Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) season ended this week and the weekend matches were to confirm teams to win promotion in the Super League.
The penultimate round of the Super League was nothing short of excitement for the huge crowds that came out to enjoy the best club rugby had to offer.
In Super League A (SLA) semi-finals, Maties again showed their superiority in the division when they edged False Bay RFC 26-20 to advance to the final.
The students were always firm favourites to make the finals but the Bay went into the match with clear intentions of causing an upset.
They were close to upsetting the SLA title favourites but the students showed their championship credentials of grinding results even in the toughest situations.
For the UCT students it wasn’t to be as they were handed a heavy lecture by Durbanville-Bellville (Durbel) in another semi-final encounter. Durbel were 36-7 victors in that encounter, booking their spot in the final against Maties.
UCT would have been expected to advance at the expense of Durbel judging by their record in regular season.
They finished the season with only one defeat after 14 games, that loss coming against the undefeated Maties.
Durbel went on to hand another lesson in the final, against Maties, winning 22-13 to lift the SLA title which was previously held by Maties.
Kuils River RFC booked their spot in SLA next season by beating Bellville 36-27 in the Super League B (SLB) semi-final. They are joined in the new division by Hamlets who edged St Georges 30-28.
It’s only fitting that the two clubs that won promotion to SLA are the sides that finished the SLB first and second.
Bellville went on to beat St Georges 36-35 in the 3rd and 4th place play-off to book themselves one more promotion round. They now take on the side that finished 13 in SLA, NTK, at City Park for one last shot at booking their place in the higher division.
Kuila and Hamlets met in the final for league honours, having achieved their biggest goal of the season, to gain promotion.
However, Kuils River made sure to cap off a brilliant season with a win against Hamlets in the final to be crowned SLB champions.
Final score in Newlands was 17-13 to Kuila.
In Super League C, Scottdene Central emerged victorious and gained promotion to SLB. Scottsdene beat Strand 44-18 in their semi-final.
Scottsdene Central was joined in SLB by Langa while Hands and Heart still have one more round to play to see if they are to be the third side to gain promotion from the division.
They play Young Peoples, who finished 13 in SLB, in the last play-off round.
Langa beat Scottsdene Central 26-14 to be crowned SLC champions and will be hoping to carry that winning momentum to the new season in the SLB.
The finals took place at Newlands Stadium on Tuesday and the results for SLA had not yet arrived at the time of going to print.
In promotion league, Masiphumelele will have to try again next season after coming short of promotion to SLC this season.
After seven games, Masiphumelel only won two of those matches and have 12 points, far behind leaders of the top nine promotion league.
Violets beat Hamediehs 33-13 at Chukker Road to take top spot in the top nine promotion league with one game remaining.
The side will feel justice would be served if they are to get over the last hurdle and gain promotion as they finished top of the Southern League regular season with only one defeat to their name.
The win at the weekend took the side to 27 points, two ahead of CPUT in second place. CPUT have played a game less than Violets which keeps things interesting in the race for the two automatic promotion spots.
Albions and Eersterivier are the other sides still in the race. Having played five games each, Albion and Eersterivier have 22 and 20 points respectively.
Violets’ last game for promotion is against Eersterivier in two weeks time. Even though they are setting the pace at the top, they will be aware that the other three sides still in contention have what it takes to topple them at the top.
However, this weekend’s break should come in handy for Violets as they will face Eersterivier with fresher legs.
The other contenders will all be in action this weekend, with CPUT taking on Eersterivier in what is possibly the biggest game of the promotion for both sides at this stage.
Results for CPUT would all but confirm their spot while Eersterivier will be looking to cut the deficit going to the last rounds.
Albions take on Noordelikes who have disappointed in the promotion round after finishing the regular season with a perfect record after 12 games.
They have only won twice in their five promotion games and would need not only to win all their games, but with bonus points and hopes that results go their way in the other games if they are to pull themselves back in the promotion conversation.
Albions will be looking to take advantage of Noordelikes’ dip in form to get closer to the top of the standings