Reasons to be festive

PUBLISHED: December 20, 2012

It’s been a long 2012 season, but with the year coming to an end – and the WP Rugby offices shutting on Friday, December 21 until January 7, 2013 – we have taken a look back at our highlights from this past year.

Of course, silverware does help – with the union capturing three senior professional trophies in 2012 and boasting a win rate of 78% across all its professional teams (including the Under-19 and Under-21 sides) – but the Currie Cup win aside, it was a memorable season across the board for WP Rugby.

The 2012 season began on a high with unprecedented Vodacom Cup success, as well as the Super Rugby South African Conference Trophy (for the second year in a row), before attention switched to youth level where Western Province triumphed at schools level – at the LSEN Week (Learners with Special Education Needs), Grant Khomo Week (Under-16) and Academy Week (Under-18) tournaments.

At Under-13 level, the WP side lost the final match of the tournament to the Bulls, whilst the WP Craven Week (Under-18) side lost just once – to eventual winners, the Blue Bulls.

The WP Disa side won the SARU Sub-Union tournament yet again and the WP Women’s team won the SARU Women’s Inter-Provincial Championship title. The WP Amateurs were crowned the Southern SARU Amateur Provincial Competition winners in August, but unfortunately they went down to the Golden Lions in Johannesburg in a bid to become National Amateur Champions once again.

Then came the Currie Cup success in Durban, with the Under-19s emulating their senior side’s success and the U21s going down to a star-studded Bulls team in their final on the same day.

The emergence of high quality young players – the average age of the Currie Cup Final-winning squad was just 23 – bodes well for the future, as well as the recruitment at senior and junior level ahead of next year.

However, none of this success would matter were it not for the wonderful support of the DHL Stormers/WP Faithful and we would also like to use this opportunity to thank our loyal fans for their support throughout.

Our 2012 highlights:

1. Provided 52 players to various national teams – including the Springbok captain, Jean de Villiers

2. Won the Absa Currie Cup competition

3. Won the Vodacom Cup

4. Played in the Absa Under-21 Final

5. Won the Absa Under-19 competition

6. Won the Super 15 South African Conference

7. Won the SARU Sub-Union Tournament

8. Won the Amateur South Tournament

9. Won the Women’s National Tournament

10. The WP Youth teams took part in 11 Youth Week Tournaments with nine reaching finals and seven winning their respective finals

11. Trained 1646 persons at various levels (coaches, referees, first aiders, girls)

12. Forty-four coaching clinics held

13. Eleven tournaments for newcomers – i.e. schools where no rugby is played

14. Six festivals for Women’s Rugby