Wednesday, 25 March 2015
The heat keeps on rising – Vodacom Cup Round 4 Preview
The Vodacom Cup is now fully underway across the length and breadth of South Africa and Namibia and sparks are set to fly in George, Cape Town and Pretoria this weekend.
At picturesque Outeniqua Park, the SWD Eagles have a great opportunity to win their second successive home game when they host the defending champions from Kimberley, GWK Griquas, on Friday evening. It’s a replay of last year’s quarter-final.
There is another top-of-the-table clash in the South Section on Saturday afternoon when DHL Western Province, Vodacom Cup champions in 2012, host the Cell C Sharks XV in Athlone, Cape Town. Both these teams lost in the quarter-finals last season.
In the North Section, the Vodacom Blue Bulls will want to get back to winning ways when they host the high-flying Steval Pumas in Pretoria. The side from the Lowveld top the log with three wins from three and have been impressive this season, amassing 170 points at an average of almost 57 per match.
This week we feature one of the best young tight forwards in the country as well as one of the top try-scorers from 2014 in Toyota Free State XV hooker Joseph Dweba and Boland Cavaliers wing Harlon Klaasen, who will face off against each other in Heidedal, Bloemfontein on Saturday afternoon.
Rising Star #7 – Joseph Dweba (Toyota Free State XV)
For the last two seasons, Toyota Free State hooker Joseph Dweba got a taste of what it feels like to represent South Africa on the rugby field and his got an opportunity to do it again later this season.
The 19-year-old Dweba, who hails from the West-Gauteng mining town of Carltonville, qualifies for the Junior Springboks again this season and aims to fight his way into the squad via the Vodacom Cup.
In 2013 he played in all three of the SA Schools team’s matches after representing the Golden Lions at the Coca-Cola U18 Craven Week from Florida High School.
Last year Dweba did a post-matric at HTS Louis Botha in Bloemfontein, who recently delivered Springbok loose forward Oupa Mohoje and Bok tourist Raymond Rhule, as well as AJ Venter and Daan Human. He played twice off the bench in the Junior World Championships, including an appearance in the final against England.
It was only natural that Dweba, who stands 1.75m tall and weighs in at a solid 105kg and can also pack down at prop if the need arises, would progress to the Free State U19s, where he played a number of matches in the second half of the competition.
Earlier this season, Dweba played one match in the Cell C Community Cup for Berlesell Bloemfontein Crusaders, before starting to train with the Toyota Free State XV.
Rising Star #8 – Harlon Klaasen (Boland Cavaliers)
In 2014, Boland Cavaliers speedster Harlon Klaasen was the joint top-try scorer across all competitions in the country from Under-19 level upwards.
The 21-year-old Klaasen, a product of the SARU Academy in the Boland, scored a total of 17 in 2015, with 15 coming in the colours of the Boland Under-21s and two for their senior team. That was the same number of tries as Marnus Schoeman of GWK Griquas, who has since transferred to the Steval Pumas.
Klaasen’s 15 tries in Absa Under-21 B-section – which made him the top points’ scorer in this competition – were the second most by any player in a single competition, behind his provincial team-mate Warren Williams, who scored 16 tries for Boland Under-19.
But Klaasen also played in three matches for the Boland senior team – two in the Vodacom Cup and one in the Absa Currie Cup Qualifiers – and scored two tries.
A rangy outside back at 1.86m tall and weighing in at around 85kg, Klaasen can play fullback or wing. He was born in Malmesbury and attended Labori High School in Paarl before joining the SARU Boland Academy.
Last weekend, in their first match of the season, the Cavaliers fielded nine graduates from the SARU Boland Academy in their match-day squad.
Round 4 fixtures:
Friday, 27 March
FNB Welwitschias v Down Touch Griffons
Venue: Hage Geingob Stadium, Windhoek
Referee: Rodney Boneparte
SWD Eagles v GWK Griquas
Venue: Outeniqua Park, George
Referee: Francois Pretorius
Border Bulldogs v EP Kings
Venue: BCM Stadium, East London
Referee: Archie Sehlako
Saturday, 28 March
Hino Valke v Xerox Golden Lions
Venue: Barnard Stadium, Kempton Park
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe
DHL Western Province v Cell C Sharks XV
Venue: City Park Stadium, Cape Town
Referee: Pro Legoete
Toyota Free State XV v Boland Cavaliers
Venue: Clive Solomon Stadium, Bloemfontein
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Vodacom Blue Bulls v Steval Pumas
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Referee: Tahla Ntshakaza
Please note: All the above information is subject to change. Visit www.sarugby.co.za for up to date information.
Issued by SARU Corporate Affairs
Mar 26, 2015 | No Comments