Festivals are back in SuperSport Rugby Challenge
March 09, 2018
Rugby fans across the country are in for a treat again this season when the SuperSport Rugby Challenge kicks off on 21 April.

The community-centred provincial tournament, launched last year and won by DHL Western Province, will again feature a number of televised triple-header match-ups in the form of Sunday Rugby Festivals that are played in community venues and will be free to the public.

WP will start the defence of their crown at the first of these festivals – on 22 April at the Wolfson Stadium in Kwazakhele outside Port Elizabeth – against home side Eastern Province.

The format of the tournament will again see five teams battle it out in each of the North, South and Central pools, with all 14 unions and Namibia taking part in what promises another exciting opportunity for new prospects to emerge and more fans to get the opportunity to see their heroes in action on their doorsteps.

As happened in 2017, Sunday Festivals will kick off with a televised Gold Cup qualifying match featuring a big derby between two local premiership clubs.

The SuperSport Rugby Challenge Pools are:

• North: Vodacom Blue Bulls, Xerox Golden Lions, Hino Valke, Steval Pumas, Namibia Welwitschias
• Central: Toyota Free State, Down Touch Griffons, Tafel Lager Griquas, Leopards, Cell C Sharks
• South: Boland Cavaliers, Border Bulldogs, EP Elephants, SWD Eagles, DHL Western Province

The top two teams from each pool, together with the two third-placed teams with the most log points, will qualify for the quarterfinals, scheduled for the weekend of 30 June/1 July. The semi-finals will once again take the form of a televised double-header on Sunday 8 July, with the final a week later, on Sunday 15 July.

The Sunday Rugby Festivals dates are:

22 April: Wolfson Stadium, Kwazakhele, Port Elizabeth
13 May: Newrak Impala Rugby Club, Rustenburg
20 May: Bridgton Sports Ground, Oudtshoorn
17 June: Sisa Dukashe Stadium, Mdantsane
24 June: Bill Jardine Stadium, Longdale, Johannesburg

SuperSport Rugby Challenge Fixtures (please note most venues and kickoff times are still to be confirmed):

Saturday 21 April

Steval Pumas v Vodacom Blue Bulls (Nelspruit Rugby Club, 15h00)
Windhoek Draught Welwitschias v Hino Valke
Tafel Lager Griquas v Cell C Sharks
Leopards v Down Touch Griffons, (HS Schweizer Reneke, Schweizer Reneke)

Sunday 22 April – Triple-header Rugby Festival at Wolfson Stadium, Kwazakhele (live on SS10)

10h30: Gold Cup Qualifier club curtain-raiser (teams TBC)
12h45: Boland Cavaliers v Border Bulldogs
15h00: DHL Western Province v Eastern Province

Saturday 28 April

Eastern Province v SWD Eagles (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth)
Vodacom Blue Bulls v Windhoek Draught Welwitschias (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
Xerox Golden Lions v Steval Pumas
Border Bulldogs v DHL Western Province
Down Touch Griffons v Toyota Free State
Tafel Lager Griquas v Leopards, (Tafel Lager Park, Kimberley)

Friday 4 May)

Toyota Free State v Leopards (Shimla Park, Bloemfontein)

Saturday 5 May

DHL Western Province v Boland Cavaliers (DHL Newlands, Cape Town)
Cell C Sharks v Down Touch Griffons (Jonsson Kings Park, Durban)
Windhoek Draught Welwitschias v Xerox Golden Lions
Hino Valke v Vodacom Blue Bulls
SWD Eagles v Border Bulldogs

Saturday 12 May

Hino Valke v Xerox Golden Lions
Windhoek Draught Welwitschias v Steval Pumas
Boland Cavaliers v SWD Eagle (Wesbank Sports Grounds, Malmesbury)
Border Bulldogs v Eastern Province

Sunday 13 May – Triple-header Rugby Festival at Impala Rugby Club, Rustenburg (live on SS10)

10h30: Gold Cup Qualifier club curtain-raiser (teams TBC)
12h45: GWK Griquas v Toyota Free State
15h00: Leopards v Cell C Sharks

Saturday 19 May

Steval Pumas v Hino Valke (Mbombela Stadium)
Boland Cavaliers v Eastern Province
Tafel Lager Griquas v Down Touch Griffons (Sivos Stadium, Kathu)
Toyota Free State v Cell C Sharks

Sunday 20 May – Triple-header Rugby Festival at Bridgton Sports Ground, Oudtshoorn (live on SS10)

10h30: Gold Cup Qualifier club curtain-raiser (teams TBC)
12h45: Vodacom Blue Bulls v Xerox Golden Lions
15h00: SWD Eagles v DHL Western Province

Friday, 25 May

Leopards v Tafel Lager Griquas (Fanie du Toit Sports Ground, Potchefstroom)

Saturday 26 May

Vodacom Blue Bulls v Steval Pumas (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
Hino Valke v Windhoek Draught Welwitschias
Eastern Province v DHL Western Province
Border Bulldogs v Boland Cavaliers
Toyota Free State v Down Touch Griffons
Friday, 1 June

Leopards v Toyota Free State (Fanie du Toit Sports Ground, Potchefstroom)

Saturday 2 June

Windhoek Draught Welwitschias v Vodacom Blue Bulls
Steval Pumas v Xerox Golden Lions (Mbombela Stadium)
DHL Western Province v Border Bulldogs
SWD Eagles v Eastern Province
Leopards v Toyota Free State
Down Touch Griffons v Cell C Sharks

Friday 8 June

Vodacom Blue Bulls v Hino Valke (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
Xerox Golden Lions v Windhoek Draught Welwitschias

Saturday 9 June

Border Bulldogs v SWD Eagles
Boland Cavaliers v DHL Western Province (Boland Park, Worcester)
Cell C Sharks v Leopards
Saturday 16 June

Xerox Golden Lions v Hino Valke
Steval Pumas v Windhoek Draught Welwitschias (Sasol Secunda Rugby Club)
SWD Eagles v Boland Cavaliers
Down Touch Griffons v Leopards (HT Pelatona Stadium, Welkom)

Sunday 17 June – Triple-header Rugby Festival at Sisa Dukashe Stadium, Mdantsane (live on SS10)

10h30: Gold Cup Qualifier club curtain-raiser (teams TBC)
12h45: Cell C Sharks v Tafel Lager Griquas
15h00: Border Bulldogs v Eastern Province

Saturday 23 June

Eastern Province v Boland Cavaliers
DHL Western Province v SWD Eagles
Down Touch Griffons v Tafel Lager Griquas
Cell C Sharks v Toyota Free State

Sunday 24 June – Triple-header Rugby Festival at Bill Jardine Stadium, Longdale, Johannesburg (live on SS10)

10h30: Gold Cup Qualifier club curtain-raiser (teams TBC)
12h45: Hino Valke v Steval Pumas
15h00: Xerox Golden Lions v Vodacom Blue Bulls

Saturday 30 June / Sunday 1 July

Quarter-finals (including one triple-header festival)

Sunday 8 July

Semi-finals (triple-header festival)

Sunday 15 July

Final (festival)

Castle Lager Outgoing Tour
Saturday, November 24 2018
19:20 - Wales vs South Africa
Principality Stadium, Cardiff

Copyright - SA Rugby. All Rights Reserved - Photos by Gallo Images