By Chesley Daniels
The newly formed Alicedale United Women’s Rugby Club recently won the Geneva Scholtz Rugby Tournament in Middelburg and are the Stream B Champions for 2023. They represented Sarah Baartman in this provincial event.
The tournament is staged in honour of a former player from Middelburg Stormers. The Geneva Scholtz Stream B Player of the Tournament was fly half Xenia Muller with an overall points tally of 38 (2 tries, 8 conversions, 1 penalty), while United scored 19 tries in total at thetTournament. The team is also the first Sarah Baartman team to win a trophy and a Stream.
SOMERSET – 1ST LEG RESULTS
- Beat Graaff-Reinet Central Ladies 17-5
- Beat Kareedouw Tigers 26-0
- Beat Somerset Ladies 28-0 (walkover)
United ended up top of the log with 14 points after the first weekend of the league.
KIRKWOOD – 2ND LEG RESULTS
- Beat Kareedouw Tigers 21-5
- Beat Graaff-Reinet Central Ladies 26-0
United accumulated 9 points in Kirkwood and took their log points to 23, extending their lead on the log.
HUMANSDORP – 3RD LEG RESULTS
- Beat Kowie Ladies 21-0
- Beat Patensie 21-0
United picked up 8 points to take their league log points to 31 and comfortable on top as the log leaders. They went on to represent Sarah Baartman District at the Geneva Scholtz Tournament.
GENEVA SCHOLTZ TOURNAMENT RESULTS
ALICEDALE UWRC VS NCERHA UNITED
The big, powerful ball carriers of Ncerha started like a house on fire and were the first to put points on the board via a try. The champs had other ideas and increased the intensity and pace of the game, putting the balls through the hands and giving the ball some air in order to keep it away from their bigger counterparts. Alicedale United then scored 19 unanswered points to win the first match 19-5.
ALICEDALE UWRC VS WSU PYTHONS
The Sarah Baartman women were in sublime form in their second match and ran in 10 tries in their thrashing 59-0 win over the Border Side. The ladies were in absolute beast mode and on fire whilst playing with tremendous confidence, dominating all facets of the game. They stuck to their game plan, not giving possession away, and played salubrious and entertaining running rugby throughout.
ALICEDALE UWRC VS ZEBRAS – FINAL
The much anticipated final started off with a bang for the Zebras as they came hard at the Sarah Baartman outfit in the first five minutes, putting severe pressure on Alicedale United and also scoring first with their big ball carriers. The United women picked up the pace and lifted the intensity of the game, wearing their bigger opponents down. Their game plan worked very well as they started playing with their speedy and light-footed backs, in the process scoring 33 unanswered points. This allowed them to win the final comfortably by 33-7.
The Alicedale United side should be complimented for their dominance throughout the tournament, especially as a newly established club that played in their first season. The following members were selected for the Elite Sarah Baartman Squad for 2023/2024:
- Sinazo Ngcungce
- Akhona Mantashe
- Monique Alexander
- Alverine Vrolik
- Khanyiso Mzileni
- Geraldine Du Plessis
- Paula Israel
- Xenia Muller
- Robyn Loutz
- Leverne Elbrugh
- Ntombozuko Kondile
- Laverne Mapaling
- Danwyn Jewell (selected as Coach)
HISTORY OF THE CLUB
The Club was established in 2022 by Danwyn Jewell and Alverine Vrolik with the view of reuniting their communities through sport. Jewell, the Head Coach told Grocott’s Mail that his vision was for the team to end up in the top structure of Women’s Rugby and to be recognized out there in the world.
“Our goals are to spot talented women players from a young age and groom them to play for our Province or even for the National Team. We are facing numerous challenges as a newly established club, but we are marching on and continue to be competitive and to develop as a team,” said Jewell.
He added that Alicedale United attracts players from as far away as Makhanda and Somerset East. These are players who have seen the potential of the Club and who join the Club because of the love they have for rugby. “AUWRC is lately developing into a rugby family because when we are together, we are a family. The challenges lie in getting the players to practice sessions and also when it’s game time, to get the players to Alicedale in order for us to travel as a team to where we need to go and play,” he said.
Currently, the team practices separately in Alicedale, Makhanda, and Somerset East. “So when it’s game day, we only have that 30 minutes or an hour to put the game plan together and the players always deliver,” he said.
The club has limited sponsorships and donations from companies including KS Auto, EC’s Fit n Go, Bellamina Taxidermy, Lauriston Taxidermy, Frederick Burchell, and Mark Wood. “They are the people that are always there for us when we knock on their doors to assist us when we need to go and play. I also dig deep in my own pockets and drive with my own transport to pick up players in Makhanda and take them back. I don’t expect anything in return because of the passion and love I have for my players, my rugby family, the team, and the Club. For me, it’s not about the money, but about making dreams come true for these talented players,” Jewell said.
The Champs are now looking forward to the off-season training, to becoming more dominant in the 2024 season, and also to compete in the Stream A Section.