A new Cell C Community Cup champion will be crowned on Monday after defending champions GAP Management Despatch were knocked out of the final stages of the competition by Roodepoort on the opening day’s play of the Easter Playoffs at Outeniqua Park in George on Thursday.
The tournament started with the upset as GAP Management Despatch went down 26-20 against Roodepoort, but this was followed by a series of convincing victories by Jonsson College Rovers, Rustenburg Impala and Hamiltons.
The 2013 runners-up Jonsson College Rovers outplayed Kempston Old Selbornians 36-13 to stamp their authority early on in the competition, while Rustenburg Impala produced a solid performance against Roses United for the biggest win of the day, a fantastic 66-13 victory.
Hamiltons followed in their footsteps in the final match of the day as they registered an emphatic 40-10 victory against Refreshhh! Centurion.
In Saturday’s second round, Roses United will meet Kempston Old Selbornians and Refreshhh! Centurion will take on GAP Management Despatch, while the semifinals will be contested between Rustenburg Impala and Jonsson College Rovers, and Hamiltons Roodepoort respectively.
Gap Management Despatch 20 (6) Roodepoort 26 (20)
Defending Cell C Community Cup champions GAP Management Despatch stuttered in their opening match of the tournament after battling to contain a dominant Roodepoort side. The Johannesburg-based team applied pressure on attack early on and earned the rewards with three first-half tries.
Roodepoort prop Mauritz Vermeulen opened the scoring in the fifth minute, but this was followed by a few tight exchanges between the sides. Roodepoort, however, found their rhythm in the second quarter, which resulted in tries for wing Lesego Malau and Jaun Shaw and a penalty for flyhalf Hendrik Oosthuizen.
In return Gap Management Despatch slotted over two penalties in the first half, and found themselves trailing 20-6 at the break.
The defending champions, however, bounced back strongly in the second half by reducing their errors on attack and stringing together phases, which allowed flyhalf Monty Dumond and replacement back Virgil Russel to cross the tryline, while Roodepoort kicked only a penalty. This comeback allowed Gap Management Despatch to reduce the gap to 23-20 with eight minutes to go.
But hopes of a last gasp victory were dashed as Oosthuizen slotted over his third penalty with four minutes left on the clock, which pushed Roodepoort six points ahead – a lead which they defended successfully.
- Gap Management Despatch – Tries: Monty Dumond, Virgil Russel. Conversions: Monty Dumond (2). Penalties: Monty Dumond (2).
- Roodepoort – Tries: Jaun Shaw, Lesego Daniel Malau, Mauritz van Rooyen. Conversions: Hendrik Gerhardus Oosthuizen. Penalties: Hendrik Gerhardus Oosthuizen (3).