Western Province on attack in their 2012 SA Rugby Women's IPT fixture against the Blue Bulls. WP edged the 2011 tournament runners-up 18-10 at home to remain unbeaten in their two fixtures, their other win a morale-boosting away victory over the tournament's reigning champs, Eastern Province. Photo: SA Rugby

KwaZulu-Natal and Western Province have the opportunity to extend their unbeaten run in the SARU Women’s Rugby Interprovincial A competition this Saturday when WP host South Western Districts (SWD) – who are yet to win a match in the competition, and KZN are away to Free State.

KZN leads Group B with 15 points from three matches, while Western Province are lying second in Group A with a game in hand, having recorded two wins from two matches. Border leads Group A with two wins and one loss in their three matches.

KZN coach Lungi Kama told gsport that his team is motivated, especially since they have not lost a game.

Who will prise title holders' Eastern Province's hands off the tournament cup in the IPT? Eastern Province have one of their three appearances in the  2012 tournament, and will need to work hard to defend the trophy this year. Photo: SA Rugby“Knowing the background of the ladies, they have done tremendously well. They have conceded very few tries. We also got bonus points. They are disciplined. And they have responded very well to anything asked of them. Our last training was yesterday and we are just putting the finishing touches to our preparations.”

WP coach, Aslam Abrahams, said he is delighted with his team’s performance, especially since it is his first stint coaching a women’s rugby team.

“At the beginning of the year, I was thrown in the deep end, I did not know anything about rugby, and I was asked to coach this team. The girls are enjoying their rugby, they play for each other. We are like a family. We are confident, but we are taking it game by game. We are playing SWD this weekend, and that is our focus.”

At the bottom of the log are the Golden Lions and Boland who are yet to register a point in the competition, and they will face each other in Paarl in attempts to put some numbers on the score board.

The weekend’s action gets underway when the Blue Bulls host Eastern Province on Friday.

The Women’s Interprovincial A competition features 10 teams split into two groups, and is played on a strength vs strength basis, with the strongest teams in Group A while Group B features the second tier teams.

In the round-robin competition, each team plays four games on a home-and-away basis, and the teams topping the respective logs will host the playoffs on 15 September. The competition culminates with a Final, which takes place on 22 September.

There is also an Interprovincial B competition, which features five teams. Mpumalanga top the table in this competition with 11 points from three games, while Leopards are just one point behind with two wins from two games.

Two matches in the B competition this week on Saturday sees a top-of-the-table clash between Leopards and Mpumalanga, while Valke take on the Blue Bulls Limpopo.

SARU Senior Manager of Women’s Rugby, Mahlubi Puzi, describes the competition as a “showcase of quality rugby played by women”.

“Quality is improving all the time. It makes us confident that in future there are good players that are going to come through, to make their way to the national teams.

“We’ve got talent scouts that go around. These are people from the Under-20 and national team management structures. We also use provincial team coaches to spot talent.”

 

Interprovincial A Results:
EP 23-26 WP
SWD 7-55 Border
Golden Lions 17-45 Griffons
KwaZulu-Natal 73-0 Boland
Border 26-15 EP
WP 18-10 Blue Bulls
Griffons 10-36 KwaZulu-Natal
Boland 5-17 Free State
Blue Bulls 24-15 Border
KwaZulu-Natal 57-20 Golden Lions
Free State 48-12 Griffons
EP 64-0 SWD
 
Interprovincial Fixtures:
17 Aug – Blue Bulls vs EP
18 Aug – WP vs SWD
18 Aug – Free State vs KZN
18 Aug – Boland vs Golden Lions
1 Sep – SWD vs Blue Bulls
1 Sep – Border vs WP
1 Sep – Golden Lions vs Free State
1 Sep – Griffons vs Boland
 
Interprovincial B Results:
Blue Bulls Limpopo 54-19 Griqualand West
Mpumalanga 31-19 Valke
Valke 17-43 Leopards
Griqualand West 24-34 Mpumalanga
Mpumalanga 27-29 Blue Bulls Limpopo
Leopards 32-7 Griqualand West
 
Interprovincial B Fixtures:
18 Aug – Leopards vs Mpumalanga
18 Aug – Valke vs Blue Bulls Limpopo
1 Sep – Griqualanda Wests vs Valke
1 Sep – Blue Bulls Limpopo vs Leopards