Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2013 Vodacom Cup Fixtures

For the fourth consecutive year Los Pampas XV will represent Argentina in South Africa´s Vodacom Cup. The best domestic based Argentine players will be one of sixteen teams divided into two sections for the competition. The 2011 Champions, Los Pampas XV are in the Southern Section alongside the Boland Cavaliers, Border Bulldogs, Eastern Province Kings, Free State XV, Sharks XV, SWD Eagles and Western Province. The top four will adavance as will the top four from the Northern Section which will feature the Blue Bulls, Falcons, Golden Lions, Griffons, Griquas, Leopards, Limpopo and Pumas. Los Pampas XV is the only non-South African team. Namibia´s participation in the competition ended after two years after the Welwitschias entered together with Los Pampas XV for the 2010 tournament. 

In confirming the match schedule for the tournament the final has also been confirmed to be played on either May 17 or 18. The Semi Finals will be held the previous weekend and the Quarter Finals one weekend prior to the Semi´s. Los Pampas XV should be targetting glory after the team won in 2011 but has otherwise not performed too well. In 2010 the Argentine side was fifth in its pool while in 2012 the South Americans were defeated by the Griquas who finished second after losing the final 20-18 against Western Province in Kimberley. 

Los Pampas XV will again be coached by Daniel Hourcade but will likely have a new captain due to the 2012 captain, Julio Farías Cabello being rested until well into the competition. The 35 year old played all os Los Pumas´s tests in 2012 facing Italy and France in both the backrow and secondrow at home in June before playing  backrow in The Rugby Championship and then secondrow against Wales, France and Ireland in November. He got a lot of test time in the secondrow due in no small part to injury. Patricio Albacete was unavailable in June and injured in November while Mariano Galarza missed the entire year. Galarza is a strong contender to lead the side after having been in the Pumas squad since as far back as 2008 when Santiago Phelan first became Argentina´s Headcoach. 

Vodacom Cup Schedule
Round 1 (March 8/9)
MTN Golden Lions v Leopards
Ford Pumas v Valke
GWK Griquas v Vodacom Blue Bulls
Limpopo v Griffons
SWD v Toyota Free State XV
Regent Boland Kavaliers v DHL WP
Sharks XV v Border Bulldogs
EP Kings v Pampas XV

Round 2 (March 15/16 March)
Vodacom Blue Bulls v Ford Pumas
Valke v MTN Golden Lions
Leopards v Limpopo
Griffons v GWK Griquas
DHL WP v Sharks XV
Toyota Free State XV v Regent Boland Kavaliers
Pampas XV v SWD
Border Bulldogs v EP Kings

Round 3 (March 22/23)
Leopards v Valke
MTN Golden Lions v Vodacom Blue Bulls
Ford Pumas v Griffons
Limpopo v GWK Griquas
EP Kings v DHL WP
Sharks XV v Toyota Free State XV
Regent Boland Kavaliers v SWD
Pampas XV v Border Bulldogs

Round 4 (April 5/6)
Vodacom Blue Bulls v Leopards
GWK Griquas v Ford Pumas
Griffons v MTN Golden Lions
Limpopo v Valke
DHL WP v Border Bulldogs
Toyota Free State XV v EP Kings
SWD v Sharks XV
Regent Boland Kavaliers v Pampas XV

Round 5 (April 12/13)
Valke v Vodacom Blue Bulls
Leopards v Griffons
MTN Golden Lions v GWK Griquas
Ford Pumas v Limpopo
Pampas XV v DHL WP
Border Bulldogs v Toyota Free State XV
Sharks XV v Regent Boland Kavaliers

Round 6 (April 19/20)
Ford Pumas v MTN Golden Lions
GWK Griquas v Leopards
Griffons v Valke
Limpopo v Vodacom Blue Bulls
Pampas XV v Toyota Free State XV
Border Bulldogs v Regent Boland Kavaliers
EP Kings v Sharks XV

Round 7 (April 26/27)
Vodacom Blue Bulls v Griffons
Valke v GWK Griquas
Leopards v Ford Pumas
MTN Golden Lions v Limpopo
Toyota Free State XV v DHL WP
SWD v Border Bulldogs
Sharks XV v Pampas XV
Regent Boland Kavaliers v EP Kings

Quarter Finals (May 3/4)
North 1 v South 4
South 1 v North 4
North 2 v South 3
South 2 v North 3

Semi Finals (May 10/11)
Final (May 17/18)

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