The Dames will welcome their Western Cape opponents, DHL Western Province, to ‘Die Bos’ in Hawston, as the sports stadium in this Overberg fishing village is called by the locals, in one of two matches that will be live-streamed this weekend.

The other will be another spicy derby in Despatch, where the EP Queens await their Sunshine Coast neighbours, the Border Ladies, with early Eastern Cape bragging rights on offer.

The third Saturday match-up will be in Durban, where the Cell C Sharks Women will host the Mastercard Golden Lions Women at Kings Park 2, with both teams looking for a first win of the season. The Bulls Daisies, so prominent against defending champions Border last week, enjoy an early bye.

All three clashes will be intriguing, but the performance of Boland will be of particular interest to the other contestants. They will be without their current Springbok Women representative, Aseza Hele, as she is still in on the road to recovery, but coach Thomas Chowles left no stone unturned to prepare his troops for this year’s showpiece.

The Dames have played no less than six warm-up games, including a Cape Town sortie to face the local side in Green Point, which was won by DHL WP. They also played the Springbok Women, the SA National Defence Force and a Brazilian touring squad as Chowles wanted to expose his players to the rough and tumbles of the game.

“It did give us a good chance to test and settle combinations and we hope these matches will benefit us during the season,” said Chowles.

Although his pack has been boosted by two former national players in Celeste Adonis and Edwaline Dickson, Chowles indicated a more expansive approach this year, a change from his forwards orientated gameplan last year.

The Capetonians should arrive as favourites but can expect a fiery encounter and a hostile reception from the home crowd in Hawston.

The EP Queens must be considered favourites at home against their Eastern Cape rivals, as they dominated the Lions last weekend, while the East London side were blanked by the Daisies. It seems that new backline coach, Zenay Jordaan, added some arrows to the Queens’ quiver, but the Border side will become better as the season progresses and they find their groove and rhythm.

The visitors from Gauteng will find it tough in Durban this weekend, with the Cell C Sharks Women hurting from last weekend’s defeat to DHL WP. The KwaZulu-Natalians dominated huge chunks of that game but had some lapses that not only resulted in tries by WP, but often wasted attacking opportunities due to poor tactical kicking.

The Lions team are improving in all areas of play and are close to a first win in the competition, most likely in the next three weeks when the Springbok Women will be using 28 national players in the Rugby Africa Cup tournament, with the Jozi side not impacted by a national call-up to any player.

Match information:

Cell C Sharks Women v Mastercard Golden Lions Women
Venue: HollywoodBets Kings Park 2, Durban
Date: Saturday 13 May
Kick-off: 14h00
Referee: Siyanda Pikoli

EP Queens v Border Ladies
Venue: De Wet Stadium, Despatch
Date: Saturday 13 May
Kick-off: 12h30
Referee: Angie Bezuidenhout
Live stream: SuperSport schools app

Boland Dames v DHL Western Province
Venue: Hawston Sports Grounds, Hawston
Date: Saturday 13 May
Kick-off: 14h15
Referee: Sinesipho Foloti
Live stream: SuperSport schools app