GARDENS & Rose in tussle for super 12 title

wara 2

GARDENS and Spring Rose will put it all on the line when they clash in the Eastern Cape Super 12 rugby final in Despatch on Saturday (March 19).

The two teams have emerged as the sides to beat in the competition, which also involves clubs from Border, and now they will be aiming to claim the first piece of silverware in Eastern Cape rugby this season.

Spring Rose go into the match on a roll, having produced an impressive performance in the semifinals when they dismantled the challenge of champions East London Police.

That will have their spirits high going into Saturday’s game but they are up against a club who regularly feature in the upper echelons of EP club rugby.

Gardens won the Super 12 title in 2014 and were runners-up last year, so they know what it takes to compete in a tense playoff situation.

They scraped past Uitenhage rivals Progress in the semifinals last weekend, winning 13-12. But that performance suggests they have an ability to win when the chips are down and that will make them serious contenders for the title on Saturday.

It’s a game which should go down to the wire.

Saturday’s fixtures are:
11.30, women: Kwaru v Penguin

13.30, 3rd place: Progress v EL Police

15.30, final: Gardens v Spring Rose.

EP Kings confirm provisional liquidation order


EP Rugby can confirm that a provisional liquidation order has been granted by Judge Eksteen in the Port Elizabeth High Court this morning.

The provisional court order means EP Rugby Ptyu Ltd have until the 10th of May to address the current financial challenges being faced.

It is important to note that the provisional liquidation does not impact on the day to day operations of the Pty Ltd in any way. This means that EP Rugby Pty Ltd will continue with our preparations for the upcoming Currie Cup tournament that begins on the 8th of April this year.

Further, it should be noted that the EP Rugby Union executive have been given a mandate by the clubs during the Special General Meeting on the 25th of February to seek Business Rescue in order to stabilise the financial circumstances of the union.

We are currently engaging with our legal advisors as well as with SA Rugby, Government and other stakeholder on this matter.

Kempson to coach EP Kings

EP Kings
EP Kings

The Eastern Province Kings preparations for the first round of the expanded Currie Cup competition are on track, despite the current financial challenges being faced by the embattled provincial union.
Chief Operating Officer, Debbie Ellis, confirmed today that Kings Academy Manager, Robbi Kempson, has been appointed as the head coach for the Currie Cup, and that preparations were well underway to field a competitive team for the competition.

“Due to the current situation, and having lost a number of senior players, our focus has been on retaining the up and coming talent that the Kings Academy has been developing,” said Ellis.

Ellis said it was critical that these players were kept in the province, as they represented a substantial investment by the union over the past few years.

“A number of the players currently training with the team are Academy players, as well as members of last year’s U19 and U21 Currie Cup squad, who have come through the local school structures and are the future stars of the region,” she said.

Last year the EP Kings U19 team walked away as champions of the U19 Premier Division competition, winning 11 of their 12 games. This after having secured promotion in the playoffs, after having won the first division competition, in 2013.

Kempson said he was looking forward to coaching the Currie Cup side and to working with the players. “There has been a lot of hard work put in over the past five years, since the Academy was established, to identify and develop talented players from the region and to keep them here.”

“The purpose of creating a career pathway for these players within the province, where they are given exposure through the junior competitions before going into Currie Cup and then potentially into Super Rugby and on to represent South Africa, cannot simply fall away due to the current challenges being faced,” he said.

The provisional squad have been holding regular training and conditioning sessions at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

Ellis said the union was also currently engaging with the Southern Kings Super Rugby franchise to look at securing some of their non-playing players to bolster the Currie Cup squad. The provisional squad will be announced later this month.

The EP Kings Currie Cup assistant coaches and team management will be announced next week.