Pumas eager for Currie Cup challenge

Mon, 06 Mar 2017 13:42
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NEWS: Pumas are delighted and humbled to be one of the seven teams in the new Premier Division of the Currie Cup.

The Currie Cup is returning to a more intense, strength-versus-strength format this year following a decision of the SA Rugby Special General Council on Friday, March 3.

The Premier Division is contracting from nine to seven teams, including the top six sides from last season, and the Pumas, who had the best record of the remaining teams over the past five years.

Mpumalanga Rugby Union CEO Pieter Burger said that the team is humbled by the opportunity to once again participate in one of the oldest and most prestigious rugby competitions in the world.

"There’s been a huge amount of improvement over the past several years and we are grateful to have received recognition for that. We’ve never wanted to be seen as a team that’s just kept in a competition for good graces, that’s never part of our dreams and aspirations.

"We want to consistently drive ourselves to be better, beat some of the bigger franchises and continually grow," said Burger.

Burger added that the much-anticipated decision was healthy for the psychology of players, staff, supporters and sponsors.

"There has been some uncertainty about whether we would be in the Premier Division so this decision is extremely important from a playing, coaching and commercial perspective.

"A lot of players are attracted to the Pumas because we’ve become known as a very good union which advances careers. This decision, therefore, continues that attraction," Burger said.

The tournament kicks off on August 12, the week after the final of Super Rugby.

The Final takes place on October 28.

First up for the Pumas is the Interprovincial Challenge tournament, a revamped version of the Currie Cup qualifying competition incorporating the north, south and central divisions.

The exciting new format will include televised Sunday rugby festivals at community stadiums and clubs, as well as triple headers and regional championships.

Before the competition kicks-off at the end of April, the Pumas will prepare with warm-up matches against the Golden Lions, Western Province and the Sharks. 

 

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 18 November 2017
Worcester Warriors v Northampton Saints 12h00 Sixways
Italy v Argentina 13h00 Florence
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Wales v Georgia 14h30 Cardiff
England v Australia 15h00 Twickenham
Wasps v Newcastle Falcons 15h30 Ricoh Arena
Ireland v Fiji 16h30 Aviva Stadium
Scotland v New Zealand 17h15 Edinburgh
France v South Africa 19h45 Paris
Sun, 19 November 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins 14h00 Sandy Park
Leicester Tigers v Bath 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Fri, 24 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Ulster v Treviso 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Leinster v Dragons 18h35 RDS Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 18h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 18h45 Kingston Park
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 18h45 Welford Road
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 17 November 2017
Gloucester v Saracens 23 | 17
Tue, 14 November 2017
France XV v New Zealand 23 | 28
Sat, 11 November 2017
France v New Zealand 18 | 38
Ireland v South Africa 38 | 3
Wales v Australia 21 | 29
England v Argentina 21 | 8
Scotland v Samoa 44 | 38
Italy v Fiji 19 | 10
Sat, 04 November 2017
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 37 | 8
Connacht v Cheetahs 23 | 15
Edinburgh v Ospreys 37 | 10
Barbarians v New Zealand 22 | 31
Kings v Ulster 36 | 43
Japan v Australia 30 | 63
Fri, 03 November 2017
Scarlets v Treviso 20 | 8
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26