Derbies Feature in SA Rugby Women’s Premier Division 2nd Round

The EP Queens host Border Ladies at Central Field in Kariega, Uitenhage, in the first of four SA Rugby Women’s Premier Division Round 2 fixtures on Saturday, 20 April, 2024. File photo: SA Rugby

Regional bragging rights and valuable log points will be on offer this weekend, with Eastern and Western Cape derbies highlighting the action in the second round of the Women’s Premier Division.

Several Springbok Women will also be starting for their respective teams after most were eased off the bench last weekend, following their recent tour to Europe.

The action starts early on Saturday with the two derbies. The EP Queens host Border Ladies in Uitenhage for their Eastern Cape showdown, while Sanlam Boland Dames await DHL Western Province in Wellington for Western Cape bragging rights in a match that will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

Elsewhere, the Sharks Women will play at home for the first time, welcoming the Golden Lions Women, while in Bloemfontein, newcomers Free State Women will face a massive challenge against the Bulls Daisies, who started the defence of their title with an impressive win over Border last weekend.

Both Border and EP will be keen to register a first win and get their season going in what promises to be a tightly contested affair. The Ladies’ starting team is unchanged from last week, indicating that coach Nonkosi Sobandla saw enough improvement during their week of preparation.

The Queens looked dangerous at times in last weekend’s opener in Alberton, with their backs sharp on the attack. They will look to put Sibabalwe Klaas, Ruzanne George and Shaunique Alexander in space with ball in hand, so a lively match awaits those attending at the Central Sports Grounds.

DHL Western Province coach Stanley Raubenheimer welcomes back national captain Nolusindiso Booi to his starting pack, while another Bok Women stalwart, Sinazo Mcatshulwa, will start after playing off the bench last weekend.

Another international, centre Shaunique Hess, returns to the midfield for the visitors while Raubenheimer also had the luxury of starting Alicia Willemse at scrumhalf, swopping roles with Camelitha Malone, who scored two excellent tries in last weekend’s opener against the Sharks Women.

Roseline Botes, who scored nine tries in 17 Tests for South Africa, will make her presence felt from the bench in her first WP outing for the season.

The Dames’ pack held sway over most sides last year, but will be tested by the Capetonians, with the battle amongst the loose forwards worth the entry fee alone. Nompumelelo Mathe celebrated her move from Durban to the Boland with a superb performance last weekend and the flanker should again be influential.

The match-up amongst the backs will also be something to behold. This match could almost be mistaken for national trials, such are the quality of the two sides.

Golden Lions Women coach Timmy Goodwin named new Springbok Women loosehead prop Xoliswa Khuzwayo in his starting pack after she played off the bench in last weekend’s win over the EP Queens, while another stalwart, lock Nthabiseng Moneymore, returns to boost the tight five.

Goodwin will also look for a strong game from former Junior Springbok Women flanker Sindiswa Ngwenya, who was also included in the starting pack.

The Durban side will be looking for a more sustained effort to secure their first win after a poor second half against WP last weekend. Coach Lungisa Kama moved Mary Zulu to flyhalf and Anesipho Malgas to fullback, with the reversal of roles indicating a more tactical approach by the home side. Lock Noluthando Mbambo earns a start after a solid performance off the bench last weekend.

Daisies coach Hayden Groepes made two enforced changes to the starting pack that outplayed Border last weekend, with lock Ziyanda Ngohlekana and flanker Sophy Mashapa starting in place of the injured Anathi Qolo and Sinelitha Noxeke, while at the back, Jakkie Cilliers and Patience Mokone will earn first starts.

The Free State side will have to regroup after they were overrun by the Dames last week. Their performance against a Daisies side that have not lost in over a year will be determined by their ability to front up against the physicality of the visitors, boasting several internationals.

Women’s Premier Division Round Two Fixtures on Saturday, 20 August, 2024

EP Queens v Border Ladies
Venue: Central Field, Kariega, Uitenhage
Kick-off: 12h30
Referee: Zoe Naude

Sanlam Boland Dames v DHL Western Province
Venue: Boland Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 12h30
Referee: Angie Bezuidenhout
TV: SuperSport (OTT 7 channel)

Sharks Women v Golden Lions Women
Venue: HollywoodBets Kings Park 2, Durban
Kick-off: 13h00
Referee: Siyanda Pikoli

Free State Women v Bulls Daisies
Venue: CUT Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 15h00
Referee: Bulela Qwane
Livestream: SA Rugby YouTube channel

Original Copy: SA Rugby, with editing by gsport

Photo Caption: The EP Queens host Border Ladies at Central Field in Kariega, Uitenhage, in the first of four SA Rugby Women’s Premier Division Round 2 fixtures on Saturday, 20 April, 2024. File photo: SA Rugby

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