Border will have their sights set on back-to-back Women’s Interprovincial titles on Saturday when they host the Blue Bulls in East London in their second home final in two years.
(Click here to read the wrap of the 2013 season which saw Border in an emphatic win over Western Province to claim their first-ever IPT title)
(Click here to read the launch of the 2014 season on gsport)
This final will be preceded by the B Section final between the Leopards and Pumas, and the A Division Section 2 final between Free State and Boland.
Border booked their home final by defeating Western Province 22-7 at home last week, while the Blue Bulls pipped Eastern Province 8-5 to secure their final berth.
Last year’s title marked Border’s first since the competition’s inception in 2003, while the Blue Bulls last featured in the 2012 final against Western Province. Interestingly the Pretoria team dominated the early years of the Women’s Interprovincial Series as they won successive titles from 2003 to 2006. However, the last time they won the trophy was in 2006.
Should Border succeed in their mission to win the title it would complete a fairy-tale season, as they have won all six of their matches so far in the competition with four tries or more, which earned them a full house of points in the pool stages.
They will, however, be careful to write off the Blue Bulls, who made several late changes to their team last week to include national women’s backs Cindy Cant and Jacqueline Kriel, flank Vuyolwethu Vazi and veteran Yolanda Meiring, which bolstered the team significantly.
Interestingly, the Pretoria coaches omitted all four of these players in the team named on Thursday.
From a mental perspective the Pretoria side will draw confidence from their away victory against Eastern Province in the semifinal last week, but they will be wary of the fact that they will have to deliver their best performance of the season to emerge victorious.
Border, meanwhile, named a strong line-up featuring several national players, including backs Siviwe Basweni and Sinazo Nobele and forwards Nwabisa Ngxatu, Nolusindiso Booi, Asithandile Ntoyanto and replacement hooker Thantaswa Macingwana.
Border defeated the Blue Bulls in their last two matches, but the Pretoria side beat their East London counterparts from the 2010 to 2012 seasons, with their victory in 2010 being in East London.
SARU Women’s Interprovincial final fixtures, at the BCM Stadium in East London on Saturday, 27 September: 12h30: B Division Final: Leopards vs Pumas 14h30: A Division Section 2 Final: Free State vs Boland 16h30: A Division Final: Border vs Blue Bulls
Photo 1 caption: The BCM Stadium in East London hosts the three SA Rugby Women’s IPT Finals on Saturday, 27 September 2014, with defending champs Border hosting the Blue Bulls in the tournament’s A-Division final at 4:30pm. Photo: Supplied
(With editing by gsport)