CPUT wins Varsity Shield, Women’s Rugby milestones and more

Victory for FNB CPUT in the Varsity Shield this weekend saw more milestones reached at Western Province Rugby including milestones for Women’s Rugby, Club rugby, Varsity, and referees.

FNB CPUT scored a dramatic win over FNB WSU in the Varsity Shield at TUKS Stadium this Sunday in a match that saw both sides giving their all. The match went to a nailbiting extra time which eventually saw CPUT winning 30-26. After eight rounds of CPUT lost only one match under the guidance of head coach Alistair Theys. This is an outstanding performance for our boys who had to play all their matches in a bubble away from home under the COVID regulations.

In The Varsity Cup Round, six will now see Maties take on FNB Madibaz at TUKS while we see our two clubs FNB UCT and FNB UWC face each other at Loftus on 10 May 2021. All matches are live on SuperSport from 14:00.

Our DHL Women’s Rugby side made their debut at the Cape Town Stadium in fantastic fashion to get their Women’s Premier Division participation started with a bang as they scored a 38-6 win over the Boland Women’s Rugby side. After winning the tournament in 2017,2018 and 2019 we’re now looking for a fourth consecutive title.

This was a first on several levels for our DHL Women’s Rugby side as they played their first match at the Cape Town stadium and first-ever match live broadcast as the team took to the field in the curtain-raiser to the DHL Stormers vs the Cell C Sharks match.

The team under the guidance of Head Coach Laurian Johannes-Haupt and lead by Captain Babalwa Latsha will now face the Bulls Women’s Rugby side at Loftus this weekend and will now be playing back-to-back matches home and away.

Last week saw us meet online with our Super League, Regions and Metro club structures to draw for home positions for the clubs during the 2021 season. Historically we did this draw physically but this year due to COVID we modified the process to accommodate everyone online.

Even though all club rugby fixtures are currently regulated to take place without spectators the clubs were clearly excited about the draw process as home ground advantage remains the first prize.

This year sees a slightly different format in that each league now has a Pool A and Pool B with the top two in each league going through to the semi-finals. Although there is no promotion and relegation this year there is no doubt that our clubs will still give their best to walk away with the annual trophies.

In addition to the draw, the attendees were given a thorough rundown of the COVID regulations including process, procedures, and limitations.

Our junior rugby continues to excite as we recently saw just over fifty juniors attend the WP Rugby junior referees’ course at DHL Newlands. In addition to the studies of becoming a referee, the attendees enjoyed the rare privilege of sleeping over at DHL Newlands. This certainly bodes well for WP Rugby as we continue to invest in our youth and anticipate many young referees coming through the ranks. We are most grateful to Old Mutual for their support in supplying goody bags, t-shirts, and caps.

Whilst many of our juniors are preparing to blow the referees whistle, we also see several juniors players in training at the HPC, all intending to make the selection for the Grant Khomo and Craven Week which is set to take place in the first and second week of July in Port Elizabeth and Krugersdorp respectively. The teams will begin trials towards the end of May. This is certainly very exciting for us as we look forward to making up lost ground after COVID denied so many of our school’s rugby players the opportunity to play at a higher level in 2020.

Having completed the various return-to-play phases as per SA Rugby regulations, and after receiving clearance from the WPRFU, this weekend saw thirty-nine clubs in action across sixty-three approved club rugby friendlies at nineteen separate venues. Included in the approved fixtures were Kuilsrivier who hosted a number of players for trials. Amongst other results Whistling Wheels scored a 20-12 win over the newly established Gordons Bay Pioneers, Bellville beat Eerste Rivier with their u20 and 2nd team in action, Ellsies Rivier drew 22 all with Rocklands and the Hamiltons RFC touring group beat Hamlets away.

In addition to our clubs returning to action, we also saw just over forty referees take to the field as our WP Rugby referees society rolls out their support for club rugby. It’s heart-warming to see that our referees are as eager to get back on the field as our players.

We look forward to following the progress of our clubs as they continue to drive the spirit of WP Club Rugby even during these difficult times where matches are limited to COVID regulations and still with no spectators allowed.

Our WP Rugby Education department hosted a full house of delegates for the World Rugby Level One course at DHL Newlands on Friday and we look forward to seeing these coaches come through the ranks. Our next coaching course is for the World Rugby Level 1 Sevens coaching course on 21 May 2021 with the deadline to signup on 14 May 2021. Please click here to register now.

Our fans are reminded that they can buy their striking new The DHL Stormers replica jerseys online by simply visiting either stormersshop.co.za or blksport.co.za

On a final note, anyone who has registered on the World Rugby Passport website should be on the lookout for an important message from World Rugby concerning their online access and registration. World Rugby has recently made some changes to its website and now requires you to re-activate your account on the new platform to preserve your records. Please click here to go to the new World Rugby Passport registration page. Once registered the system will send you an activation code which will help you log on with your previous data still intact.