CELL C Community Cup champions, Rustenburg Impala, won their maiden international tournament in style when they beat Nigeria 86-10 at the Botswana National Stadium in Gaborone on Saturday to to cap off an unbeaten Africa Cup 1C campaign.
Impala, who were invited by the Confederation of African Rugby to represent South Africa at the IRB-sanctioned tournament that also featured hosts Botswana, Mauritius, Swaziland and Zambia, finished top of the six-team log with a full house of 15 points.
The Rustenburg miners opened their campaign with a 61-17 win over Mauritius on the opening day and followed it up with a 54-9 victory over their hosts in their second match.
Mauritius and Botswana both finished the tournament on 10 points, but thanks to a better points difference it is the Indian Ocean islanders who will be promoted to the 1B group for the next cycle of African Rugby World Cup qualifying, where they will meet, amongst others, Senegal and Ivory Coast.
“Impala were great ambassadors for South African rugby and it was wonderful to see our club players being given a chance to test themselves against international opposition,” said SARU CEO, Jurie Roux.
“I think this would also have helped those African countries they played against, as they will now go back home and identify ways to improve.
“South Africa has a duty to help raise the level of rugby across the continent and perhaps in years to come we might look back on Impala's involvement in Gaborone as the start of something positive.”
Sunday 15 June:
Rustenburg Impala 61-17 Mauritius
Botswana 87-0 Swaziland
Nigeria 20-30 Zambia
Wednesday 18 June:
Botswana 9-54 Rustenburg Impala
Nigeria 61-10 Swaziland
Zambia 17-54 Mauritius
Saturday 21 June:
Rustenburg Impala 86-10 Nigeria
Botswana 66-14 Zambia
Mauritius 134-0 Swaziland