Month: January 2020

Bombers flying high!

Gardens and Bombers players tussle for a line-out possession

The fairytale of 2020 Eastern Cape super 14 rugby competition’s wildcard, African Bombers RFC, continued on Saturday when they demolished Gardens 37-16 to register their second victory in two matches.

Played in front of a capacity crowd at Zwide stadium, the match lived up to the expectations of the local rugby community who expected nothing less than a war of attrition.

Bombers made their intentions clear from the onset when outside centre Xolela Payi sliced through Gardens backline to score untouched from a beautiful lineout move from his forwards. He converted his try for a 7-0 lead after 7 minutes.

From that kick-off their impressive loose-forward Dumisani Meslani ran through Gardens forwards only to be stopped inside opposition 22m, from a resulting ruck Gardens was penalized and Bombers fullback Ayanda Hanabe slotted it over for a 10-0 lead.

However as expected Gardens was never gonna lie down and let Bombers do as they please they responded with an unconverted try of their own by scrumhalf Luciano Grootboom and a penalty by flyhalf Ruben De Vos to narrow Bombers lead to two points at 10-8. But Bombers Payi dotted down again for his second try Hanabe converted to stretch their lead to 17-8. Hanabe slotted another penalty at the stroke of halftime  to take the  score to 20-8.

After the break De Vos slotted over a penalty for Gardens to narrow the lead to 20-11. At this stage the game really opened up. Payi completed his hatrick in the 50th minutes when he connected with a flat pass from his inside centre to score in the corner. Hanabe conversion made it 27-11 to Bombers. Hanabe  scored one for himself immidiately and converted to extend Bombers lead to 34-11.

Gardens scored a consolation try whose conversion was missed by De Vos to trail Bombers 34-16. But Bombers had a last say in the match when Hanabe slotted over a penalty  for a 37-16 final score.

Bombers are now on top of Group B with nine points, whilst Gardens is second last with 1point.

Other EC Super 14 2nd round Results:
Swallow 13-9 Police
T/Stars 23-24 Kfontein
Harlequins 45-12 Leopards
Park 17-21 Progress
Ncerha 34-12 Breakers


Progress too strong for Harlies

Progress scrumhalf Sonwabo ‘Magic’ Majola on his way to score his clubs first try of the match.




In what was a thrilling encounter between two powerhouses of EP club rugby scene, Progress overpowered a gallant PE Harlequins team that gave everything they have to win the match.

Progress won the match convincingly 28-19 but the scoreline is definately not a true reflection of the game. Harlequins was in the game until the last three minutes of the match when hey conceded a runaway try that took the match away from them.

The game started at a high pace with both teams trying to have an upper hand and it was not surprising that Progress scored the first try of the match inside five minutes when their diminutive scrumhalf Sonwabo Majola crashed  over in the third minute of the match and fullback Jeandre Christian converted to give Progress a 7-0 lead. Harlequins replied quickly with a penalty from flyhalf Angus Human to open their account and reduce the lead to 7-3 after exerting some serious pressure on the hosts.

However Christian responded with a penalty of his own to stretch Progress win to 10-3. That lead was cut short in the 21st minute when Harlequins outside centre Duane Campher dotted down after a long period of attack through their forwards, but Human missed the conversion to take the score to 10-8.

At this stage rain started to intensify, so did the  tempo of the game. Progress registered quick 13 points through a converted try by their outside centre Gustav Meyer and two penalties from Christian to take the score to 23-8. But Harlequins responded with a try of their own from wing Dale Nel to take the score to 23-13 at the break.

After the break Harlequins came back stronger of the two and they narrowed Progress lead to four through two penalties to replacement flyhalf Nathan Fick. The score remained at 23-19 until until the last four minutes of the match when Progress left wing Davian Swanepoel scored in the corner for the final score of 28-19 for Progress.

The win takes Progress on top of Group A ahead of Breakers RFC from komani.

In Group B, wildcard African Bombers beat defending champions EL Police away from home 17-11. That win put them on top of Group B ahead of Kruisfontein who beat Gardens in Uitenhage.

Here are all super 14 Round 1 Results from Friday and Saturday’s matches.

ECSuper 14 Results
Progress 28-19 Harlequins
Breakers 21-16 Eagles
Gardens 12-14 Kruisfontein
Police 11-17 Bombers
Ncerha 19-18 Leopards
Old Boys 17-18 Swallows




EP and Border launch Super 14 rugby competition

The Honorable MEC of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture Cllr Fezeka Bayeni addressing clubs

Eastern Province Rugby Union and Border Rugby Union announced changes to the old EC super 12 rugby competition that is played by the top 12 clubs from each union. Two new clubs, one from each of the two provinces, will now be added and the competition will now be called the Eastern Cape Super 14 rugby competition.

Making these announcements at the launch in Port Elizabeth on Thursday, 16 January 2020, the Tournament Director Mr Phumi Hlathi indicated that the change was necessitated by an ambition to increase the footprint of the competition into all areas of the province.

“We are a diverse province that prides itself in its sporting abilities. Our people from different races across the depth and width of our province call rugby their preferred code, therefore we have a duty to bring top level club rugby to them wherever they are”, said Hlathi.

“Unfortunately its clubs from urban settings that dominated super rugby ever since its inception, hence we decided to introduce the wildcard system where we will invite two clubs from the underrepresented communities that can compete at this level. Here we targeting clubs from rural and semi-rural settings”, said Hlathi.

The two teams that were invited as wildcard participants are African Bombers RFC from Zwide, Port Elizabeth and Black Eagles from Tsholomnqa. They are both premier league champions of Border and EP respectively.

They will join twelve other clubs that qualified by ending in the top six of the top leagues of Border and EP to make it a fourteen team tournament. The fourteen teams will be split into two groups of seven teams each.

The MEC for Sports, Recreation, Arts and Cultures Ms Fezeka Bayeni who was present at the launch was very happy to hear all the good stories coming out of this tournament and assured both Unions of her department’s commitment to the tournament.

“Even though Mr Hlathi was not sure of whether this competition is achieving its main purpose of producing players for the Southern Kings, one thing we are sure of is that it is creating a wonderful platform for our young people to showcase their talents”, said MEC Bayeni

“It is with this background that I am confirming our continued support of this competition but will want to leave the rugby fraternity here with one thing, please think about the young people from the former Transkei area. I understand there are informal talks of merging Border and EP to form one union in some cycles but I would like to pose a question of whether it will be a bad idea to actually think of a third rugby province within the eastern cape”, asked MEC Bayeni.

Eastern province Rugby Union president Mr Andre Rademan spoke for both Unions and expressed his delight at the commitment made by the MEC.

“I can assure you all here that both Border and EP are benefitting immensely from this tournament as we are now drawing players from our clubs to beef up our depth in provincial rugby. We are truly grateful to the MEC and her department for their continued support”, said Rademan.

The following clubs will be participating in the inaugural EC Super 14 rugby competition:

Group A

Black Eagles (Bor) Wildcard

Breakers (Bor)

PE Harlequins (EP)

Ncerha Leopards

Park (EP)

Progress (EP)

Young Leopards (Bor)

Group B

African Bombers (EP) Wildcard

EL Police (Bor)

Gardens (EP)

Kruisfontein (EP)

Old Selbonians (Bor)

Swallows (Bor)

Trying Stars (EP)

Opening round fixtures this weekend are as follows:

Friday, 17 January 2020

Progress v PE Harlequins – Central Rugby Fields, Uitenhage

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Young Leopards v Ncerha Leopards – Ducats, East London

Breakers v Black Eagles – Mlungisi Stadium, Komani

Old Selbornians v Swallows – Old Selbornians, East London

EL Police v African Bombers – Police Park, East London

Gardens v Kruisfontein – Derrick Ferreira stadium, Uitenhage