Vodacom Cup Round 2 preview

Vodacom Cup Pampas Griquas

Round 2 of the Vodacom Cup gets underway this weekend, with the Western Province team taking on the Sharks XV, among other big matches.

Defending champions, DHL Western Province, host the Sharks XV in an exciting South Section clash at City Park in Cape Town on Saturday afternoon, while the North West town of Orkney will also see some Vodacom Cup action this weekend.

The Capetonians will be keen to get their campaign back on track following their draw against the Regent Boland Cavaliers in Ceres last weekend (17-17), but it will be a tough task against the Sharks XV, who crushed the Border Bulldogs in Durban last Friday (72-6), with Fred Zeilinga contributing 32 points to the KwaZulu-Natalians’ tally.

Only six players have scored more points in a Vodacom Cup match. Naas Olivier holds the record of 42 points for GWK Griquas against the Down Touch Griffons in 2009.

Olivier is followed on the list of top scorers by Richard Jordaan (38 for EP Kings v Welwitschias, 2001), Justin Peach (36 for the Regent Boland Cavaliers v SWD Eagles, 2006), Conrad Barnard (36 for Toyota Free State XV v Valke, 2004), Gaffie du Toit (35 for GWK Griquas v EP Kings, 1998), Eric Herbert (33 for Down Touch Griffons v Steval Pumas, 2001) and Zeilinga.

Kick-off at the City Park ground in Crawford, Cape Town is at 15h30. It’s the same venue where DHL Western Province beat the MTN Goldens Lions by 58-34 in their Vodacom Cup quarter-final last year. They also beat the EP Kings at this venue in 2012.

In the North Section, the pick of the matches is probably the Vodacom Blue Bulls against the Steval Pumas at Loftus Versfeld B in Pretoria on Saturday afternoon at 15h00.

Both sides kicked off their 2013 campaigns with impressive victories last weekend – the Vodacom Blue Bulls were too good for GWK Griquas in Kimberley (40-32) and the Steval Pumas crushed the Valke in Nelspruit (62-0).

Four-time champions, GWK Griquas, face their neighbours the Down Touch Griffons in Welkom on Saturday afternoon.

An away-match at the North West Stadium is never easy, and this weekend the Northern Free Staters will play with even more confidence after they scored a half-century of points in their 50-14 dismantling of new boys, the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls in Limpopo last week.

The second round kicks off on Friday afternoon at 16h00, when the Leopards XV host the Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls at the Oppenheimer Stadium in Umzimuhle outside Orkney, where both teams will be looking for their first win of the season.

A bit later on Friday afternoon, in Kempton Park, the Valke take on the MTN Golden Lions at Barnard Stadium. It will be a difficult match for the home team against their neighbours – the Lions were far too good for the Leopards XV last weekend (45-15), after which the SWD Eagles take on the Pampas XV in George (19h00).

The other matches on Saturday in the South Section see the Toyota Free State XV take on the Regent Boland Cavaliers in Bloemfontein on Saturday afternoon (14h15), and a Southern Kings-derby in Mthatha between the Border Bulldogs and EP Kings (15h00).

Vodacom Cup Round 2 fixtures:

Friday, 15 March 2013

Leopards XV v Assupol Limpopo Blue Bulls

Kick-off: 16h00

Venue: Oppenheimer Stadium, Umzimuhle

Valke v MTN Golden Lions

Kick-off: 16h50

Venue: Barnard Stadium, Kempton Park

SWD Eagles v Pampas XV

Kick-off: 19h00

Venue: Outeniqua Park, George

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Toyota Free State XV v Regent Boland Cavaliers

Kick-off: 14h15

Venue: CUT Rugby Stadium, Bloemfontein

Vodacom Blue Bulls v Steval Pumas

Kick-off: 15h00

Venue: Loftus Versfeld B, Pretoria

Down Touch Griffons v GWK Griquas

Kick-off: 15h00

Venue: North West Stadium, Welkom

Border Bulldogs v EP Kings

Kick-off: 15h00

Venue: Buffalo City Municipality Stadium, East London

DHL Western Province v Sharks XV

Kick-off: 15h30

Venue: City Park, Cape Town

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