Local Rugby derbies to spice up SA Rugby Women’s Premier Division
An Eastern Cape showdown and Western Cape bragging rights are lined up in this weekend’s Round Eight fixtures of the SA Rugby Women’s Premier Division, while in the other match, the fourth spot on the overall log is at stake.
In the SA Rugby Women’s First Division, the unbeaten Free State Women clash with last year’s finalists, the Leopards in Bloemfontein, and defending champions, SWD Eagirls will play in Oudtshoorn for the first time this year when they take on Griffons Women.
The Western Cape derby, to be played at City Park, could be an intriguing one. The DHL Western Province side welcomes back Alichia Arries on the wing, Luchell Hanekom at hooker and they’ve moved Chuma Qawe to flyhalf for their clash against Boland Dames, while Maties rugby’s Elitha Sylvester will have a first start at flank. Shaunique Hess will captain the side at City Park Stadium in the absence of Sinazo Mcatshulwa.
The Boland side will be kicking their heels in anticipation for this match. They have not played in two weeks after having a bye last weekend, while their match against the Cell C Sharks Women was postponed due to the flooding in the Western Cape. This means they could come in fresh and hot. Their previous encounter, played in Hawston, was handsomely won by WP and it remains to be seen if the Dames will be able to turn it around.
Meanwhile, Border Ladies will host EP Queens in what will confirm Sunshine Coast bragging rights. Border won away from home in their previous encounter but were mauled by the Bulls Daisies last weekend and will need a fresh mindset to topple their southern foes.
Border are still in the hunt for a home semi-final and will come out guns blazing at Police Park in the televised game of the round. The EP side has been competitive all season, but just could not get the big wins, and with Saneliswe Charlie back at loosehead, they could just deliver on the day.
The Lions Women await their Durban counterparts at Alberton Rugby Club. Both teams have 10 log points after two wins and a slip-up by either side, combined with a win by either the Queens or Boland Dames or both, could see them drop down the log. For the home side, Piwokuhle Nyanda’s performances have helped the team be competitive, but on paper the visitors should win this encounter.
Premier Division fixtures: (all matches Saturday 1 July)
DHL Western Province v Boland Dames
Venue: City Park, Cape Town
Referee: Sinesipho Foloti
Livestream: SuperSport Schools App
Mastercard Golden Lions Women v Cell C Sharks Women
Venue: Alberton Rugby Club
Referee: Siyanda Pikoli
Border Ladies v EP Queens
Venue: Police Park, East London
Referee: Lulutho Matomela
TV: SuperSport 211
Livestream: SuperSport Schools App
Free State Women are the only undefeated team in the First Division
The Free State Women await the Leopards who will be travelling for the first time after three home games in a match that could prove to be the best of the round. The home side have been on fire, beating all their opponents handsomely, but the Leopards have the ability to make it uncomfortable for the home side.
The SWD Eagirls take their campaign to Oudtshoorn - a venue where they had good results in the past - and according to current form, they should be entertaining the Recreational Sports Stadium crowd with a lot of tries.
Limpopo Blue Bulls Women are also at home, and that should be a huge advantage for them in their match against neighbours, Pumas Women. The Limpopo side are ahead of the Pumas by points difference only on the log, so this could be a very competitive encounter.
Valke Women are the favourites in their match against Griquas Women. The visiting players are travelling from home bases as far as Springbok and Calvinia and the long haul to Johannesburg could be taxing. The Valke are improving game by game and will be hard to beat at home.
First Division fixtures: (all matches Saturday 1 July)
SWD Eagirls v Griffons Women
Venue: Recreational Sports Stadium, Oudtshoorn
Referee: Bulela Qwane
Limpopo Blue Bulls Women v Pumas Women
Venue: University of Limpopo, Polokwane
Referee: Aneka Fick
Valke Women v Griquas Women
Venue: Barnard Stadium, Kempton Park
Referee: Cameron Dyers
Free State Women v Leopards Women
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein
Referee: Angie Bezuidenhout
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