Race for Gold Cup play-off spots hots up
September 30, 2016
THE RACE for quarter-final spots in the 2016 Gold Cup – SA Rugby’s national championship for non-university clubs – is hotting up with two rounds remaining, following a dramatic third week that saw almost 500 points scored in eight matches and three games decided in the dying minutes.

On an historic weekend for club rugby, which saw Gold Cup matches being played in three different countries for the first time, DirectAxis False Bay became the first South African team to play – and win – a tournament match in Zimbabwe when they overcame a spirited Old Georgians 38-25 in Harare.

And at the same time in Namibia, hosts FNB Wanderers Windhoek showed their class with a 60-29 win over Northam Platinum Rhinos, the Limpopo champions.

Valke champions Siyaya Brakpan took control of Pool C with a nailbiting 36-33 away win over SA Home Loans Durban Collegians in Durban, in a match handled by top international referee Craig Joubert.

And in Pacaltsdorp outside George, RSK Evergreens provided the biggest upset of the weekend when they bounced back from a home defeat to Pool B rivals Rustenburg Impala the previous week to beat Pirates 35-31, fullback Leegan Moos finishing off a long-range move with a try on the hooter to break the Gautengers’ hearts.

Saturday’s penultimate round of pool play sees a number of intriguing match-ups which could well decide the quarter-final line-up as well as vital home-ground advantage in the play-offs.

Your Communications College Rovers will look to qualify for the last eight when they host Mike Pendock Motors Old Selbornians in a Pool A clash in Durban, which will be refereed by well-known Scotland official Mike Adamson. In the group’s other match, defending champions Durbanville-Bellville, coming off a bye, will look to record their third straight victory when they travel to Boland Park to take on winless OneLogix United Bulk Worcester Villagers.

In Pool B, Northam Platinum Rhinos will look to record a maiden Gold Cup win when they host RSK Evergreens, who thanks to their last-gasp win against Pirates are still alive in the tournament. In the group’s other match, Rustenburg Impala will book their quarter-final spot if they can beat FNB Wanderers Windhoek in Rustenburg.

In Pool C, Old Georgians face SA Home Loans Durban Collegians in Harare while Siyaya Brakpan travel to White River, where a victory will take the East Randers one step closer to a home quarter-final.

In Pool D, Bloemfontein Police travel to East London to face Police, with both sides still in with a chance of progressing. And in the weekend’s final match, Don’s Pawn Shop PE Police travel almost 1,000 kilometres to the Northern Cape town of Kathu to face Belaz Sishen, where the hosts will set the cat amongst the pigeons should they surprise their more fancied coastal opponents.

Round 3 results:

Pool A:
Mike Pendock Motors Old Selbornians 27-12 OneLogix United Bulk Worcester Villagers
Tiger Wheel & Tyre Welkom Rovers 22-48 Your Communications College Rovers

Pool B:
FNB Wanderers Windhoek 60-29 Northam Platinum Rhinos
RSK Evergreens 35-31 Pirates

Pool C:
Old Georgians 25-38 DirectAxis False Bay
SA Home Loans Durban Collegians 33-36 Siyaya Brakpan

Pool D:
Don’s Pawn Shop PE Police 20-17 East London Police
Bloemfontein Police 24-36 Pretoria Police

Round 4 fixtures (all matches 15h30 unless otherwise indicated):

Saturday 01 October:

Pool A:
Your Communications College Rovers v Mike Pendock Motors Old Selbornians (KP3, Kings Park, Durban, 15h00)
OneLogix United Bulk Worcester Villagers v Durbanville-Bellville (Boland Park, Worcester)

Pool B:
Northam Platinum Rhinos v RSK Evergreens (Northam Platinum Recreation Club, Setaria)
Rustenburg Impala v FNB Wanderers Windhoek (Impala Rugby Club, Rustenburg)

Pool C:
White River v Siyaya Brakpan (White River Rugby Club, Mpumalanga)
Old Georgians v SA Home Loans Durban Collegians (Old Georgians Club, Harare)

Pool D:
East London Police v Bloemfontein Police (Police Park, East London)
Belaz Sishen v Don’s Pawn Shop PE Police (Sivos Stadium, Kathu)

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00:00 - France vs South Africa
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