Rugby Tens Championship 2023 – Pool Play Day 2 Wrap
After another scintillating day of rugby former Springbok center Dick Muir, described the innovative Rugby Tens Championship (R10C) at the Charles Morkel Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa as the “IPL” of rugby.
Muir, who coaches the Cape Town Wild Dogs Men’s team, says the concept is to have a rugby tournament that goes globally like the Indian Premier League (IPL) in cricket.
“They want to have an IPL-like competition that goes globally,” said Muir.
“There is a Southern African franchise, an American franchise, a European franchise and an Eastern African franchise. The idea is to travel to the different regions and grow the game. They (the R10C) have a junior academy structure that gives exposure to all genders. An important aspect is to get involved with the community through outreach programs. The players in the different franchises visited old age homes, they have given gifts to the under privileged and have also been to the schools promoting “the game.”
The former Springbok assistant coach is also very impressed by the innovative concept of mixed-play, where the 1st half of the match is played by one gender team, and the 2nd half by the other gender team from the two franchises. So that also contributes to overall uniqueness of the competition. It’s incredible how it motivates everyone to support each other. The success of the franchises depends on the results of all the teams representing a franchise, including the mixed-play divisions.
There are four teams in each franchise. So, to win the Franchise Trophy and the prize of Rand 340,000, men, women, boys and girls teams contribute equally and rely on each other to top the rankings.
Wednesday produced another day of dazzling rugby with all six franchises of men, women, boys and girls, and mixed-play all slugging it out in ideal weather conditions in the Strand.
The Cape Town Wild Dogs (27.5 points) ended top of the franchise standings with the Serengeti Elephants (26.5) close behind them in second place followed by the Honey Badgers (24.5) and the Rhinos (23.5). The Blue Bulls/Boland (12.25) and DHL Western Province (1.5) invitational sides struggled to come to terms with the more established franchises.
In the men’s division the Wild Dogs kicked off the day with a convincing 22-7 win over the Bulls. The Honey Badgers had to fight hard for their 24-15 victory over the Rhinos. The Elephants smashed Western Province 25-0.
Muir’s Wild Dogs produced an excellent display in their 26-17 win over the Badgers with recently retired Stormers and Springbok centre Juan de Jongh showing his experience.
The Rhinos reversed their early loss against the Badgers with a solid 19-7 win over the Elephants. The Bulls eclipsed their arch-rivals Western Province 36-22 in the final men’s fixture of the day.
In the women’s section the Honey Badgers smashed the Rhinos 43-0. Aussie sevens star Georgina Friedrichs crossed for a brace of tries, as fellow countrywoman Page McGregor notched up her sixth championship score.
The Honey Badgers then went on to beat the Wild Dogs 15-10 in a high-quality game where Friedrichs was exceptional at the breakdown and in linking play. The HB’s women boast a whopping 25 tournament tries thus far.
The Wild Dogs convincingly beat Boland scoring six tries with Black Ferns world champion Joanah Ngan-Woo showing her class by scoring her first try of the R10C.
The Wild Dogs lost 10-15 to the Honey Badgers despite a late rally. Jasmine Rampton, Grace Kukutai Alicia Willemse were the stand-out players for the HB’s.
Boland brought in six fresh faces into their side. They played well despite a 36-12 loss to Wild Dogs.
The Cape side lost 22-5 in the mixed game to the Elephants despite the men giving them a 0-5 advantage at half-time. They however, conceded four second half tries.
Boland tasted their first victory of the competition with a 62-0 ten-try romp against Western Province. SA Sevens player Luleka Tyibilika produced a brilliant display by bagging five tries with Arthea King crossing the white-wash for a hat-trick.
The Elephants had a faultless second day – starting with an 8-try win vs Western Province. Marli George got a brace in the 48-0 win.
The women helped secure a win in the Mixed match after the men were down 0-5 against the Bulls. Four tries including a double from Ogunjumi made it a 22-5 result.
The Elephants then finished top of the women’s table after a win against the Rhinos. They won 5-19, totalling 19 tries so far. Renée Gonzales scored the third try in a strong individual performance.
The Finals of Rugby Tens Championship will take place on 25 November 2023.
The Rugby Tens Championship (R10C) is a professional Rugby 10s competition that offers equal opportunities to athletes worldwide. Through its franchises, each fielding men’s, women’s, boys’, and girls’ teams, R10C is committed to promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion in rugby.
For more information R10C, visit RugbyTens.com
For logs: Schedule and Results November 22, 2023
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