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First Division opens with 2023 rematch

NEWS: The opener of the First Division will be a humdinger.

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The two sides who squared off in the 2023 Final – the Falcons and Boland Cavaliers will face each other in a rematch at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park.

The Boland Cavaliers were crowned First Division champions for the first time since 2011 after defeating the Valke 43-21 at the Boland Stadium in Wellington.

The Cavaliers and Falcons shared the spoils in the league phase of the competition with Boland coming out on top in the Final.

The other fixtures will see the SWD Eagles take on Eastern Province in the opening match of the competition at Outeniqua Park in George whilst Border will face the Leopards at Police Park in East London.

All fixtures take place on June 15.

Valke aiming for consistency

JP Immelman’s Falcons broke a 17-year drought when they claimed the Mzansi Challenge.

They will take confidence in their win over the defending champions at the Barnard Stadium and be aiming for a good start to set themselves up for the rest of the season.

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The spoils were shared between SWD and Eastern Province in last season’s campaign between two competitions with the Eagles coming out on top by 20-10 in the First Division whilst Eastern Province got one over the men from George in Riversdale by 36-23 in the Mzansi Challenge.

The Eagles coached by former Springbok fullback Zane Kirchner also edged Eastern Province 24-23 in this year’s SA Cup and will look to bank on home-ground advantage for this clash.

For Border, however, it’s not been a great ride who finished last after failing to record a single win in the SA Cup and would hope to turn their fortunes around in the First Division when they come up against the Leopards.

The Leopards have easily won all their clashes including a recent one in the SA Cup against Border and will look to keep that streak going in their upcoming clash.

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The competition will run over five league rounds with the semifinal scheduled for 20 July and the final for 27 July.

The Griffons went unbeaten in the 2022 competition and went on to win the First Division title against Eastern Province whilst the Northern Free State’s Griffons were promoted to the Premier Division.

Honour roll:

The recent champions from 2016 are as follows:

2016 – Griffons
2017 – Griffons
2018 – SWD Eagles
2019 – Jaguares (Argentina)
2021 – Leopards

SWD Eagles v Eastern Province

Date: Saturday, June 15
Venue: Outeniqua Park, George
Kick-off: 14.00
Referee: Sean Muller

 

Falcons v Boland Cavaliers

Date: Saturday, June 15
Venue: Barnard Stadium, Kempton Park
Kick-off: 15.00
Referee: Paul Mente

 

Border v Leopards

Date: Saturday, June 15
Venue: Police Park, East London
Kick-off: 15.00
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni

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