Vodacom Super Rugby 2018 – Featured Durban Blog

Vodacom Super Rugby 2018:

Next year’s draw for the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament has been released and the tournament kicks-off in mid-February with a new format and three fewer teams but more pool games for each side as the competition reverts back to 15 teams.

The Cell C Sharks campaign opener is a trip to Emirates Airline Park to take on the Emirates Lions in the second match of Week one.

There were 15 pool matches this year, but in 2018 the Cell C Sharks will play 16. Another feature of the new format is that South African teams no longer alternate between only Australian and only New Zealand opposition each year, but will, from 2018, play teams from both countries.

There are four matches against New Zealand sides, two away and two at home, with a clash against the reigning champions, the Crusaders, avoided in 2018. We are also not scheduled to play the Reds, with three games scheduled against Australian sides. There are two matches (home and away) against South African opposition (the Lions, Stormers and Bulls) as well as the Jaguares, with the Sunwolves making up our 16th game of the pool stages.

Whereas the Cell C Sharks started their 2017 season away from home in Australia, next year they will play the Lions in Johannesburg in Round One on Saturday 16 February.

There is an early bye the following week before we host two games at Growthpoint KINGS PARK, both to overseas teams, the Waratahs on Saturday 3 March and the Sunwolves from Japan the following Saturday.

What follows is a tough four week tour to Australia and New Zealand where we take on the Brumbies and Rebels, before crossing the Tasman Sea to play the Blues and 2016 champions, the Hurricanes.

We then return to South Africa for three home games against the Bulls and Stormers in April and the Highlanders on Saturday May 5th, with the second of two regulation byes sandwiched in between the latter two games.

The remaining six matches are alternated home and away, as we travel to Loftus in Pretoria for the away leg against the Bulls on Saturday 12th May, after which we host the Chiefs in Durban the following Saturday.

Our final match in May takes the form of our final overseas trip to Vélez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires when we visit the Jaguares for the first round clash against the Argentinean side.

Although the Australian and New Zealand sides are in action the following weekend in early June, none of the South African sides will be playing, with the Super Rugby competition taking a break for the June Test window.

Our tournament resumes at the end of June (Saturday the 30th) when we host the Lions at Growthpoint KINGS PARK before heading for Cape Town on Saturday 7 July to play the Stormers.

The final weekend sees us play host to the Jaguares for the return leg match to close out the pool stages, with the knock-out rounds commencing thereafter.

In all, we play eight home games, eight away with two byes. Three of the 16 matches will take place on a Friday, although local fans will be thrilled with the news that every home game at Growthpoint KINGS PARK will be played on a Saturday – either 3pm or 5.15pm.

The post Vodacom Super Rugby 2018 appeared first on Sharks Rugby.

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