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Rugby | SuperSport Rugby Challenge

SuperSport Rugby Challenge by the numbers

With the second instalment of the successful inaugural SuperSport Rugby Challenge almost upon us it begins on April 21 now is probably as good a time as any as to walk down memory lane and look forward to an improved #BornToRugby competition. Here’s a look at the tournament by the numbers.

0 – The number of games won by SWD Eagles from their eight pool games last year, which stretched their losing streak – dating back to the Currie Cup Qualifying Campaign – to 21. No pressure, then. Zero is also the amount fans have to pay to get into the SuperSport Rugby Challenge festivals (the tickets are free and on first come first served basis).

1 – The number of points the Free State XV needed to elbow the Border Bulldogs out of the 2017 play-offs. Both sides had 22 log points at the conclusion of the group stages, which meant points difference would be the decider. The Free State’s was -48 and Border -49...

2 – The number of festivals hosted by Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane (the second was the semifinal weekend), a popular venue for the competition.

5 – The number of festivals – at Wolfson Stadium (Kwazakhele, Port Elizabeth), Bill Jardine Stadium (Bosmont, Johannesburg), Impala Rugby Club (Rustenburg), Sisa Dukashe Stadium (Mdantsane, East London) and Bridgeton Sports Grounds (Oudtshoorn) – during the pool stages of the competition. There will be eight in total (all the knockout stages, from the last eight to the final, are also festivals).

9 – The number of tries scored by last year’s top try scorer, the Pumas’ Frankie Herne – a hooker!

10 – The SuperSport channel on which the festivals will be shown live.

11 – The games won by Western Province en route to not only the title but an undefeated season.

15 – The teams participating in the competition – all 14 of South Africa’s provincial unions plus an invited Namibia Welwitschias – who will play in three pools (North, South and Central) of five teams each on a home and away basis. The top two teams from the pool stages automatically qualify for the quarterfinals with the next two highest point scorers across all three pools joining them. The 15th is also the day of the final in July.

16 – The tries put past the Namibia Welwitschias (all converted by flyhalves Shaun Reynolds and Siya Masuku) in their 112-14 defeat against the Golden Lions.

21 – The date on which the competition begins this month, with the first festival, at Port Elizabeth’s Wolfson Stadium, taking place a day later.

67 – The number of matches in the competition, which includes quarterfinals, semifinals and the final. The tournament will take 13 weeks to complete from April 21 to July 15.

138 – The points put on the board by Lions flyhalf Shaun Reynolds as last year’s top points scorer.

11 082 – The number of people who turned up at the Wolfson Stadium Festival in Kwazakhele Township in Port Elizabeth, the most at any of last year’s festivals.

500 000 – The prize money for the winners, which makes up a significant number of the reasons all 15 teams are in the competition. As of last year, the SuperSport Rugby Challenge became the only rugby tournament in SA with prize money on offer.


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