In his last year at varsity, Namibian rugby international Wian Conradie is determined to go out on a high as the Varsity Cup tournament enters its closing stages next week. The 23-year-old No 8, who is completing a B Tech in quantity surveying this year, was named the Player that Rocks in UJ's 30-30 draw with UP-Tuks after scoring a try and excelling in general play. However, his attention is now on the team's final league match against University of Cape Town, which will be a straight shootout between the sides for a spot in the semifinals. After failing to close out UP-Tuks when they led 20-7 at halftime, UJ have 23 points with one game to play. UCT are just three points behind them, so whoever wins on Monday should end up in the top four. Conradie, who played for Namibia in the 2015 World Cup, said he was enjoying his rugby at UJ. "This is my final year so it's a make or break game on Monday [in Johannesburg] and I am really keen to go out on a high," he said. "We know UCT will be up for the challenge, which is turning out to be a ‘quarterfinal', but we are really motivated to win that one and to get through." He said he was happy to get the recognition as the Player that Rocks. "I enjoyed Monday's game, which was quite physical. It's always a big derby against Tuks and it's quite testing to play them away from home. "Things went our way for most of the game, but we let it slip in the last 10 minutes." Having grown up in Windhoek, where he attended Windhoek High, Conradie said he would be focused on making the Namibian side once the Varsity Cup was completed. "Playing in the 2015 World Cup [in England and Wales] was a massive highlight in my career and now we are looking at the 2019 tournament in Japan. "Namibia have to go through a qualifying tournament in June and if we make it through there, hopefully I can make the team to play in the next World Cup." Conradie, who stays on campus at UJ, said he was committed to Namibian . . .
PRETORIA, GAUTENG – Despite the wet and muddy conditions, Race #3 of the 2018 Toyota WARRIOR Series, powered by Reebok, attracted thousands of enthusiastic athletes and their keen supporters to Tierpoort Adventure Farm just outside of Pretoria. This hugely popular obstacle course racing (OCR) series is designed for adventure seekers from all walks of life, and, with no barrier to entry, makes obstacle course racing (OCR) accessible to anyone with a pair of trainers, t-shirt and shorts. With three categories on offer, Rookie, Commando, and Black Ops, the Toyota WARRIOR races have something for everyone who wish to have fun and challenge themselves across world-class obstacles. The main event of the day was Black Ops Elite. This tough course incorporates 35 obstacles over roughly 15 kilometres of trail. Course designer, Jono Hart, says, “The WARRIOR course at Tierpoort offers a good balance for the Elite athletes. The hilly and technical terrain benefits trail runners, while the introduction of six new obstacles and the familiar, age-old obstacles favour those who prefer the physical challenges.” In the men’s elite race, the “Truck and Trailer” tyre pull and the aptly named “Breaking Point” proved to be the deciding obstacles, with Race #1 winner, Thomas van Tonder (Jeep Team SA), powering through from 5th place and 7 minutes behind the leading pair of Race #2 winner, Claude Eksteen (Supa Mama), and Armin Botha, to take the win. Van Tonder finished in 01: 37:07, two minutes ahead of second-place finisher, Bradley Claase (Battle Rush) and Greg Avierninos (KeyHealth Team Nevarest) in third. Said van Tonder, “One of the biggest mental games I have ever had to play. I had my faith properly tested today. I was so happy to stand on the top step of the podium today. Having been in 5th place and 7 minutes off the lead halfway through the race, and then coming back to take the win was an unreal feeling.” In the women’s elite race, Race #1 winner and . . .
Alexander Road seized their opportunity midway through the match to be crowned champions in the PE Central edition of the SPAR Eastern Cape Schoolgirls Hockey Challenge at Westering in Port Elizabeth yesterday. After defeating last year's champions Woodridge in the semifinals, Alexander Road came up against 2016 winners Collegiate and ended up winning 1-0 in a tense battle. Although the Collegiate girls dominated territorially, they could find no way through the determined Alex defence. The match ended with a final onslaught by Collegiate, with two penalty corners in quick succession, but, as had been the case for the full 20 minutes, the Alexans stood firm. The new champions showed how dangerous they can be in this shortened format by taking their chance in one of their forays into the Collegiate circle, with Alexandra Schenk pouncing to net the winner. In the cross-pool play-offs, Alexander Road shaded Woodridge 1-0 in the eight-second penalty shootout, while Collegiate also went to penalties against Pearson, winning 2-1. After ending third in the inaugural tournament in 2016 and second last year, coach Kyle Schimper said they were delighted to finally finish in first place, qualifying for the provincial finals in August. "After our performances in the last two years, there was the hope that we could go all the way this time," he said. "But in this sort of format you never know just how it is going to end." What made their victory even more special, he said, was the announcement by SPAR that Alexander Road would host next year's PE Central tournament. Schimper said the style of their play was suited to the format. "We definitely try to push the attacking sort of game and the shorter format does perhaps help us a bit. "It was a bit of a fortunate goal if I can put it that way, but that's the nature of the game - the team who take their opportunity can win and if you don't it can be a difficult way to lose." He felt the concept . . .
The FNB Madibaz rugby team are fired up for one final throw of the dice when they play their last league game in the Varsity Cup this year in Pretoria on Monday. Up against UP-Tuks, Nelson Mandela University captain Riaan Esterhuizen's outfit know that this is their last chance to salvage something from the season. Without a win in seven matches, Madibaz find themselves at the bottom of the log, but they could still avoid automatic relegation to the Varsity Shield if they pull off victory on Monday. They are three points behind Central University of Technology and a win over UP-Tuks could see them move into second from last, provided CUT don't win their final game against Bloem rivals Free State University. It has been a frustrating season for Esterhuizen and his charges, exemplified, he said, by their most recent match against Free State, which they lost 28-22. "We were 7-0 down early on but then we started to play in the right areas of the field and they could not absorb the pressure," said the midfielder. "We started to accumulate points through two tries, one of which was a nine-pointer, and a penalty to lead 19-7 at halftime." However, he added that a yellow card had put them on the back foot in the second half. "In addition, on our power play we couldn't manage to get the scrum under control on our ball, so that cost us dearly." Esterhuizen said the team knew there were some important factors riding on their match against UP-Tuks. "The future of the squad is at stake and we have spoken as a team about the issues that are involved," he said. "We are definitely fired up to break through for that first win this season - the guys are really hungry to achieve that. "It has been frustrating because we have been competitive in many of the matches, but we have just let ourselves down with some discipline [lapses] at crucial stages." UP-Tuks, perennial title contenders in the competition, have not had a good season, winning just . . .
PRETORIA, GAUTENG - This past weekend, 17 and 18 March, Tierpoort Adventure Farm just outside Pretoria played host to Race 3 of the Toyota WARRIOR Series, powered by Reebok. The Toyota WARRIOR Race, South Africa’s largest obstacle course race (OCR) series, with three categories on offer, Rookie, Commando, and Black Ops, challenges participants from all fitness backgrounds complete a set course of trails and world-class obstacles. The main event of every WARRIOR weekend is the Black Ops Elite race - a demanding 15km with 35 intense, military-inspired obstacles. Thomas van Tonder (Jeep Team SA), winner of WARRIOR #1, hoping to claim a second win of the series, didn’t get off to an ideal start. Having fallen into fifth place and seven minutes off the lead halfway through the race, he had to dig deep to realise a win. Van Tonder, powering through the obstacles, proving why he is number one in the country, collected the gold medal in 01:37:07, just over two minutes ahead of Bradley Claase (Battle Rush) in second, and Greg Avierinos (Team Nevarest) in third. In the ladies’ race, Trish Eksteen (Supa Mama) once again showed her racing prowess to claim victory in 01:50:56, 12 minutes ahead of second-place finisher, Hanneke Danhauser. In third place, with a time of 02:03:36, was Carla van Huyssteen (Team Nevarest). Says van Tonder, “One of the biggest mental games I have ever had to play. I had my faith properly tested today. I was so happy to stand on the top step of the podium today. Having been in 5th place and 7 minutes off the lead halfway through the race, and then coming back to take the win was an unreal feeling.” Results – Toyota Warrior #3 Black Ops Elite Men 1. Thomas van Tonder 01:37:07 2. Bradley Claase 01:39:16 3. Greg Avierinos 01:40:08 Women 1. Trish Eksteen 01:50:56 2. Hanneke Dannhauser 02:02:05 3. Carla van Huyssteen 02:03:36 Written and Distributed by Hot Salsa Media on behalf of Jeep Team SA All enquiries to . . .
Attack will be the nature of the game as Woodridge go about defending their title when the PE Central edition of the SPAR Eastern Cape Schoolgirls Hockey Challenge takes place at Westering tomorrow. A total of 10 schools, divided into two sections, will vie for the honour of representing the region at the provincial finals which will be held at Woodridge, just outside Port Elizabeth, in August. The co-ed school won the tournament in thrilling style last year and coach Maxime Bird said there was again an air of excitement in their camp as they prepared for tomorrow's showdown. "The girls are really looking forward to this challenge and for a school like ours, who don't have that many matches during the year, this is a great tournament in which to be involved," said Bird. "There is a lot of intensity during the day because the matches are played over such a short time [15 minutes] and it's a matter of attack, attack, attack. "It's not the sort of format where you can just park the bus and defend because a draw doesn't mean much, so you really have to aim at scoring goals." Coming at the start of the season, Bird said they had not had much preparation, but all the teams "are in the same boat". "We only chose our side last week, but have a few players back from last year and some nice young talent with quite a bit of depth. "I think it will all come down to how the team gels on the day." She added that schools such as Collegiate and Pearson would always be strong contenders, while Alexander Road were also a difficult side to face in these matches. "They play a hard-running game and are always tough in this format because they attack so much. "You really have to be on the alert the whole time, in attack and defence, to have a chance of going through." Divided into two groups of five, the teams will play a round-robin section before going into the play-offs. The top two teams in each pool will qualify for the semifinals, starting at . . .
The Emperors Palace Classic road race in Johannesburg this weekend has received a notable boost after being included under the Bestmed umbrella of sponsored events in South African cycling. The two-day cycling festival, based at the Kempton Park casino, will provide cyclists with a choice selection of events, including two mountain-bike offerings on Saturday and two road races on Sunday. For the first time, loyal SA cycling sponsors Bestmed have become involved with the event, extending their reach in the sport thanks to their relationship with race organisers ASG Events. "The opportunity to become involved in the Emperors Palace race came about while ASG and Bestmed were evaluating the races we would sponsor for 2018," said Wicus Kotze, Bestmed executive: managed healthcare. "This event is the perfect fit in our road-race calendar for the year and it assists us to promote our brand to those cyclists who might not get to our other events." At this stage Kotze said they had entered into an agreement for one year, but were busy with the process of reviewing their position for the future. "An announcement will be made once this process is done." He added that Bestmed had been involved as a cycling sponsor for six years, helping to add to the prestige of many premier events on the national calendar. "We do believe we have created some value for some of the prominent road races on the calendar such as the Tour of Good Hope, the Jock Cycle Tour and the Jock Classique, the latter being a one-day three-stage event. "Now we are delighted that cyclists can also say they participated in the Bestmed Emperors Classic." As a medical aid scheme, Kotze said their natural priority was to look after the healthcare of their members. "Although we will always be there for those who are sick and in need of professional healthcare, we need our members to be healthy as well. "This is the same in every insurance business - you can not only insure reckless . . .
A memorable experience at a good price is what ASG Events has set out to achieve as they look forward to the Liberty Winelands Encounter next month. Part of the Encounter series, which includes the TransCape and Waterberg, this three-day event takes place in the Cape Winelands from April 13 to 15. Trails will cover areas adjacent to Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl. Having already received a positive response, with the all-inclusive package virtually sold out, ASG Events acting chief executive Fritz Pienaar believes they are well placed to attract a variety of cyclists. "This is a perfect event for riders of all levels who want to do a stage race which has an element of luxury," he said. "They will experience some awesome trails in one of the most popular mountain-biking regions in the country, with three days of riding which are not as difficult as many other stage races." Pienaar added that their target market for the event was amateur riders keen to experience a stage race. "Our energy goes into giving them the best experience possible," he said. "We want the Encounter events to be seen as races for the discerning mountain biker looking for a more luxurious experience, while still providing good value for money. "We believe it is the perfect event for couples and corporate teams." He said there was plenty on offer for the competitors. "For only R12 100 for a team of two you ride some of the best trails in the country and enjoy two nights' accommodation at the luxurious, four-star Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa. "All meals are included, plus a Winelands-branded Italian Ftech cycling shirt and a long sleeve shirt, as well as HIGH5 products, valued at over R2 000 per entrant." Pienaar added that there were still places available in the basic package, which excludes accommodation. Route designer Johan Kriegler said they were fine-tuning the routes to ensure they suited riders across the board. "For example, we have . . .
Kingswood became the first team to qualify for the SPAR Eastern Cape Schoolgirls Hockey Challenge provincial finals when they won the PE North tournament in Grahamstown on Saturday. Playing on their home astro, the Kingswoodians defeated Brandwag 1-0 in a well-contested decider to earn the right to attend the provincial finals at Woodridge, just outside Port Elizabeth, in August. The Schoolgirls Hockey Challenge is played throughout the Eastern Cape and Southern Cape, with schools meeting in five regional tournaments to decide the finalists. The next tournament takes place at Westering in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday when the PE Coastal edition is held. Under new coach Bevan Bennett, it turned out to be a satisfactory day for the host school. "We are just at the start of our season, but this was a really good exercise for us as we set out to work on our strengths and to find a pattern for our game this season," said Bennett. "There was also spirited opposition from all the sides so it was definitely worthwhile competing in this challenge." He added that Kingswood had to work hard in the final against Uitenhage side Brandwag, with Megan du Preez scoring the winner. "Brandwag play a very direct and physical game so we knew it would be a real test in the final. "We faced a number of challenges but managed to produce a performance that was enough to get us through." Bennett said the day had been another success for all seven schools who participated. "It was a very good start to the season and there was a great vibe throughout the tournament. "The girls love this sort of format. It's short and it is also very intense so you have to be up to speed all the time. It was a great experience for them to go through." He felt it also set up Kingswood nicely for the season ahead. "It was a very good starting point in terms of getting some sort of game-plan sorted for the season. "For us to get together and to connect with each other in a . . .
Score Busy Bee Easter Tournament celebrates women’s rugby in Langa Langa Sports Grounds – Friday, 30 March to Monday, 2 April 2018 The annual Score Easter Rugby Tournament, the highlight on the club rugby calendar with Score Energy Drink as title sponsor for the second consecutive year, is not only a celebration of rugby, but also the empowerment of women. This year’s tournament kicks off in Langa, the home turf of the Busy Bee Rugby Football Club on Friday, 30 March. Marking the hosting club’s 95th anniversary, the Score Busy Bee Easter Rugby Tournament has attracted 36 teams from all over South Africa comprising senior men’s, youth and women’s rugby. Established in 1923, the Busy Bee Rugby Football Club was formed with the purpose of engaging the youth in the game of rugby as a means of taking them away from the streets, drugs and criminal activities. Women’s rugby was introduced to the club in 2010 to share in the unity through sport and social upliftment. Today the club boasts 75 female players, and has seen numerous Springbok, Super League and Western Province Craven week players come through its ranks. What started essentially as an initiative to involve more women in sport in the community, has become an integral part of the Score Easter Rugby Tournament. Women’s 7’s teams competed for the first time in 2015 and their participation has evolved into a full 15-a-side category since 2016. The Busy Bee Rugby Football Club aims to grow female participation in sport even further by encouraging more women’s teams to partake in club activities. For more information on the Easter tournament contact Alfred Msutu Kewana on Tel: 0739097476 / 0738462608 or send an email to AlfredMsutu.Kewana@capetown.gov.za For more information on Score, visit www.drinkscore.co.za. Keep up with the latest action by joining the Score community on www.facebook.com/DrinkScore and follow @drinkscore on Twitter and Instagram. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to . . .