Loftus Versfeld Stadium
Loftus Versfeld Stadium is a rugby and soccer stadium situated in the Arcadia suburb of Pretoria, South Africa. The stadium has a capacity of 51,762 for rugby union and it is used for football matches; the stadium is the home ground of the Bulls franchise of the Super Rugby tournament and the Blue Bulls union in South Africa's Currie Cup. It hosted the 2009 Super 14 Final which the Bulls won 61 - 17 against the Waikato Chiefs, the 2009 Currie Cup final, which the Bulls went on to win 36 - 24 against the Free State Cheetahs; the South Africa national rugby union team has played several test matches at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium. They played New Zealand in 1970, 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2006, Australia in 1967, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2010 and 2012, England in 1994, 2000 and 2007, Ireland in 1998. In June 2010, the stadium hosted opening round games and one game of the round of 16 of the 2010 FIFA World Cup; the stadium was named after Robert Loftus Owen Versfeld, the founder of organized sports in Pretoria.
Through the years the stadium has undergone various name changes as sponsors came and went, though locals have always referred to the stadium as Loftus Versfeld. From 11 June 1998 to 4 February 2003 the stadium was named Minolta Loftus after Minolta became the stadium's name sponsor. Sponsorship was taken over by security giant Securicor, who announced the name Securicor Loftus on 5 February 2003. On 1 September 2005 the renaming process went full circle when cellular provider Vodacom, taking over sponsorship from Securicor, renamed the stadium back to the original Loftus Versfeld; the site of the stadium was first used for sports in 1906, the field was called the Eastern Sports Ground. The first concrete structure was erected there by the City Council in 1923; the original structure could only accommodate 2000 spectators and did not have proper sports facilities. In 1928 because of the All Blacks tour to South Africa that year, the Pretoria sub-union made a large profit which they used to erect changing rooms and toilets.
When Mr Loftus Versfeld died in May 1932 the Pretoria sub-union renamed the Eastern Sports Ground after him as a tribute. The stadium has been known as Loftus Versfeld Stadium since, it has been upgraded on several occasions, most in 1984, when the Northern Pavilion received an upgrade. Loftus hosted. Loftus Versfeld was one of the venues for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, it hosted the Group B matches USA vs. Italy, USA vs. Brazil and Brazil vs. Italy. Minimal upgrading was undertaken in order for Loftus Versfeld to qualify as a venue for first and second round matches for the 2010 FIFA World Cup; the floodlights, sound system and stadium roof were improved, as roads and parking facilities around it. While expected to be finished in August 2008, renovation was completed in January 2009; the stadium has hosted many musical events including concerts by UB40 and Robbie Williams' Close Encounters Tour on 17 April 2006 with an attendance of over 56,000. Canadian superstar Celine Dion performed as part of her Taking Chances Tour a two-night stand at the stadium on 16 and 17 February 2008 with a total attendance of about 80,000.
1999 Staging of Verdi's Aida. A cast of 00's formed the backing for international singers. On 20 October 1979, South African Heavyweight boxer Gerrie Coetzee challenged the unbeaten American Heavyweight John Tate for the vacant WBA World Heavyweight title in front of a crowd of 80,000 people. Despite massive support within the stadium Coetzee lost on points to the American. Between 1956 and 1959 six first-class cricket matches. List of African stadiums by capacity Vodacom Blue Bulls Stadium picture The Telegraph Virtual Tour of Loftus Versfeld Extreme Definition Loftus Versfeld Virtual Seating Plan FIFA Profile
The Union-Castle Line was a British shipping line that operated a fleet of passenger liners and cargo ships between Europe and Africa from 1900 to 1977. It was formed from the merger of the Union Castle Shipping Line, it merged with Bullard King and Clan Line in 1956 to form British & Commonwealth Shipping, with South African Marine Corporation in 1973 to create International Liner Services, but maintained its separate identity throughout. Its shipping operations ceased in 1977; the Union Line was founded in 1853 as the Southampton Steam Shipping Company to transport coal from South Wales to Southampton. It was renamed the Union Steam Collier Company and the Union Steamship Company. In 1857, renamed the Union Line, it won a contract to carry mail to South Africa the Cape Colony; the inaugural sailing of the Dane left Southampton on 15 September. Meanwhile, Donald Currie had built up the Castle Packet Co. which traded to Calcutta round the Cape of Good Hope. This trade was curtailed by the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, the Castle Line started to run to South Africa instead becoming the Castle Mail Packet Company.
In 1872 the Cape Colony gained "Responsible Government" and its first Prime Minister, John Molteno, ordered a re-negotiation of the country's mail services. In 1876, keen to avoid either of the two main companies gaining a monopoly on the country's shipping, he awarded the South African mail contract jointly to both the Castle Mail Packet Company and the Union Line; the contract included a condition that the two companies would not amalgamate, as well as other clauses to promote competition, such as alternating services and speed premiums. This competition led to their shipping services running at unprecedented efficiency; the contract was to expire however, the period of intense competition was to give way to co-operation, including transporting troops and military equipment during the Boer War. On 8 March 1900, the Union Line and Castle Shipping Line merged, creating the Union-Castle Mail Steamship Company, with Castle Shipping Line taking over the fleet. Union-Castle named most of their ships with the suffix "Castle" in their names.
They were well known for the lavender-hulled liners with red funnels topped in black, running on a rigid timetable between Southampton and Cape Town. Every Thursday at 4 pm. At the same time, a Union-Castle Royal Mail Ship would leave Cape Town bound for Southampton. In 1922 the line introduced its Round Africa service, a nine-week voyage calling at twenty ports en route. Alternate sailings travelled out via the Suez Canal and out via West Africa; the combined line continued to operate as Union-Castle. Many of the line's vessels were requisitioned for service as troop ships or hospital ships in the First World War, eight were sunk by mines or German U-boats; the Royal Mail Line ran into financial difficulties in the 1930s, culminating in the prosecution of its director Lord Kylsant, Union-Castle Line became an independent company again with Vernon Thomson as Managing Director. Many vessels were again requisitioned in the Second World War. Three – Dunnottar Castle, Carnarvon Castle, Dunvegan Castle became armed merchant cruisers.
Pretoria Castle was first requisitioned as an armed merchant cruiser, but served as an escort carrier. After the war the line made good use of its three ships converted to troop transports to facilitate carrying the vast number of emigrants seeking new lives in East and South Africa; when they ran out of berths the line set up its own internal travel agency to book passages on other lines and air services. The mail service to South Africa, curtailed during hostilities, recommenced with the sailing of Roxburgh Castle from Southampton on 2 January 1947; the company took over the King Line in 1949, merged with Bullard King and Clan Line in 1956 to form British & Commonwealth Shipping. It merged with South African Marine Corporation in 1973 to create International Liner Services, but competition with air travel adversely affected its shipping activities, cargo shipping became containerised; the final South African mail service arrived in Southampton on 24 October 1977, International Liner Services withdrew from shipping in 1982.
British & Commonwealth continued in other fields, acquired Atlantic Computers in 1989, but accounting problems soon became apparent and British & Commonwealth was liquidated in 1990. In the 1950s and 60s the line operated a fleet of fifteen ships, eight on the principal weekly mail run from Southampton to Cape Town; each ship could carry an average of two hundred First Class passengers and four hundred and fifty in Tourist Class. Six of the remaining ships operated the monthly Round Africa service, sailing both clockwise and anti-clockwise round the continent; the remaining ship operated a service carrying up to 750 Tourist Class passengers to Beira and back via the West Coast route every three months. In December 1999 the Union-Castle name was revived for a millennium cruise; the last few surviving Union-Castle Line ships were scrapped in the early 21st century, the former Kenya Castle in 2001, the former Transvaal Castle in 2003, the former Dunnottar Castle in 2004, Windsor Castle in 2005.
The initial Union fleet consisted of the colliers Union, Saxon and Dane. In
Setanta Sports Asia
Setanta Sports Asia is a pay television sports channel operating in the Asia Pacific region owned by Discovery Communications. It airs the sports of rugby union and rugby league. Setanta Sports Asia is available on TV platforms in Hong Kong, Malaysia/Brunei, Thailand, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Taiwan. In February 2011, Setanta Sports Asia launched in Hong Kong on Now TV, in Malaysia and Brunei on Astro. In June 2015, Setanta Sports in Dublin confirmed it has sold its Asian operations to Discovery Communications; the Setanta Sports Asia channel is available on the following platforms throughout Asia: In Hong Kong via Now TV In Indonesia via First Media, Big TV, MNC Play In Malaysia and Brunei on Astro In Mongolia via Univision and Sky Media In the Philippines on SkyCable In Thailand via TrueVisions In Singapore via Singtel TV, StarHub, Toggle In Sri Lanka via LBN, Dialog and SLT Peo tv In Taiwan via Dish HD, Chunghwa Telecom MOD, bbTV Setanta is the leading broadcaster of Rugby in Asia covering a variety of competitions from the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
Setanta's current Rugby rights are: Super League RFL Championship International tests The Rugby Championship Super Rugby Pro14 Premiership Rugby Ligue Nationale de Rugby Top 14 Pro D2 Mitre 10 Cup Currie Cup Six Nations Championship Setanta provides coverage of the Gaelic Athletic Association football and hurling championships. National Rugby League European Professional Club Rugby European Rugby Champions Cup European Rugby Challenge Cup Setanta Sports Eurasia Fox League Setanta Sports Asia GAA on Setanta Sports Asia Rugby on Setanta Sports Asia NRL on Setanta Sports Asia TV Listings on Setanta Sports Asia
The Newlands Stadium referred to as DHL Newlands for sponsorship reasons, is located in Cape Town, South Africa. The stadium has a capacity of 51,900 people, but is not an all-seater venue, it is the second-oldest rugby stadium in the world. Various sports teams use the stadium as their home base, including: Stormers in Super Rugby Western Province in the Currie CupTenants Stormers finished 1st place in the 2012 Super Rugby season for the first time in their history. Western Province use the venue for home games; the city's soccer clubs Ajax Cape Town and the dissolved club Vasco da Gama have in the past hosted matches at the Newlands Stadium. The decision to buy the ground the stadium stands on was made by the Western Province Rugby and Football Union in 1888; the first official match at Newlands took place on 31 May 1890 when Stellenbosch defeated Villagers there in front of a crowd of about 2,400 people. The following year the stadium hosted its first rugby test when the British Lions toured South Africa.
It wasn't until 1919. In 1927, the new grandstand was erected and the field layout was changed to run from North-South, yet more changes came in 1931 when the South stand was enlarged. In the 1950s parts of a new grandstand as well as South stand were completed, facilities such as lifts and a Presidential room were added, a fourth bay was added to the grandstand, an extension was added to the lower gallery; the 1970s saw the stadium change once again as the headquarters of SA Rugby moved to Newlands, several stands were built or renovated, while the 1980s saw private suites and function rooms erected on top of the North stands as well as demolition of the old South stand and inauguration of the new Danie Craven stand. The 1980s saw 10,253 seats added to the stadium. Between 1990 and 1995 the stadium was under constant renovation, adding technology, increasing capacity, upgrading facilities, as part of a 3-phase redevelopment plan in anticipation of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, when Newlands hosted the opening match of the tournament.
After the World Cup, development continued with several redevelopment and expansion projects to make the stadium more modern and increase capacity. There are four main stands at Newlands: the all-seated Grandstand and Railway stands along both sidelines, the Danie Craven and Jan Pickard stands behind the goals. Both of the end stands feature many of the ground's corporate boxes: the Craven stand has a large standing terrace area, while the alcohol-free Pickard stand is seating while playing home to the stadium's video screen; the stadium's name was changed several times by various sponsors, first from Newlands to Norwich Park Newlands in 1996 to Fedsure Park Newlands in 2000 due to a merger between Fedsure and Norwich, back to Newlands by Investec when they became the main sponsor in 2002. In late 2005, Vodacom became the stadium's main sponsor, but followed Investec's precedent and kept the stadium name as Newlands. However, since 2011 the ground has been known as DHL Newlands after Western Province and the Stormers changed sponsors.
Newlands is regarded as one of the best rugby grounds in the world, combining intimate seating, a beautiful view of Table Mountain and surrounding hills, a great atmosphere both inside and outside of the ground. WP and the Stormers post some of the best attendance figures in their competitions, Springbok tests held here are always played in front of boisterous sellout crowds. In 1995 the stadium was one of the host venues for the Rugby World Cup held in South Africa; the stadium hosted two pool games in Pool A. The stadium hosted one quarter final with England defeating Australia 25–22; the stadium was used for the semi final between England and New Zealand, with England losing 29–45. It was speculated that WP rugby would sell Newlands, that the Stormers and Western Province would play their home matches at the newly built Cape Town Stadium for their home games. However, the Western Province Rugby Union have decided that they will not be using the stadium, but will rather remain at Newlands. Western Province Rugby website Website of the Stormers rugby union team Website of the Ajax Cape Town football team
The cornerstone is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure. Over time a cornerstone became a ceremonial masonry stone, or replica, set in a prominent location on the outside of a building, with an inscription on the stone indicating the construction dates of the building and the names of architect and other significant individuals; the rite of laying a cornerstone is an important cultural component of eastern architecture and metaphorically in sacred architecture generally. Some cornerstones include time capsules from, or engravings commemorating, the time a particular building was built; the ceremony involved the placing of offerings of grain and oil on or under the stone. These were the people of the land and the means of their subsistence; this in turn derived from the practice in still more ancient times of making an animal or human sacrifice, laid in the foundations.
Frazer in The Golden Bough charts the various propitiary sacrifices and effigy substitution such as the shadow, states that: Nowhere does the equivalence of the shadow to the life or soul come out more than in some customs practised to this day in South-eastern Europe. In modern Greece, when the foundation of a new building is being laid, it is the custom to kill a cock, a ram, or a lamb, to let its blood flow on the foundation-stone, under which the animal is afterwards buried; the object of the sacrifice is to give stability to the building. But sometimes, instead of killing an animal, the builder entices a man to the foundation-stone, secretly measures his body, or a part of it, or his shadow, buries the measure under the foundation-stone, it is believed. The Roumanians of Transylvania think that he whose shadow is thus immured will die within forty days. Not long ago there were still shadow-traders whose business it was to provide architects with the shadows necessary for securing their walls.
In these cases the measure of the shadow is looked on as equivalent to the shadow itself, to bury it is to bury the life or soul of the man, deprived of it, must die. Thus the custom is a substitute for the old practice of immuring a living person in the walls, or crushing him under the foundation-stone of a new building, in order to give strength and durability to the structure, or more in order that the angry ghost may haunt the place and guard it against the intrusion of enemies. Ancient Japan legends talk about Hitobashira, in which maidens were buried alive at the base or near some constructions as a prayer to ensure the buildings against disasters or enemy attacks. A VIP of the organization, or a local celebrity or community leader, will be invited to conduct the ceremony of figuratively beginning the foundations of the building, with the person's name and official position and the date being recorded on the stone; this person is asked to place their hand on the stone or otherwise signify its laying.
Still, until the 1970s, most ceremonies involved the use of a specially manufactured and engraved trowel that had a formal use in laying mortar under the stone. A special hammer was used to ceremonially tap the stone into place; the foundation stone has a cavity into, placed a time capsule containing newspapers of the day or week of the ceremony plus other artifacts that are typical of the period of the construction: coins of the year may be immured in the cavity or time capsule. Freemasons sometimes perform the public cornerstone laying ceremony for notable buildings; this ceremony was described by The Cork Examiner of 13 January 1865 as follows:... The Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Munster, applying the golden square and level to the stone said. After this, Bishop Gregg spread cement over the stone with a trowel specially made for the occasion by John Hawkesworth, a silversmith and a jeweller, he gave the stone three knocks with a mallet and declared the stone to be'duly and laid'. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Munster poured offerings of corn and wine over the stone after Bishop Gregg had declared it to be'duly and laid'.
The Provincial Grand Chaplain of the Masonic Order in Munster read out the following prayer:'May the Great Architect of the universe enable us as to carry out and finish this work. May He protect the workmen from danger and accident, long preserve the structure from decay. So mote it be.' The choir and congregation sang the Hundredth Psalm. In Freemasonry, which grew from the practice of stonemasons, the initiate is placed in the north-east corner of the Lodge as a figurative foundation stone; this is intended to signify the unity of the North associated with darkness and the East associated with light. A cornerstone will sometimes be referred to as a "foundation-stone", is symbolic of Christ, whom the Apostle Paul referred to as the "head of the corner" and is the "Chief Cornerstone of the Church". A chief or head cornerstone is placed above two wall
Super Rugby is a professional men's rugby union competition involving teams from Argentina, New Zealand, South Africa and Japan. Building on various Southern Hemisphere competitions dating back to the South Pacific Championship in 1986, with teams from a number of southern nations, Super Rugby started as the Super 12 in the 1996 season with 12 teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa; the Super 12 was established by SANZAR after the sport became professional in 1995. The name was changed to Super 14 with the addition of two teams for the 2006 season, with expansion to 15 teams in the three countries for the 2011 season, the competition was rebranded as Super Rugby. In 2016 two new teams, the Jaguares from Argentina and Sunwolves from Japan, joined the competition, playing in two newly separated African groups. In 2018, the competition underwent another change in format, this time dropping two teams from the South African conference, one from the Australian conference; this left the competition with 15 teams.
The competition has been dominated by New Zealand teams. The Crusaders have won most with nine titles. SANZAAR is the body that administers Super Rugby, has the Australian, New Zealand, South African and Argentine rugby unions as its sole members. SANZAAR runs the Rugby Championship tournament, contested by Argentina, New Zealand, South Africa following the conclusion of the Super Rugby tournament; the organisation was formed in 1996 to establish and run the Super 12, Tri-Nations Tournament. Prior to 2011, Super Rugby was a round-robin competition where each team played with every other team once; the winner received four competition points. The Rugby union bonus points system was used, where any team scoring four or more tries, and/or losing by seven points or less, receives an extra competition point. In 2016, the try bonus changed. A team now has to score three more tries than their opponents; the top four teams at the end of the round-robin phase played semi-finals – the first placed team hosting the fourth placed team, the second placed team hosting the third placed team.
The two winners played the final at the home ground of the top surviving seed. There were 91 regular season games in total. Games were held over 14 weekends with each team receiving one bye. From 2011 – 2015 the format changed, with each country forming its own conference; each team within a conference played each of the other teams in its conference twice, once at home and once away. Each team played four out of the five teams from each of the other conferences once. Competition points were awarded on a similar basis as before; the format of the finals changed. The four lower ranking teams were paired in two sudden death games; those winners played for the championship. For the 2016 and 2017 seasons the format changed again, with three more teams joining, one each from Argentina and South Africa. There were four conferences, with Africa getting two conferences; the finals had eight teams with each conference winner getting a home quarter final. They were joined by four wild card teams, three from the Australasian group and one from the South African group.
From 2018 season the format has changed again, with two South African teams and an Australian team being dropped. There are three conferences, one of the five New Zealand teams, a South African one to include Argentina's team and an Australasian one including Japan's team. Before 1996, a number of transnational competitions involving regional and provincial rugby union teams had taken shape in the southern hemisphere; the earliest of these was the South Pacific Championship, launched in 1986 and continued until 1990. After the demise of the South Pacific Championship, with no tournament played in 1991, the competition was relaunched as the Super 6 in 1992; the original Super 6 competition consisted of three provincial teams from New Zealand: Auckland, Wellington. In 1993, the Super Six competition was expanded into the Super 10 tournament. With South Africa being readmitted into international sport following the dismantling of apartheid, there was an opportunity to launch an expanded competition which would feature South Africa's top provincial teams.
The inaugural competition featured the following teams: Waikato, Auckland and North Harbour. The Super 10 was won by Transvaal in 1993, by Queensland in 1994 and 1995; the official declaration of professionalism in rugby union in August 1995 led to a restructuring of the Super 10 competition. Following the success of the 1995 World Cup, the rugby boards of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa formed SANZAR to administer an annual 12-team provincial/franchise based competition pitting regional teams from the three nations against each other. In addition it was decided to hold an annual Tri-Nations Test Series between the three co
Rugby union known in most of the world as rugby, is a contact team sport which originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts at each end. Rugby union is a popular sport around the world, played by male and female players of all ages. In 2014, there were more than 6 million people playing worldwide, of whom 2.36 million were registered players. World Rugby called the International Rugby Football Board and the International Rugby Board, has been the governing body for rugby union since 1886, has 101 countries as full members and 18 associate members. In 1845, the first football laws were written by Rugby School pupils. An amateur sport, in 1995 restrictions on payments to players were removed, making the game professional at the highest level for the first time.
Rugby union spread from the Home Nations of Great Britain and Ireland and was absorbed by many of the countries associated with the British Empire. Early exponents of the sport included New Zealand, South Africa and France. Countries that have adopted rugby union as their de facto national sport include Fiji, Madagascar, New Zealand and Tonga. International matches have taken place since 1871 when the first game took place between Scotland and England at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh; the Rugby World Cup, first held in 1987, takes place every four years. The Six Nations Championship in Europe and The Rugby Championship in the Southern Hemisphere are other major international competitions, held annually. National club or provincial competitions include the Premiership in England, the Top 14 in France, the Mitre 10 Cup in New Zealand, the National Rugby Championship in Australia, the Currie Cup in South Africa. Other transnational club competitions include the Pro14 in Europe and South Africa, the European Rugby Champions Cup in Europe, Super Rugby, in the Southern Hemisphere and Japan.
The origin of rugby football is reputed to be an incident during a game of English school football at Rugby School in 1823, when William Webb Ellis is said to have picked up the ball and run with it. Although the evidence for the story is doubtful, it was immortalised at the school with a plaque unveiled in 1895. Despite the doubtful evidence, the Rugby World Cup trophy is named after Webb Ellis. Rugby football stems from the form of game played at Rugby School, which former pupils introduced to their university. Old Rugbeian Albert Pell, a student at Cambridge, is credited with having formed the first "football" team. During this early period different schools used different rules, with former pupils from Rugby and Eton attempting to carry their preferred rules through to their universities. A significant event in the early development of rugby football was the production of the first written laws of the game at Rugby School in 1845, followed by the Cambridge Rules drawn up in 1848. Other important events include the Blackheath Club's decision to leave the Football Association in 1863 and the formation of the Rugby Football Union in 1871.
The code was known as "rugby football". Despite the sport's full name of rugby union, it is known as rugby throughout most of the world; the first rugby football international was played on 27 March 1871 between Scotland and England in Edinburgh. Scotland won the game 1-0. By 1881 both Ireland and Wales had representative teams, in 1883 the first international competition, the Home Nations Championship had begun. 1883 is the year of the first rugby sevens tournament, the Melrose Sevens, still held annually. Two important overseas tours took place in 1888: a British Isles team visited Australia and New Zealand—although a private venture, it laid the foundations for future British and Irish Lions tours. During the early history of rugby union, a time before commercial air travel, teams from different continents met; the first two notable tours both took place in 1888—the British Isles team touring New Zealand and Australia, followed by the New Zealand team touring Europe. Traditionally the most prestigious tours were the Southern Hemisphere countries of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa making a tour of a Northern Hemisphere, the return tours made by a joint British and Irish team.
Tours would last for months, due to the number of games undertaken. Touring international sides would play Test matches against international opponents, including national and county sides in the case of Northern Hemisphere rugby, or provincial/state sides in the case of Southern Hemisphere rugby. Between 1905 and 1908, all three major Southern Hemisphere rugby countries sent their first touring teams to the Northern Hemisphere: New Zealand in 1905, followed by South Africa in 1906 and Australia in 1908. All three teams brought new styles of play, fitness levels and tactics, were far more successful than critics had expected; the New Zealand 1905 touri