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    SA’s ‘longest day’ in Super Rugby?

    2016-05-13 10:20

    Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

    Cape Town – Whether you consider it pleasure or are more cynically inclined to brand it purgatory, domestic fans of Vodacom Super Rugby arguably face their longest ever single day of SA-related rugby-watching on Saturday.

    The fact that there are five matches featuring South African teams is not that unusual in itself – indeed, there were a record six fixtures for them in a single round in week 10 a fortnight ago, when there were no derbies.

    But the difference is that the games were more conveniently split over two days then, as the Sharks and Bulls were both in action in Australasia on the Friday.

    This weekend sees all six SA sides involved on Saturday alone, and at a notably widely-scattered array of global venues, amounting to almost certainly the most intensive hours of TV-watching on record if you are a loyal follower of all the franchises.

    Make sure you have walked the dog or popped to the shop before 11:45, because that is when the Bulls take to the Sydney turf to tackle the Waratahs, signalling a virtually uninterrupted spell of rugby itself -- as well as obligatory SuperSport build-ups and post-game interviews and analysis – that only ends in the wee hours of Sunday morning when the Sharks complete their clash with the Jaguares in Buenos Aires (kick-off 22:40).

    In between, the Stormers face the Sunwolves in Singapore (13:55), then we switch to local shores for the 17:05 all-SA meeting between the Cheetahs and Kings in Bloemfontein, and the 19:15 Lions v Blues feature before attention shifts across the ocean to Argentina and the red-eye Sharks match.

    If you don’t really get away from the telly, that all amounts to some twelve-and-a-half hours of South African franchise action.

    In between the busy Super Rugby stuff (monopolised by SS1), it will be worth flicking occasionally to SS5 and the French leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

    The live Saturday games featuring the Blitzbokke are at 11:56 (against Brazil) and 15:29 (against Australia).

    Yes, it’s The Longest Day … only this isn’t the 1962 war epic starring John Wayne.

    *Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

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    Fixtures

    Saturday, 17 February 2018
    • Stormers v Jaguares, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 23 February 2018
    • Highlanders v Blues, 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 February 2018
    • Sunwolves v Brumbies, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Waratahs v Stormers, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airlines Park 15:05
    • Bulls v Hurricanes, Loftus Versfeld 17:15

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