Vodacom Cup set for Mondays
Cape Town - The South African Rugby Union (SARU) has a plan to give the Vodacom Cup more kick by playing some of its matches on Monday nights.
According to the Volksblad newspaper, SARU aims to schedule Vodacom Cup games on Monday evenings once the Varsity Cup competition concludes.
The plan is to start the Vodacom Cup on Saturday, 10 March and only play the first three rounds on Saturdays. After that the fourth round will be played on Wednesday, 28 March with the rest of the competition to be played on Mondays thereafter. The first Monday matches would start on 16 April. The Varsity Cup finishes on 9 April.
The Vodacom Cup has become a watered down affair, especially since the inception of the highly popular Varsity Cup competition for students on Monday nights. SARU hopes that this would spark new interest in the Vodacom Cup, which was first played in 1998.
However, the fixtures are not cast in stone yet. Not all provinces are apparently in favour of the new proposed schedule and could vote against it. The Blue Bulls are apparently against the inception of Monday night games.
Some of the grievances are that a fair number of players participating in the Vodacom Cup are amateurs with other jobs outside of rugby, which means they are only available to play on weekends.
Programme for the first two weeks:
Saturday, 10 March:
Blue Bulls v Griquas (Pretoria); Falcons v Pumas (Kempton Park); Leopards v Lions (Potchefstroom); Griffons v Namibia (Welkom).
WP v Boland (Cape Town); FS v SWD (Bloemfontein); Border v Sharks XV (East London); Argentina v EP (venue to be decided).
Saturday, 17 March:
Pumas v Blue Bulls (Witbank); Lions v Falcons (Johannesburg); Namibia v Leopards (Windhoek); Griquas v Griffons (Kimberley).
Sharks XV v WP (Durban); Boland v FS (Wellington); Argentina v SWD (venue to be decided); EP v Border (Port Elizabeth