Women’s Premier Division R6 and First Division R1 Preview

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The women’s provincial season will switch into a new gear on Saturday as the Premier Division teams start the second half of their campaigns, while four of the five teams in Group 2 of the Women’s First Division will launch their 2021 season.

Premier Division log-leaders, DHL Western Province, will host the Blue Bulls Women at Newlands in Cape Town at 13h00 in their second match-up of the season, with the clash being streamed live on www.Springboks.rugby.

Two matches will play out at 14h00 between the Border Ladies and EP Queens in East London, and the Cell C Sharks Women and Boland Dames in Durban, and these matches will also be streamed live on www.Springboks.rugby.

The First Division – which is split into two sections – will feature two Group 2 matches. Defending champions, the Mastercard Golden Lions Women, travel to Polokwane to meet the Limpopo Blue Bulls at 12h00, while the Valke make a welcome return to the women’s domestic scene after a long absence when they host the Leopards in Brakpan at 15h00. The Pumas have a bye.

Group 1 of the Frist Division – featuring Free State, the Griffons, Griquas and SWD – will kick off on Saturday, 26 June.

Women’s Premier Division

Defending Women’s Premier Division champions, DHL Western Province, will have their sights set on stretching their unbeaten run this season to six matches and maintaining their lead on the standings over the Border Ladies when they host the Blue Bulls Women at Newlands.

History and form favour the hosts, who have won the last four matches between the sides comfortably, but the women from Pretoria are high on confidence after back-to-back victories which has seen them close in on the pace-setters, setting the scene for a thrilling battle.

The Blue Bulls Women will be wary of the fact that their defence in particular needs to be rock solid as the Capetonians have been on hot form on attack, which has seen them score almost double the number of tries this season, but the prospect of creating the biggest upset of the season so far would excite them rather than intimidate them.

The Border Ladies, in turn, will be determined to bounce back from their first defeat of the season – last weekend against DHL Western Province – and prove they are still a force to be reckoned with after being limited to scoring only one try in the clash.

They will, however, be cautious not to underestimate the EP Queens, who have won only one of their five matches so far this season, especially after registering a hard-fought 17-10 victory against them earlier in the season.

Adding to the Queens’ motivation, they come off four frustrating defeats, and will be desperate to sway their fortunes in the competition.

The Cell C Sharks Women, meanwhile, will be hunting their third victory in a row against the Boland Dames when they meet at Jonsson Kings Park 2 in what could prove to be a thrilling clash.

The KwaZulu-Natalians come off three back-to-back defeats, which has relegated them to foot of the log, but a victory could change that.

The Dames, in turn, have had an inconsistent season, and they will be keen to find their rhythm and build winning momentum after registering two victories in their last three matches.

Women’s First Division

The MasterCard Golden Lions Women will look to maintain their stronghold in the First Division when they make the road trip to Polokwane to face the Limpopo Blue Bulls.

The Johannesburg outfit has featured in the last three finals, and after securing the title in 2019, they will go full-out to defend it, especially with the First Division winner gaining promotion to the Premier Division next season.

The Joburg outfit have scored over 50 points in each of their last victories against the team from Limpopo and this will inspire them going into the clash. This track record, however, will also motivate the Limpopo Blue Bulls, who will be determined to make the most of their home ground advantage.

In Brakpan, meanwhile, the Valke will be thrilled to return to action for the first time since 2016 when they host the Leopards Women.

While the Leopards will look to capitalise on their familiarity with the competition, they will be wary of the fact that they will face a side that will be eager to make up for lost time.

Having lost out on final berths to the Mastercard Golden Lions Women in last in the last two seasons, however, the Leopards will be highly motivated to get their season off to a strong start.

Women’s Premier Division fixtures (Saturday, 12 June):

DHL Western Province v Blue Bulls Women
Time: 13h00 (live stream on www.Springboks.rugby)
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant referees: Local referees

Border Ladies v EP Queens
Time: 14h00 (live stream on www.Springboks.rugby)
Venue: Police Park, East London
Referee: Phumzile Mbewu
Assistant referees: Local referees

Cell C Sharks Women v Boland Dames
Time: 14h00 (live stream on www.Springboks.rugby)
Venue: Jonsson Kings Park 2, Durban
Referee: Ashleigh Murray-Pretorius
Assistant referees: Local referees

Women’s First Division Group 2 fixtures (Saturday, 12 June):

Limpopo Blue Bulls v Mastercard Golden Lions Women
Time: 12h00
Venue: Noordelikes Rugby Club, Polokwane
Referee: Giana Viljoen
Assistant referees: Local referees

Valke v Leopards
Time: 15h00
Venue: Bosman Stadium, Brakpan
Referee: Siyanda Pikoli
Assistant referees: Local referees

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