Matlosana set to defend title!

If day 2 results is anything to go by then defending champions of the Raymond Mhlaba National Heritage Rugby Tournament, Matlosana Academy, are set to to defend their title.

This was echoed by their coach Eric Bukwani who feels winning their matches yesterday gave them high hopes and his charges are now confident of their ability to defend the cup.

“We knew we had to start well and that meant beating Spring Rose in our opening match, and the boys embraced the challenge which then translated to a successful day”, said Bukani

“Travelling is also another factor for us and i was worried about its effects on our performance as we traveled almost the whole of Friday from Rusternburg to be here. So i was expecting them to struggle but they really adapted and performed well”, said Bukani.

But he was quick to dismiss the favorite tag citing last years finalists African Bombers as the most difficult team to beat.

“Thanks for the compliment but I dont agree with you. Yes, we started well so did Bombers, Swallows and Zwide and Bombers is the most dangerous of the lot because they have brilliant players in critical positions. We will be naive to undermine them”, warned Bukani.

Day 2 Results:

Barbarians 63-0 FABS
Strong Wave 28-10 Hamiltons
Swallows 50-5 Siyakhula
Spring Rose 25-43 Matlosana
Zwide 13-12 FB United
Bombers 22-20 Motherwell
Ikageng 0-28 Honey Dale (soft points)
Hyenas 28-0 Winter Rose (soft points)
Black Lions 8-10 Eastern Blues
Zwide 22-7 Motherwell
Siyakhula 3-38 Matlosana
Swallows 34-3 Spring Rose
Barbarians 17-38 Strong Wave
FABS 3-59 Hamiltons
Western Vultures 6-23 fortune teller
Red lion 16-0 Black swallows
Red lion (midru) 10-7 Sun rise
Home Defenders (midru) 28-0 Summer Rose (soft point)
Krwakrwa Vulture 8-13 Adelaide Rangers
All Blacks 20-5 Spring Rose
Buffaloes 18-8 Ntsela United
Swallows (midru) 6-11 Hunters RFC
Lovedale 10-15 Auckland Bucs. Bombers 27-13 African Youth


Lovedale open Heritage tourney in style!

Newcomers, Lovedale College, announced their arrival with a resounding 27-7 victory over neighbors Ntselamanzi United in the last match of day one of the Raymond Mhlaba National Heritage Rugby Tournament.

In an entertaining match watched by a capacity crowd, it was Lovedale that had the better of the early exchanges and it was no surprise when they rushed to a 12-0 lead before 20th minute mark. But Ntselamanzi responded immediately with a converted try of their own to narrow Lovedale lead at halftime to 12-7.

Second half was a one way traffic as Lovedale bench upped the ante and added 15 unanswered points in the process to record their biggest win over United in a while.

Proud Lovedale College manager Mlamleli Tede was full of praises for his young lads.

“We are really happy with the performance of the boys tonight, especially this being our first match of this tournament”, said Tede

“We asked players for a perfomance they will be proud of and they delivered way more than that tonight” said Tede.

Besides the increase in a number of teams, but we have seen a marked improvement in the quality of play this year. this can be seen on the close scores of the tournament so far.

All Day 1 Results:
All Blacks (veru) 11-7 Red Lion (midru)
Buffaloes (veru) 28-0 Home defenders (midru) – soft points
Home defenders (veru) 6-20 Sun Rise (midru)
Auckland Bucs 41-5 summer rose
Spring Rose 20-15 Highlanders
Western vultures 13-28 Red Lion (veru)
Swallows 10-5 Black Swallows
Fortune Teller 16-8 Hunters
Hyenas 5-5 Black Lion
Krwakrwa vultures 7-3 Eastern Blues
Winter rose 0-7 Adelaide Rangers
Ntselamanzi 7-27 Lovedale college




Raymond Mhlaba rugby tournament ready for kick-off

It’s all systems go for the 10th installment of the Raymond Mhlaba National Heritage Rugby Tournament to be held in Alice from Friday, 21 September to Monday  24 September.

Celebrating its 10th year of existence, the organizers have put together a bumper weekend filled with a plethora of activities to showcase tradition and culture of this region. Besides rugby, there will  a cultural festival from 23-24 September at Alice Park, and a Gala Dinner on Saturday night to honor some of the prominent sports personalities that played a prominent role in introducing this tournament in the Raymond Mhlaba Municipality district. The Gala Dinner will be addressed by the MEC for Sports, Arts and Culture in the Province, Bulelwa Tunyiswa, with renowned club rugby supporter Xhanti Lamani giving history of the tournament.

The 2018 edition has attracted a lot of interest from the rugby community according to the Chairperson of Raymond Mhlaba Sports Council, Mr Joe Ndlebe.

“We have seen an unbelievable interest from clubs to come to this tournament and that has really excited us. We now have 42 clubs in total and had to turn away a lot more”, boasted Ndlebe.

“For the first time in the history of this tournament, we will have a local college playing in Lovedale Rugby side and this has really brought good memories for me as a local boy. We are happy to have inspired the revival of Lovedale hoping that other colleges in our region will join in”, said Ndlebe

The tournament will kick off on Friday afternoon  at 14h00 at Davidson Stadium, A-Field with Pool B matches.

Pool B is made up of local clubs from both Victoria East Rugby Union (VERU) and Middledrift Rugby Union (MIDRU) as part of the commitment of Raymnond Mhlaba Municipality to both showcase local talent and provide an opportunity for local teams to test themselves against the  best.

Another exciting development in the region that was inspired by this tournament is the formation of Raymond Mhlaba Rugby Union which is the amalgamation of VERU and MIDRU with some clubs coming from the Midlands Rugby Union.

“Another milestone that we hope to celebrate as the Sports Council is the formation of the Raymond Mhlaba Rugby Union which will be officially introduced at the Gala Dinner. The Union is formed in line with the current political demarcation of our municipality and will take over the running of this tournament in future”, said Ndlebe.

Raymond Mhlaba Municipality spokesperson, Cynthia Mokimiti, said the event is one of the main attractions to the region and the municipality see it as one of its vehicles for social cohesion ad sports tourism.

“Raymond Mhlaba Municipality has been a partner of this project for the past ten years and we see this as a perfect vehicle to harness talent through a proper developmental pathway,” she said.

“Through this tournament local players received invaluable experience by competing against players from other parts of the country. We believe that it is only by exposing our players to national competition at a young age that we can succeed in our quest for our province to regain its glory as the main suppliers of talent for the Springboks.”

This was echoed by Ndlebe, “This is the tournament where stars are born. In the near future we are hoping to see some of the players representing their senior national teams at the World Cup,” he said.


For the love of Rugby