2015 Currie Cup First Division
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2015 Currie Cup First Division
2015 Currie Cup First Division
CountriesSouth Africa
Date29 August - 8 October 2015
ChampionsLeopards (1st title)
Runners-upSWD Eagles
18
158
(average 8.8 per match)
Leighton Eksteen (102)
Juan Language (5)
← 2014
2016 →

The 2015 Currie Cup First Division was contested from 29 August to 8 October 2015. The tournament (also known as the Absa Currie Cup First Division for sponsorship reasons) was the second tier of South Africa's premier domestic rugby union competition, featuring teams representing either entire provinces or substantial regions within provinces.

The tournament was won by the Leopards for the first time after they beat the SWD Eagles 44-20 in the final played on 8 October 2015. The Leopards also went through the season unbeaten, winning their five matches in the 2015 Currie Cup qualification that counted towards the First Division and the seven matches player in the First Division proper.

After the season, all six teams joined the eight Premier Division teams and Namibia in an expanded 15-team Currie Cup competition for 2016.[1]

Competition rules and information

There were six participating teams in the 2015 Currie Cup First Division. The six teams played each other twice over the course of the season, once at home and once away. The first series of fixtures were played as part of the 2015 Currie Cup qualification competition, with all results carried forward to the First Division except for the match against the 2015 Currie Cup Premier Division qualifier, Griquas. A second set of fixtures then followed between the remaining six teams.

Each team received four points for a win and two points for a draw. Bonus points were awarded to teams that scored 4 or more tries in a game, as well as to teams that lost a match by 7 points or less. Teams were ranked by points, then points difference (points scored less points conceded).

The top 4 teams qualified for the title play-offs. In the semi-finals, the team that finished first had home advantage against the team that finished fourth, while the team that finished second had home advantage against the team that finished third. The winners of these semi-finals played each other in the final, at the home venue of the higher-placed team.

Teams

Following the 2015 Currie Cup qualification competition, the following six teams were confirmed as the competitors in the 2015 Currie Cup First Division:

Location of teams in the 2015 Currie Cup First Division

Team Listing

2015 Currie Cup First Division teams
Team Sponsored Name Stadium/s Sponsored Name
Boland Cavaliers Boland Cavaliers Boland Stadium, Wellington Boland Stadium
Border Bulldogs Border Bulldogs Buffalo City Stadium, East London Buffalo City Stadium
Falcons Hino Valke Barnard Stadium, Kempton Park Barnard Stadium
Griffons Down Touch Griffons North West Stadium, Welkom HT Pelatona Projects Stadium
Leopards Leopards Olën Park, Potchefstroom Profert Olën Park
SWD Eagles SWD Eagles Outeniqua Park, George Outeniqua Park

Log

The final log of the round-robin stage of the 2015 Currie Cup First Division is:[2]

2015 Currie Cup First Division log watch · · discuss
Pos Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA TB LB Pts
1 Leopards 10 10 0 0 431 205 +226 62 26 10 0 50
2 Griffons 10 5 0 5 332 306 +26 46 43 6 2 28
3 SWD Eagles 10 5 1 4 269 243 +26 33 31 2 3 27
4 Falcons 10 5 0 5 306 278 +28 45 37 4 2 26
5 Boland Cavaliers 10 2 1 7 203 435 -232 27 61 2 1 13
6 Border Bulldogs 10 2 0 8 211 285 -74 23 38 1 3 12
Final standings.

The teams' playing records from the 2015 Currie Cup qualification series brought forward to the First Division were as follows:

Playing records brought forward
Pos Team Pl W D L PF PA PD TF TA TB LB Pts
1 Leopards 5 5 0 0 216 69 +147 31 9 5 0 25
2 Boland Cavaliers 5 2 1 2 121 149 -28 16 17 2 1 13
3 Falcons 5 3 0 2 115 152 -37 15 20 1 0 13
4 Griffons 5 2 0 3 151 154 -3 20 22 2 1 11
5 SWD Eagles 5 1 1 3 102 133 -31 12 16 0 2 8
6 Border Bulldogs 5 1 0 4 75 123 -48 7 17 0 2 6

Round-by-round

The table below shows each team's progression throughout the season.

For each round, each team's cumulative points total is shown with the overall log position in brackets.

Team Progression - 2015 Currie Cup First Division
Team B/F R8 R9 R10 R11 R12 SF F
Leopards 25
(1st)
30
(1st)
35
(1st)
40
(1st)
45
(1st)
50
(1st)
Won Won
Griffons 11
(4th)
16
(3rd)
21
(2nd)
22
(3rd)
27
(2nd)
28
(2nd)
Lost N/A
SWD Eagles 8
(5th)
9
(5th)
13
(4th)
17
(4th)
22
(4th)
27
(3rd)
Won Lost
Falcons 13
(3rd)
18
(2nd)
19
(3rd)
24
(2nd)
24
(3rd)
26
(4th)
Lost N/A
Boland Cavaliers 13
(2nd)
13
(4th)
13
(5th)
13
(5th)
13
(5th)
13
(6th)
N/A N/A
Border Bulldogs 6
(6th)
6
(6th)
6
(6th)
6
(6th)
7
(6th)
12
(6th)
N/A N/A
Key: win draw loss bye

Fixtures and results

All the results from the 2015 Currie Cup qualification tournament was carried forward into the First Division season. The results against the 2015 Currie Cup Premier Division qualifier - Griquas - was discarded.[3]

The following matches were played in the 2015 Currie Cup First Division:[4]

Round Eight

The Leopards secured a semi-final spot after beating the SWD Eagles 36-31 in a match in Potchefstroom. Leopards captain Juan Language scored a hat-trick and tighthead prop John-Roy Jenkinson got two tries, while SWD fly-half Leighton Eksteen contributed 16 points with the boot to secure a bonus point for the visitors. The biggest victory of the round came in Welkom, where defending champions the Griffons ran in ten tries in a 62-24 win over the Boland Cavaliers, with Boela Abrahams, Nico Scheepers and Martin Sithole getting a brace each, as did Danwel Demas for the losing side. Friedle Olivier and Jacques Verwey each scored two tries in the Falcons' 48-27 win over the Border Bulldogs to move the side from Kempton Park up to second spot on the log.[5]

Round Nine

The Leopards guaranteed themselves a home semi-final after beating the Boland Cavaliers 47-12 in Wellington. Despite Boland taking the lead in the first minute through a Danwel Demas try, the Leopards responded with seven tries scored by seven different players. One of the try-scorers was Adriaan Engelbrecht, who also converted six of the tries for a personal haul of 17 points. The Griffons moved into the top two after winning their second match in a row, winning 31-16 in East London against bottom side the Border Bulldogs and picking up a bonus point for scoring five tries in the match. Griffons captain Nicky Steyn scored a try in the first half in his 121st and final match for the side from Welkom. In the final match of the round, the SWD Eagles scored a try in the final minute of the match to beat the Falcons 21-17 in George, despite the home team playing the majority of the match with 14 players after the sending off of Clinton Wagman in the 28th minute.[9]

Round Ten

The Falcons secure a semi-final berth after demolishing the Boland Cavaliers 76-12 in Kempton Park. They scored twelve tries in the victory from ten different try-scorers, with Etienne Taljaard and Shane Kirkwood getting two each, while Jaun Kotzé converted eight of the tries. The Leopards won again, scoring nine tries in a 64-34 victory over the Griffons, who also secure a bonus point by scoring four tries. Schalk Hugo and Tyler Fisher each scored two tries for the Leopards and Adriaan Engelbrecht kicked 17 points for the Leopards. In the other match of the round, the SWD Eagles beat the Border Bulldogs 31-19 in East London. Both teams scored three tries, but 16 points from the boot of SWD Eagles fly-half Leighton Eksteen proved decisive in the match.[16]

Round Eleven

Defending champions the Griffons secured their place in the semi-finals by beating the Falcons 30-21 in a match in Welkom. Despite having three players sin-binned during the course of the match and being down to thirteen players at one stage, the home side won the match and secured a bonus point for scoring five tries in the match, with prop Danie van der Merwe and loose-forward Vincent Maruping getting two tries each. The SWD Eagles finalised the semi-final line-up by beating the Boland Cavaliers 57-14 in Wellington. Charles Radebe and Brian Skosana each got a hat-trick of tries in the victory as the SWD Eagles ran in nine tries to end Boland's play-off hopes. There was nearly a major upset in the top-versus-bottom match as the Leopards needed a late Adriaan Engelbrecht penalty to beat the Border Bulldogs 32-30 in Potchefstroom.[23]

Round Twelve

The Leopards concluded the round-robin stage of their Currie Cup campaign with a perfect record; not only did they win all five of their matches, as well as their five matches in the 2015 Currie Cup qualification series that were brought forward to the First Division, but they also gained a four-try bonus point in each of their ten matches to top the log on 50 points. Tyler Fisher scored two of their six tries in their 36-29 win over a Falcons side that scored five tries of their own. The SWD Eagles finished in third spot on the log with a late try from Kurt Haupt (his second of the match) securing a bonus point for the SWD Eagles in a 27-24 over the Griffons, who finished in second spot. The Border Bulldogs won the match between two sides without a victory to their name since the qualification tournament, beating the Boland Cavaliers 44-20 in East London. Lundi Ralarala and Oliver Zono scored two tries each for the home side, who finished bottom of the log, one point behind the Boland Cavaliers.[30]

Title Play-Off Games

Semi-Finals

In a repeat of the 2014 semi-finals, the Leopards hosted the Falcons and the Griffons hosted the SWD Eagles. The Falcons caused an upset in 2014 by beating the Leopards, but the Leopards prevailed on this occasion, despite being outscored three tries to two. Five penalties from centre Adriaan Engelbrecht secured a 29-17 win for the side from Potchefstroom to secure a home final. There, they will face the SWD Eagles, who beat defending champions the Griffons 47-40 in Welkom. Both sides scored five tries in the encounter, but six penalties from SWD Eagles fly-half Leighton Eksteen (who contributed 27 points in the match) decided the semi-final in the away team's favour.[37]

Final

The Leopards won the Currie Cup First Division by overturning a 10-20 half-time deficit to beat the SWD Eagles 44-20 in Potchefstroom. Leopards captain Juan Language scored two tries for the hosts in the second half to aid his side's comeback, also becoming the top scorer in the competition in the process. The top points scorer in the competition was SWD Eagles back Leighton Eksteen, who scored ten of his side's 20 points on the night.[42]

Honours

The honour roll for the 2015 Currie Cup First Division was:

2015 Currie Cup First Division Honours
Champions: Leopards (1st title)
Top Try Scorer: Juan Language, Leopards (7)
Top Points Scorer: Leighton Eksteen, SWD Eagles (102)

Players

Points scorers

The following table contain points which were scored in the 2015 Currie Cup First Division:[44]

All point scorers
No Player Team T C P DG Pts
1 Leighton Eksteen SWD Eagles 2 16 20 0 102
2 Adriaan Engelbrecht Leopards 1 25 10 0 85
3 Nico Scheepers Griffons 2 7 7 0 45
4 Juan Language Leopards 7 0 0 0 35
5 Franna du Toit Griffons 1 10 2 0 31
Oliver Zono Border Bulldogs 3 5 2 0 31
7 Jaun Kotzé Falcons 0 14 0 0 28
8 Tyler Fisher Leopards 5 0 0 0 25
Charles Radebe SWD Eagles 5 0 0 0 25
Rhyno Smith Leopards 4 1 0 1 25

Appearances

The player appearance record in the 2015 Currie Cup First Division is as follows:

For each team, (c) denotes the team captain. For each match, the player's squad number is shown. Starting players are numbered 1 to 15, while the replacements are numbered 16 to 22. If a replacement made an appearance in the match, it is indicated by Substituted in. "App" refers to the number of appearances made by the player, "Try" to the number of tries scored by the player, "Kck" to the number of points scored via kicks (conversions, penalties or drop goals) and "Pts" refer to the total number of points scored by the player.

Discipline

The following table contains all the cards handed out during the tournament:[45]

Sendings-off and multiple sin-binnings
Player Team Red card Temporarily suspended
Clinton Wagman SWD Eagles 1 0

Referees

The following referees officiated matches in the 2015 Currie Cup First Division:

See also

References

  1. ^ "Rugbybase wil Curriebeker-reeks nou tot 15 spanne beperk". Netwerk24 (in Afrikaans). 18 August 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  2. ^ "SA Rugby Log - 2015 Absa Currie Cup First Division". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 2016.
  3. ^ "Competition Format and General Rules 2015" (PDF). South African Rugby Union. SuperSport. 11 December 2014. pp. 1-4. Retrieved 2015.
  4. ^ "SA Rugby Results - 2015 Absa Currie Cup First Division". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d "Leopards, Griffons and Valke restart Absa Currie Cup First Division on winning note". South African Rugby Union. 30 August 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  6. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre - Leopards 36-31 SWD Eagles". South African Rugby Union. 29 August 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  7. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre - Hino Valke 48-27 Border". South African Rugby Union. 29 August 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  8. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre - Down Touch Griffons 62-24 Boland". South African Rugby Union. 29 August 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  9. ^ "Leopards, Griffons win tricky away fixtures". South African Rugby Union. 6 September 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  10. ^ "Griffons condemn Border Bulldogs to yet another defeat". South African Rugby Union. 4 September 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  11. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre - Border 16-31 Down Touch Griffons". South African Rugby Union. 4 September 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  12. ^ "SWD Eagles strike late to see off Hino Valke". South African Rugby Union. 4 September 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  13. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre - SWD Eagles 21-17 Hino Valke". South African Rugby Union. 4 September 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  14. ^ "Leopards too strong for Boland Cavaliers". South African Rugby Union. 5 September 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  15. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre - Boland 12-47 Leopards". South African Rugby Union. 5 September 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  16. ^ "Big wins for free-scoring Leopards and Valke". South African Rugby Union. 13 September 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  17. ^ "Eksteen insipires SWD Eagles to victory over Border Bulldogs". South African Rugby Union. 11 September 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  18. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre - Border 19-31 SWD Eagles". South African Rugby Union. 11 September 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  19. ^ "Leopards beat Down Touch Griffons". South African Rugby Union. 12 September 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  20. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre - Leopards 64-34 Down Touch Griffons". South African Rugby Union. 12 September 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  21. ^ "Demolition of Boland in an Absa Currie Cup First Division match". South African Rugby Union. 12 September 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  22. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre - Hino Valke 76-12 Boland". South African Rugby Union. 12 September 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  23. ^ "Thrilling wins for Leopards, Griffons and Eagles in Absa Cup First Division". South African Rugby Union. 20 September 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  24. ^ "Engelbrecht sinks Border". South African Rugby Union. 19 September 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  25. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre - Leopards 32-30 Border". South African Rugby Union. 19 September 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  26. ^ "Griffons down Valke". South African Rugby Union. 19 September 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  27. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre - Down Touch Griffons 30-21 Hino Valke". South African Rugby Union. 19 September 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  28. ^ "SWD Eagles beat Boland". South African Rugby Union. 19 September 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  29. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre - Boland 14-57 SWD Eagles". South African Rugby Union. 19 September 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  30. ^ "First Division wrap up review - Leopards top". South African Rugby Union. 27 September 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  31. ^ "Leopards maintain perfect record". South African Rugby Union. 25 September 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  32. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre - Hino Valke 29-36 Leopards". South African Rugby Union. 25 September 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  33. ^ "Border Bulldogs show bite in season-ending match". South African Rugby Union. 25 September 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  34. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre - Border 44-20 Boland". South African Rugby Union. 25 September 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  35. ^ "Griffons secure home semifinal despite defeat". South African Rugby Union. 25 September 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  36. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre - SWD Eagles 27-24 Down Touch Griffons". South African Rugby Union. 25 September 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  37. ^ "Leopards to meet SWD in Absa Currie Cup First Division final". South African Rugby Union. 4 October 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  38. ^ "Engelbrecht boots Leopards into final". South African Rugby Union. 2 October 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  39. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre - Leopards 29-17 Hino Valke". South African Rugby Union. 2 October 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  40. ^ "Eagles fly into final". South African Rugby Union. 3 October 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  41. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre - Down Touch Griffons 40-47 SWD Eagles". South African Rugby Union. 3 October 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  42. ^ a b "Leopards clinch Absa Currie Cup First Division title in style". South African Rugby Union. 8 October 2015. Archived from the original on 9 October 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  43. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre - Leopards 44-20 SWD Eagles". South African Rugby Union. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  44. ^ "SA Rugby Top Scorers - 2015 Absa Currie Cup First Division". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 2016.
  45. ^ "SA Rugby Cards - 2015 Absa Currie Cup First Division". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 2016.

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