Two previous winners have qualified for the SSG Gold Cup quarter-finals after a dramatic final round of pool matches which included five away wins and a lightning storm delay.
Durbanville-Belville had it very much their own way against Villagers from Worcester, winning 59-20 and two-time national club champions Rustenburg Impala also had an easy win, beating Springs 63-29.
On a day marked by away wins and big scores, the challenge of the Free State Cheetahs at club level was underlined by the 66-0 drubbing of their best open side, Bloemfontein Police by Naka Bulls from Pretoria.
♦ As the luck of the draw would have it, two of the sides with the best record in the competition will play one another in the quarter-finals.
Durbell will be up against College Rovers from Durban. Both these sides are no newcomers to play-offs.
Durbanville-Bellville won the competition in 2015, were jn a quarterfinal in 2013 and were placed third after losing their semi-final in 2016. They didn’t qualify for the national championships in 2014 and 2017 when Hamiltons and False Bay respectively represented Western Province in the national club championships.
College Rovers lost the finals in 2013 and in 2017 and reached the semifinals in 2014 but were eliminated in the quarters in 2015 and 2016.
Final Round Scores –
Rhinos 46-21 Progress
Villagers Worcester 20-59 Durbanville-Bellville
East Rand United 32-37 Gardens
Secunda 17-27 College Rovers
Police 0-66 Naka Bulls
Welkom 27-15 Sishen
Swallows 35-21 Roodepoort
Springs 29-63 Impala
Quarterfinals –Saturday 30 March (venues & kick-off times to be confirmed):
QF1: Naka Bulls vs Swallows
QF2: College Rovers vs Durbanville-Bellville
QF3: Rustenburg Impala vs Welkom
QF4: Rhinos vs Gardens Uitenhage
Semifinals – Saturday 6 April:
SF1: Winner QF1 vs Winner QF2
SF2: Winner QF3 vs Winner QF4
Final – Saturday 13 April