Meet the New EP Kings Captain

www.MyPE.co.za: The
EP Kings are on a run after their 19 -17 win against SWD last Friday at
Outeniqua Park in George. By the way EP Fans, Coach Alan Solomons says;
“Thanks very much for travelling to George to Support the EP Rugby Team
– much appreciated.”

Which kinda reminds me – if you have a few spare South African Runts
lying around how about sponsoring MyPE (the Longhair and I) to cover
the EP
Kings
away games. I will even squeeze old Norman Silke and
Francois De Wet into the car and hold him at pen point to get a mention
for your company in Die Son.

Anyway, with Vice Captain Rory Duncan out for 6 weeks, after an
operation on his torn bicep tendon and Captain De Wet Barry giving his
neck a rest until next week the EP Kings today announced the
replacement Captain and Vice Captain for this weeks game against the
Border Bulldogs taking place at the NMB
Stadium
at 19h00 on Friday 27
August 2010 (my father in law’s 85th birthday).

Pietie Ferreira, at number 7, is the new Captain, and standing in for
De Wet Barry, at number 12 is the new Vice Captain, Wayne Stevens.

Once again Alan Solomons is not underestimating the Border Bulldogs and
praised them as a good side with good defensive players. Solomons went
on to say that the Border Bulldogs have lots of players with good
evasive skills and that the team present a real danger when play
becomes unstructured.

After Friday’s win the EP Kings have now moved decisively to the top of
the ABSA Currie Cup First Division log with 23 points after 5 wins and
no losses.

Border are on 11 points and, in their last outing against the EP Kings
at Buffalo City Stadium, East London on 16 July 2010 lost 42 – 28 to EP.

Pieti Louis FerreiraStanding in for De
Wet Barry as Captain this Friday is Piet
Louis Ferreira
, a product of the Nico Malan High School in
Humansdorp and tertiary studies at Stellenbosch University. Pieti is a
flank and
has represented the following teams: Western Province (1998 – 2003),
Stormers (2000 – 2003), The Cats (2004), The Lions (2005 – 2007), The
Oricoh Black Rams in Japan (2007 – early 2010).

At 105 kilograms, Pieti is a hard physical player with a tremendous
work ethic and great leadership qualities.

 Product of Grey College and UFS, Ivan
Wayne Stevens
plays at centre for
the EP Kings and turned 22 on 17 May this year. Playing for the EP
Kings is his first ‘venture’ out of the Free Wayne Louis StevensState as he played
exclusively for the following Free State teams up until now: Free State
Under 19 (2007), Free Stae Under 21 (2008 and 2009), Free State
Cheetahs (2009 and 2010). Wayne also represented SA Students in 2009.

Wayne is rated by the EP Kings coaching team as an outstanding young
talent, an extremely skilful player and as one who has an understanding
of the game way beyond his years. Testament to his great leadership
qualities is his assuming the mantle of Vice Captain for Friday’s game
against the Border Bulldogs.

Bringing the ‘smell’ of the trophy closer to Eastern Province on
Thursday is the Absa Currie Cup Trophy Tour. It has been so long since
we in the Eastern Province even felt that we had the remotest chance of
winning that it will be with a particular ache in my heart when I see
the Absa Currie Cup Trophy in Port Elizabeth at the Greenacres
Shopping
Centre
this Thursday from 13h30 until 15h00.

The Absa Currie Cup competition is steeped in history and tradition and
the trophy remains the most covered and prestigious award in South
African rugby.

Rugby's Absa Currie Cup
Not a case of WILL
anymore, but a case of WHEN will we see the Currie Cup won by Eastern
Province!
EP Kings players
De Wet Barry, Darron Nell, Mzwandile Stick,
Mpho
Mbiyozo, Donald Stevens and
Zolani Mofu will be at the Trophy Tour on
26 August to
sign autographs and have photographs taken with fans in front of the
Absa Currie Cup trophy in the Jet Court of the Greenacres Shopping
Centre, from 13h30 until 15h00.

This year Absa and SA Rugby commemorate the Silver Jubilee sponsorship
year of the Absa Currie Cup competition. It marks one of the
longest-running rugby sporting sponsorships in South Africa’s history.

The Absa Group has shown a 25-year commitment to the revered national
rugby competition demonstrating ongoing loyalty to the development of
the country’s players as well as building and nurturing relationships
with its proud supporters. The 50th final of the competition is also
something to celebrate in the 2010 season.

It all started 118 years ago in 1892 when the first Currie Cup
competition was played in Kimberley with five sides competing. That
first tournament was won by Western Province. Since then the
competition has become South Africa’s most important domestic rugby
championship, maintaining standards of excellence over the decades that
followed.

In 1985 the sponsorship was taken up by Santambank Limited (subsidiary)
of the Bankorp Group, and an opportunity to partner with the South
African Rugby Union was identified. This was at a time in the
competition when Western Province had dominated for five years, which
was to came to an end after they were beaten in 1987, only to reclaim
the trophy in 1997.

Following the restructuring of Bankorp in 1990, Santambank Limited
became a division of Bankorp and was subsequently renamed Bankfin in
1991. The competition became known as the Bankfin Currie Cup for the
years that followed. In 2002 Bankfin had become synonymous with rugby
in South Africa as it not only sponsored the Currie Cup, but also the
Bankfin Cup and the Bankfin U21 competition. The Bankfin rugby
sponsorship is one of the most successful sports sponsorships to date,
having successfully grown the stature of rugby in South Africa.

The nineties coined a golden era where the Bankfin Currie Cup was
either won by Transvaal, later the Gauteng and Golden Lions, or Natal,
which after 1994 became the Natal Sharks and finally the Sharks. The
Sharks were also a formidable force at this time winning the
comeptition in 1992, 1995 and 1996 and Transvaal in 1993 and 1994. In
1999 Hoffe Park in Kimberley became Absa Park, the stadium in East
London was renamed the Absa Stadium and a year later in 2000, King’s
Park in Durban changed to the Absa Stadium.

When the Absa Group renamed the sponsorship in 2003 to the Absa Currie
Cup, an exciting new tournament logo was created and launched a new
identity for the tournament.

The campaign centered around the line ‘My province, my passion, my
game’ and aptly expressed the conviction of many fans all over the
country. It also expressed Absa’s commitment and passion for its
involvement in this iconic South African sport.

Absa insisted that it would continue to entrench and grow its position
among the SA rugby fans and supporters – a promise it has proudly stood
by. From the start of the new millennium and throughout the decade that
followed the Absa Group showed unwavering support for this sponsorship
and the game of rugby through various other projects and sponsorships,
such as that of the Springboks.

It was then that the Blue Bulls and the Free State Cheetahs were at the
top of the log, the former team playing in seven finals over the
period. The Blue Bulls won four finals in 2002 to 2004 and 2009, shared
the title once in 2006 and lost two against the Free State (2005) and
Natal (2008). The Free State Cheetahs won in 2005, drawing with the
Bulls in 2006 and winning against the Golden Lions in 2007.

The Absa Currie Cup continually develops, enabling up-and-coming young
provincial players to experience and participate in the superior
national level of SA rugby. With its heritage and richly developed
structure the competition is also envied on an international level with
very few countries having such a platform to practice their skills and
learn from other provincial players.

In recent times and as a result of Absa and other sponsors pushing the
quality of provincial rugby, it has reached ever-increasing exciting
levels as seen in what the Blue Bulls have achieved. They were crowned
Vodacom Super 14 champions (the first South African side to achieve
this) in 2007 and then in 2009 the franchise Bulls and the Blue Bulls
became the first sides from the same union to hold both the Super Rugby
and Absa Currie Cup titles.

The tournament has always provided an ideal non-traditional media
vehicle for the Absa Group to convey meaningful messages and develop
key relationships with both loyal and potential customers over the
years. It has also allowed Absa’s various businesses to take advantage
of an association with this premium sponsorship in order to enhance the
experience and rewards offered to fans.The Absa Currie Cup is made
unforgettable by the true spirit of support shown to rugby supporters
and great value included each year.

In addition to the Absa Currie Cup, the Absa Group is also a proud
associate supporter of Springbok rugby at various levels and is the
official financial supporter of the South African national teams, thus
becoming known as ‘The Bank Behind The Boks’. Absa shows support to the
Springboks, Springbok Sevens, U20/U21 teams and the national women’s
teams. Absa is also the primary benefactor of BokSmart, which is a
reflection of its commitment to development and sustainability of the
game in terms of safety and correct procedure.

This year, to celebrate the 25-year milestone, SA Rugby and Absa invite
fans to relive some of the greatest moments of the tournament over the
last quarter of a century. Together with SuperSport, a national
competition will run during the tournament where some of the greatest
tries spanning the last 25 years will be relived. Fans will have the
opportunity to vote for their best tries and stand in line to win a
travel and hospitality experience for themselves and 24 friends to this
year’s Absa Currie Cup Final. 

“We are delighted to have reached this important milestone in the
history of the sponsorship. Absa has shown commitment to the historic
competition year after year, confidently investing in the oldest
regional rugby rivalry in the world. Following the FIFA World Cup this
year, we hope that South Africa will keep the unbelievable spirit of
sport alive until the Absa Currie Cup Final in October and support
their home teams – there is always an unforgettable feeling of South
African provincial patriotism in the Absa Currie Cup season”, said
Happy Ntshingila, Chief Marketing and Communication Officer, Absa Group.

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