stadium to support the Maties as they look to win yet another Varsity Cup final. After an unbeaten run, and beating Shimlas 47-5 at home on Monday night, our Stellenbosch boys are in yet another final.
Our other final sees Durbell travelling to Rustenburg to play in the Gold Cup final against the Rustenburg Impalas on Sunday.
This past weekend saw the official start of the WP Club Rugby season with just over one hundred and fifty matches played on the first day.
As was expected, several teams got their campaigns off to strong starts and showed their intentions for the 2019 season.
In Super League A it was Uni-Mil that made the most significant impact, as Coach Isma-eel Dollie and his team showed the benefits of consistency with a 63-29 win over Hamiltons. Villagers also showed their turnaround from five years ago with a 57-14 win over NTK.
In Super League B, Franschhoek showed why they’ve been so consistent over the past few years with a 29 -24 win over Kuilsriver at Jagtershof. Belhar wasted no time showing their Super League A pedigree with a 31-22 win over Hamlets. As we all predicted the derby match between St Georges and All Saints would go down to the wire, but it was St Georges who were just too strong winning 24-17.
In Super League C, Elsies River took advantage of the home ground with a 31 -26 win over Kraaifontein. Most likely the game of the week in this league was the 46-29 win for Scottsdene over Pniel Villagers.
Noordelikes will be happy with their 41-21 win over Atlantis in the Southern League. In the Northern League, it was derby time between Eerste Rivier and Sir Lowrians as both these teams come out of the Helderberg basin. It was eventually Eersterivier that walked away with the bragging rights, winning 8-3.
In the City League, Masiphumele took the win 38-8 over the newly structured Gardens, and there was a derby feel between Young Ideas and Western Zebras with the former winning 34-22. Also showing clear intentions in the City League was Hamediehs, with a 64-0 win over Perseverance.
The Paarl league saw a win for last years' league winners Allandale, as they took the spoils 47-13 over Young Gardens.
The past Monday we hosted our first Media and Sponsorship workshop. The workshop presented by Cape Rugby TV presenter and sports brand strategist JP Naude, saw an impressive turnout with more than forty clubs and just over eighty members in attendance. It was particularly good to see that more clubs have now started taking the initiative to gain sponsorship at club level.
Coach Jerome Paarwater hosted a video analysis workshop for the Super Leagues. The course is particularly important for coaches, not only to understand and improve on their team's technical skills, but also to fit in with the WP Rugby coaching ethos.
Week two of our league season sees a few big matches, and many teams will be trying to find their groove now that the initial nerves have worn off and the cobwebs dusted off.
Amongst other matches in Super League A, Paarl who host Uni-Mil at the Daljosafat Stadium in Paarl, will have their work cut out for them as Uni Mil will be brimming with confidence after their win over Hamiltons. Tygerberg host Villagers and with both these teams having opened their season with impressive wins, this match will be a tester.
The big picks in Super League B are most certainly the matches between Belhar and Franschhoek and St Georges and Kuilsriver. From these four teams, it is only Franschhoek that does not have Super League A experience. Belhar who have a new found social media spirit, will no doubt be making sure that their crowd is there to welcome their visitors with gusto.
In Super League C, Pniel Villagers will be looking to bounce back against Strand United after their loss to Scottsdene. The big match here is most likely Hands and Hearts versus Morning Star. You can’t read much into Hands and Hearts big win over Manenberg Rangers, but they have already had some impressive pre-season matches. Morning Star comes off a good win over Strand and had a good pre-season performance against Primrose.
It’s derby time in the City League as Perseverance face Progress. Both these teams have a long history and both play out of the City Park premises.
Retreat host Peninsula in their derby match in the Southern League this weekend and fans can expect a festival atmosphere.
The Northern League will also see some derby feel matches. Albions host van der Stell/ Evergreens, and newly sponsored Whistling Wheels host neighbours Eerste River.

Lower Paarl host Allandale in what must be the Paarl pick of the week. Both teams come off good wins last week and will be teaming with confidence.

Tygerberg Rugby Club in Ravensmead is the venue for the international series this weekend. Our u20 Junior Springboks face Namibia at 13:30 and Georgia u20 are up against the Argentinia u20 side at 15:15.

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