The pressure on the Women’s Interprovincial A and B Section teams will rise significantly this weekend as the tournaments reach the penultimate pool round and every point will count with an eye on qualifying for the Finals.
In the A Section, log-leaders, Border, will host KwaZulu-Natal in East London, while defending champions, Western Province, meet Free State in Cape Town, and the Blue Bulls take on Eastern Province in Pretoria.
Border will enter their clash against KZN as favourites after winning all three of their matches up to now, although they will expect a strong challenge from the Durbanites, who have to win both their remaining matches with bonus points to keep alive their slim hopes of progressing to the final. A victory for Border will keep them in pole position to book their sixth successive home final.
Western Province will also be determined to make the most of their clash against Free State – who have yet to win a match – to stay in second place on the standings, especially with Eastern Province hot on their heels only one point back. With the women from Bloemfontein playing purely for pride and to avoid relegation to the B Section next season, they will enter the match with nothing to lose.
In Pretoria, Eastern Province will be under immense pressure to beat the Blue Bulls to remain in the race for a possible final berth, especially if Border and Western Province register victories, as a defeat could deal the killer blow to their aspirations. The flyhalf battle between experienced Blue Bulls and former Springbok Women’s flyhalf, Zandile Nojoko, and Eastern Province’s Siphosethu Tshingana should be exciting.
In the B Section on Saturday, the Griffons take on Boland in Welkom, the Pumas host the Golden Lions in Witbank, Griquas meet SWD in Springbok, and the Leopards go up against Limpopo in Potchefstroom.
SWD, Boland, the Golden Lions and Limpopo will look to build on their victories in the opening round, while Griquas, the Griffons, the Pumas and Leopards will be determined to get out of the blocks, as another round of defeats will smash their final hopes.
Women’s Interprovincial A Section Round 4 Fixtures (Saturday, 1 September):
12h20: Blue Bulls v Eastern Province – Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
14h00: Western Province v Free State – City Park Stadium, Cape Town
15h00: Border v KwaZulu-Natal – BCM Stadium, East London
Women’s Interprovincial B Section Round 2 Fixtures (Saturday, 1 September):
13h00: Griffons v Boland – HT Pelatona Projects Stadium, Welkom
13h00: Pumas v Golden Lions – Witbank High School, Witbank
14h00: Griquas v South Western Districts – Concordia Sport Complex, Springbok
15h00: Leopards v Limpopo – Potch Dorp Rugby Club, Potchefstroom
Photo 1 caption: Border is comfortably at the top the 2018 Women’s Rugby IPT after three rounds, and take on KwaZulu-Natal at home on Saturday, who will look for an unlikely win to claim a place in the tournament final. Photo: SARugby.co.za
With editing by gsport