Provicial Rivalries

Discussion in 'General Rugby Union' started by Kalium, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. Kalium

    Kalium Guest

    Continuing the heritage of rivalry between the provinces

    Steeped in history and tradition, South Africa’s premier Provincial rugby competition, the ABSA-Currie Cup, dates back to 1889.

    The tournament is the cornerstone of South Africa’s rugby heritage. After more than a century of existence, the coveted gold trophy remains the most prestigious prize in South African domestic rugby.

    The ABSA-Currie Cup had its beginnings in 1884 when an inter-town competition was inaugurated. In 1889 it was upgraded to an inter-centre tournament. The then South African Rugby Board donated a silver trophy to be presented to the winners. Western Province became the first winners of the "Raadsbeker", which today stands in the SA Rugby Museum in Cape Town.

    The trademark gold trophy was donated by Sir Donald Currie in 1891 on the departure of WE Maclaglan’s British Isles team to South Africa. This was to be presented to the local team that did the best against the visitors. The trophy was presented to Griqualand West who, in turn, presented it to the Board for the inter-centre competition. Western Province became the first winners of the gold trophy in 1892.

    Only five teams participated in the inaugural Currie Cup tournament in 1892. Matches were played on a round-robin format at a central venue over a period of a week to ten days with the log winners getting the trophy. This structure remained in place until 1920. In these early years the competition was not played annually. International tours took preference and there were disruptions during wartime.

    In 1922 the competition was extended to eight teams. Matches were played on a home and away basis over the duration of the rugby season. Transvaal won in 1922 but Western Province continued to dominate, notching up four outright wins and sharing the trophy twice with Border between 1923 and 1936.

    By 1939, the tournament had grown to 12 teams, split into North and South regions. The winners of each section faced each other in what was to be the very first Currie Cup Final. In the competition’s Jubilee Year, Transvaal beat Western Province 17 - 6 to record their first-ever Currie Cup victory at Newlands in Cape Town.

    The next Currie Cup final was to take place seven years later in 1946, after the end of the Second World War. Again Western Province qualified for the final but they were beaten 11 - 9 by Northern Transvaal in Pretoria.

    Western Province won again in 1947, Transvaal beat Northern Transvaal to win in 1950 and Border won their first title in 1952.

    In 1954, the Currie Cup structure was changed. Fifteen teams were divided into three sections and semi-finals were played for the first time.

    The eventual winners were Western Province who beat Northern Transvaal 11 - 8 at Newlands. The Blue Bulls were victorious in 1956 after they beat Natal 9 - 8 in the Durban side’s first Final appearance at Kingsmead.

    In 1957 a new Currie Cup format was introduced. It was decided that the Currie Cup would be played on a league basis across two seasons, 1957 and 1959. At the end of 1959, Western Province had one point more than Northern Transvaal and the trophy returned to Newlands. No final was played. Unhappiness over this system led to the Currie Cup being cancelled for five years until 1964. In this year, the competition was divided into five sections with the individual winners going forward into a further league competition. Again there was no final with Western Province taking the honours after finishing top of the standings. This format was repeated in 1966 with Western Province again emerging victorious.

    No Currie Cup competition was held in 1967 as a result of the French tour to South Africa. In 1968, the number of teams in the competition increased to 16, divided into two pools. Northern Transvaal won their third title after beating Transvaal in the final.

    While the system was regularly changed to include either two or three sections, the Currie Cup competition has been played and a Final held every year from 1968 to the present day. The period between the 1968 and 1981 saw the Blue Bulls’ golden years. Over a period of 14 years the men from Pretoria won the title outright nine times and shared it twice. This spectacular run included five straight titles between 1977 and 1981 (shared with WP in 1979).

    Western Province took over the Champions mantle in the early to mid-eighties when they repeated Northerns’ feat of five consecutive wins between 1982 and 1986. Northerns won the title again in 1987 and 1988 and shared the spoils with Province in 1989. Natal, who won their first-ever title in 1990, eventually broke the 13-year dominance by Province and the Blue Bulls. Although Northerns came back to win against the odds in 1991, the nineties heralded a new Currie Cup rivalry - that between Transvaal and Natal.

    Natal won again in 1992, 1995 and 1996 while Transvaal were title holders in 1993 and 1994. The wheel turned full-circle when Western Province claimed the title for the first time in 11 years in the 1997 final against Free State. In 1998, the Blue Bulls claimed the title for the first time since 1991 and the Lions (formerly Transvaal) became the last champions of the 20th century when they beat the Natal Sharks in the 1999 final.

    Western Province won the first two titles of the 21st century, beating the Natal Sharks in both the 2000 and 2001 final. The Blue Bulls came to the fore in 2002, beating the Lions in the final to secure their second title in five seasons.

    From 2003 the ABSA-Currie Cup reverts to a strength vs strength system with a Premier Division of eight teams and a First Division of six teams. A double-round of matches will be played with the top two teams in each Division qualifying for the respective finals.

    Over more than a century, the ABSA-Currie Cup has seen many changes, but the ultimate prize has remained the same - that of being crowned South Africa’s Provincial rugby champions.
    :wall: *edited by woosaah*
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  3. Juggernaut

    Juggernaut Guest

    Just about every other province in NZ hates us........especially all the hillybillies South of the Bombay Hills. :p
  4. hmmm i wonder why?
  5. because we won without a loss in about a million years (or what seemed like a million years to everyone else :bleh!: )
  6. woosaah

    woosaah Guest

    kalium did you write that? or did you copy it from another site?

    if you did write it well done good read, if not... can we have a link please?

    never mind, i found the original
  7. Fushitsusha

    Fushitsusha Guest

    Pretty much all Brumbies supporters HATE the Waratahs, while most Waratah supporters are jealous of the Brumbies. :D

    Personally I think this rivalry is much more exciting than the Reds and Waratahs as those matches in recent years have been absolute flops.
  8. mackka

    mackka Guest

    The Brumbies are a mutant hybrid team that just snap up players from NSW and Queensland. Over the years they've managed to go from being a bunch of northern rejects to a collection of elite players attracted by Canberra money. As a result, the Brumbies ACTUALLY represent both NSW and Queensland at a provincial level. Thus the strange dynamic in Aussie Super 14 competition whereby northern supporters generally adopt the Brumbies as a second team. Meanwhile NSW and QLD have a century of intense competition and rivalry behind each match and despite recent form remain the heart and soul of Australian rugby. So there! Lol.
  9. Steve-o

    Steve-o Guest

    Geez, it's hard to say who are the biggest rivals in SA right now. There's the old rivalry between WP and the Bulls, which the Bulls have come on top in recent times. Their fans never get tired of whipping WP.

    Then there's the recent rivalry that has developed between the Bulls and the Free State Cheetahs, facing each other 3 times in the CC final in 3 years, if I remember correctly.

    Lets not forget the age old Boland vs WP rivalry.

    Then there's the Griquas, who can upset any team on thier day. Very much the rogue team of all the well established clubs. I don't know much about thier rivalries, maybe an older member can shed some light.

    THEN there's the Natal vs Bulls rivalry, the one I look to each year with great interest. Two very different brands of rugby, clashing together in chaotic organisation. I love beating them. Love it!

    One thing is clear, the Bulls ARE the team to beat, year in year out.
  10. Dmx#1

    Dmx#1 Guest

    Yeah, everybody hates Auckland.

    I dunno, would Wellington and Canterbury be considered a rivalry?
  11. nam97

    nam97 Guest

    Yeah, everybody hates Auckland.

    I dunno, would Wellington and Canterbury be considered a rivalry?

    Hmmmmm... well us Cantabs all love beating Auckland the most and are public enemy number 1. Wellington are considered a rival to most, just look at the tense battles over the years, especially a few semi final NPC games show this. Although I have nothing against Wellington, they seem to be the team that consistently gives us trouble.
  12. dobrien7

    dobrien7 Guest

    Fair to say Otago v Southland is a rivalry with well over 200 games played against each other...
  13. Agreed you can never get tired of beating the crap out of the waratahs. :D
  14. Juggernaut

    Juggernaut Guest

    feelings mutual my friend.

    P.S: quite strange for a Cantab with a name like 'Wairarapa_Cullen'..
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