Final four gun for SS Rugby Challenge glory
July 07, 2017
The SuperSport Rugby Challenge takes yet another step into the hearts (and heartland) of South African rugby this weekend with the semifinals of SA Rugby’s latest tournament will be played at Sisa Dukashe Stadium, Mdantsane on Sunday.

The new tournament and format, played amongst the 14 SA Rugby provinces and Namibia’s Windhoek Draught Welwitschias, have proved hugely popular amongst teams and crowds. Another bumper crowd is expected on Sunday when the tournament delivers yet another double-header of provincial action and a highly anticipated club match to get the adrenaline flowing.

This time around, local club Swallows will take on Old Selbornians in a Border Super League match, with bragging rights on display.

The two semifinals promise to deliver great action.

All three winners of the various South, Central and North Sections made it to the final four, confirming the strong form showed by DHL Western Province, Tafel Lager Griquas and Xerox Golden Lions XV during the 13 weeks of action.

The fourth contestant, the Vodacom Blue Bulls, are no stranger to titles and the team knows how to deliver in knock-out matches.

The Pretoria team face the unbeaten DHL Western Province in the last match of the day and will have to play exceptional rugby if they want to beat the Cape side, who has been faultless so far this season.

The first semifinal will also be a tight affair. The Tafel Lager Griquas were very impressive against the EP Kings last weekend, while the Johannesburg team have the luxury of calling on a fit-again Rohan Janse van Rensburg whenever the need arise.

The powerhouse midfielder recovered from a knee injury sustained during the Vodacom Super Rugby season, but has been declared fit to play. He had to overcome the death of his mother and a house robbery and kidnapping this year as well, so one can expect an emotional return to action.

It has also being confirmed that the winner of the inaugural SuperSport Rugby Challenge will receive prize money of R500 000 when the rugby tournament with a difference comes to its conclusion on July 16.

The incentive of prize money is one thing, but the tournament already offered much more.

The tournament also looked to take rugby to communities it hadn’t been to before in a bid to help with the sport’s transformation and making the all-important link with club rugby again.

The locals will also be entertained at halftime and intervals by "National Asset" Babes Wodumo, confirming the Mdantsane ground the place to be on Sunday.

The fixtures (all Sisa Dukashe Stadium, Mdantsane) are:

Mike Pendock Motors Old Selbornians vs Swallows (Border Super League)

Mike Pendock Motors Old Selbornians: Andisa Gqobo, Africa Tshangana, Michael-John le Marquand, Ndima Gwavu, Thabo Sisusa, Kevin Klinkradt, Craig Shone, William Green, Siya November, Nathan Knoetze, Duran Alberts, Marcel Swanepoel, Sinethemba Tyokolwana, Sesethu Time, Qhama Hina. Replacements: Dylan Pieterse, Lungisa Siyodwa, Antonio van Heerden, Shane Spring, Siya Mgubo, Wade Bailey, Lwando Makongola.
Swallows: Siya Ncanywa, Lelethu Gcilitshane, Sipho Tom, Somila Mantyoyi, Siyasanga Pati, Nkululeko Ndlovu, Yongama Mkaza, Atkenkosi Manentsa, Lelo Xabalashe, Ayabonga Nomboyo, Mzwandile Yalezo, Lwando Mabenge, Mbeko Kota, Yonga Xhakalashe. Replacements: Vuyisani Mavuso, Siyathanda Ngande, Onke Gcilitshane, Mlungisi Bali, Lukhanyo Siyobi, Anele Zwweni, Aphiwe Stemele.

Kick-off: 10h30
Referee: Archie Sehlako

Tafel Lager Griquas vs Xerox Golden Lions XV (semifinal)

Xerox Golden Lions XV: Jaco van der Walt, Madosh Tambwe, Jan-Louis la Grange, Jarryd Sage, Anthony Volmink, Shaun Reynolds, Dillon Smit, Jano Venter (c), Fabian Booysen, James Venter, Marvin Orie, Bobby de Wee, Justin Ackerman, Robbie Coetzee, Sti Sithole. Replacements: Pieter Jansen, Pieter Scholtz, Rhyno Herbst, Hacjivah Dayimani, Marco Jansen van Vuren, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Ashlon Davids.
Tafel Lager Griquas: Eric Zana, Ederies Arendse, Kyle Steyn, Tertius Kruger, AJ Coertzen (c), George Whitehead, Christiaan Meyer, Jason Fraser, Sias Koen, Wendal Wehr, Pieter Janse van Vuuren, FP Pelser, Ewald van der Westhuizen, AJ le Roux, Liam Hendricks. Replacements: Marius Fourie, Nicolaas Oosthuizen, Jonathan Adendorf, Jonathan Janse van Rensburg, Renier Botha, André Swarts, Enver Brandt.

Kick-off: 12h45
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni

DHL Western Province vs Vodacom Blue Bulls (semifinal)

DHL Western Province: Craig Barry, Khanyo Ngcukana, Michal Hazner, Ruhan Nel, Marcello Sampson, Kurt Coleman, Godlen Masimla, Jaco Coetzee, Johan du Toit, Eital Bredenkamp (c), Eduard Zandberg, Jurie van Vuuren, Michael Kumbirai, Chad Solomon, Caylib Oosthuizen. Replacements: Dean Muir, Frans van Wyk, Ruben de Villiers, Luke Stringer, Herschel Jantjies, Brandon Thomson, Grant Hermanus.
Vodacom Blue Bulls: Manie Libbok, Dewald Naude, Dries Swanepoel, JT Jackson, Kefentse Mahlo, Joshua Stander, Ivan van Zyl, Clyde Davids, Abongile Nonkontwana (c), Marco van Staden, Aston Fortuin, Freddy Ngoza, Neethling Fouche, Alandre van Rooyen, Njabulo Gumede. Replacements: Jan-Henning Campher, Andrew Beerwinkel, Marius Verwey, Luigy van Jaarsveld, Theo Maree, Kurt Webster, Franco Naude.

Kick-off: 15h00
Referee: AJ Jacobs

The Castle Lager Rugby Championship
Saturday, August 18 2018
17:05 - South Africa vs Argentina
Jonsson Kings Park, Durban
Saturday, August 25 2018
21:10 - Argentina vs South Africa
Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza
Saturday, September 08 2018
12:05 - Australia vs South Africa
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Saturday, September 15 2018
09:35 - New Zealand vs South Africa
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Saturday, September 29 2018
17:05 - South Africa vs Australia
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, PE
Saturday, October 06 2018
17:05 - South Africa vs New Zealand
Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Castle Lager Outgoing Tour
Friday, November 02 2018
00:00 - England vs South Africa
Twickenham, London
Saturday, November 10 2018
00:00 - France vs South Africa
Stade de France, Paris
Saturday, November 17 2018
00:00 - Scotland vs South Africa
Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Saturday, November 24 2018
00:00 - Wales vs South Africa
Principality Stadium, Cardiff

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