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Isuzu to sponsor Southern Kings!

Isuzu Southern Kings players Schalk Ferreira, Bobby De Wee, and Andisa Ntsila

Isuzu embarks upon a new journey with the Southern Kings PORT ELIZABETH – AN exciting new era has dawned for the Southern Kings with the announcement of the proudly Eastern Cape-side’s proposed new owners today [Monday, 20 August].

Isuzu Motors South Africa will be partnering with a consortium of predominantly black business people, The Southern Kings and Eastern Province Rugby, through its sponsorship of the Isuzu Southern Kings rugby team franchise for a three-year period. The Isuzu Southern Kings will achieve a historical milestone by becoming the first black-owned rugby franchise in the country. Binding offers have been submitted by the relevant parties, with SARU EXCO approval and other transaction closing conditions set to take place over the coming weeks.

Isuzu Motors South Africa Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Michael Sacke said the company was excited to be the main sponsor of the Southern Kings rugby team franchise under new ownership. “The Kings represent an ideal partnership opportunity as we are both new companies who are only just starting our journeys. We both have our sights set on achieving sustainability, growth and success for the long run. We urge the residents of the Eastern Cape to join us in rallying behind the Kings, so that we can help build a strong rugby base in our region,” said Sacke.

Sacke continued to say that Isuzu Motors South Africa was passionate about the local community and committed to contributing towards the success of the region. “As an innovative and solutions-orientated automotive company, we are proud of our Eastern Cape roots and as such are pleased to be partnering with our local rugby team. We hope that this will ultimately help boost the local economy through increased sports tourism and other spin-off opportunities,” Sacke said.

On behalf of the proposed Consortium – a group of like-minded business people have rallied together to pool resources to build rugby talent in the region – Loyiso Dotwana said the community deserves a rugby team which it can be proud of. “We want to build a professional and competitive team for the long run. Our long-term ambition is to achieve incremental growth which ultimately will result in the Isuzu Southern Kings winning the GUINNESS PRO14 Championship. By creating an academy and team here, we want to retain the Eastern Cape’s talent. This is the home of black rugby – our team will promote social cohesion in South African rugby,” said Dotwana.

The consortium has entered into discussions with the Nelson Mandela University with regards to reviving the Rugby Academy and thus providing incubation and training for the team. Further announcements in this regard will be made in due course.

“This places the franchise in a position it has never been before. We now have a long-term commitment from a sponsor and we are able for the first time, to plan and build a sustainable franchise for the long run,” said Charl Crous, Chief Operations Officer of the Isuzu Southern Kings.

“We want Nelson Mandela Bay to be the country’s sporting destination of choice,” said Executive Mayor Athol Trollip. “Rugby is a critical part of that, which is why we need strong clubs and unions that nurture, retain and promote local talent. This is a new era for the Southern Kings, after years of travails and challenges. With a sponsor like Isuzu committed to this initiative, the trajectory is only up. The Metro is proud to support the next chapter for our Southern Kings, and requests that every resident get behind the team on its way to Guinness PRO14 victory.”

The Isuzu Southern Kings will be wearing their brand-new jerseys when they open their 2018/19 GUINNESS PRO14 Championship campaign in Parma, Italy, where they play the Italian side Zebre on 31 August. Their first home game in the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium will be on 16 September when the Southern Kings take on Ireland’s Ulster Rugby and again on 22 September when they take on Glasgow Warriors (Scotland).

The Southern Kings initially came into existence in 2009 for the British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa and were one of the first international teams to play at the newly built Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. The Southern Kings stood their ground as a proudly Eastern Cape team when they played Super Rugby in 2013, 2016 and 2017, before joining the GUINNESS PRO14 Championship for the 2017/18 season of the European competition.

The GUINNESS PRO14 Championship, features top clubs from Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Italy and South Africa (Toyota Cheetahs and Southern Kings). Now backed by a committed sponsor Isuzu Motors South Africa, who is celebrating 40 years of Isuzu’s existence in South Africa, fans of the Isuzu Southern Kings can look forward to a new era of growth for the team.

Ends…

EC Super 12 Team of the Week (Final)

EC Super 12 Team Of the Week

This weeks EC Super 12 team of the week was selected by the Steering Committee from the two teams that played semi-final 2 last Saturday.

Congratulations to the players and coach Yongama Mkaza from Swallows who gets the nod for coach of the week:

1. Mkhuseli Slara (Swa)
2. Vuyisani Mavuso (Swa)
3. Ronvick Lovemore (Gar)
4. Mzwandile Yalezo (Swa)
5. Samora Fihlani (Swa)
6. Samkelo Mabombo (Swa)
7. Lubabalo Lento (Swa)
8. Darlington Gans (Gar)
9. Marlon Lewis (Gar)
10. Rubin De Vos (Gar)
11. Lithabile Mgwadleka (Swa)
12. Somila Mantyoyi (Swa)
13. Aphiwe Xakalashe (Swa)
14. Buhle Magazi(Swa)
15. Kenny Baymaan (Gar)

Swallows crowned super 12 champs

2018 EC Super 12 Champions Swallows RFC celebrating their victory over PE Harlequins

East London – Swallows RFC were crowned EC Super 12 champions following a convincing 22-10 win against PE Harlequins at BCM Stadium on Saturday.

The match produced typical cup final rugby and neither side were allowed to run away with the game at any stage, although Swallows worked their way 12-0 half-time lead, as they only just survived the Harlequins second-half onslaught.

Harlequins did well to equalise to narrow the gap to at 17-10, but they surrendered a try immidiately after and that proved their undoing.

Breakdown infringements from kickable positions offered opportunities for both teams in the opening 10 minutes but both team kickers had an off day.

Swallows made their pressure count when they found a gap in the Harlequins outside channel and outside  centre Buhle Magazi needed no invitation to streak through for the first try of the match. Flyhalf Aphiwe Stemele missed the conversion in the 6th minute to give Swallows a 5-0 lead.

Stemele made amends later when he dived over next to the poles and converted his own try to take Swallowing was into a convincing lead of 12-0 at  half-time break.

Harlequins returned for the second-half with a far greater sense of urgency and were rewarded for their efforts this time as they ran up 10 unanswered points to narrow the gap between them and Swallows to within 7 points.

in the 43rd minute Harlequins sprung an attack from their own half. Despite several desperate tackles, outside cente Sherwin Slater provided the finishing touch with a dive at the corner flag, despite the valiant cover tackle effort from Swallows scrumhalf Anele Zweni. Flyhalf Luan Bosman missed the conversion to take the score to 12-5.

But Swallows scored another try from their hardworking flanker Lubabalo Lento after a solid build up that saw the ball exchanging hands between their back and forwards. Stemele missed the conversion for a 17-5 lead in the 52nd minute.

From the resulting kickoff Harlequins mounted another attack that was rounded off by Slater again for his brace and his team second try. Bosman missed the target with his conversion to move the score to 17-10.

With time running out, the Harlequins mounted one last desperate challenge with several ball-in-hand surges into the Swallows half but they were held in check by near faultless defence. As their efforts continued to fail, their patience ran out and their lack of composure cost them momentum in the Swallows 22-metre area.

Then Swallows put matters beyond doubt when their diminutive scrumhalf ducked under would be tackle to score a beautiful try to cement his place as the man of the match. Stemele missed the conversion to move the score to 22-10.

Swallows took the EC super 12 title for the first time after a magnificent campaign where they registered 7 straight victories without a loss.