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EPRU Stadium

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EPRU Stadium, also known by its original name of Boet Erasmus Stadium, was a stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The letters "EPRU" in the name represent the Eastern Province Rugby Union, the company behind the stadium's historic primary tenants, the Mighty Elephants. The original name Boet Erasmus Stadium was named after Boet Erasmus, a former mayor of Port Elizabeth.[1] The stadium held a capacity of 33,852 people and served primarily as a venue for rugby union matches but also hosted a number of football fixtures.

EPRU Stadium
The Boet
Full nameEastern Province Rugby Union Stadium
Former namesBoet Erasmus Stadium
LocationLa Roche Drive
Summerstrand
Port Elizabeth
South Africa
Coordinates33°58′55″S 25°38′22″E / 33.98194°S 25.63944°E / -33.98194; 25.63944Coordinates: 33°58′55″S 25°38′22″E / 33.98194°S 25.63944°E / -33.98194; 25.63944
OwnerNelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality
OperatorEastern Province Rugby Union
Capacity33,852
Field size100m X 70m
SurfaceGrass
Closed2010
Tenants
Mighty Elephants (Currie Cup) (1959 - 2010)
Bay United (PSL/NFD) (2008 - 2010)

BackgroundEdit

MusicEdit

On 6 March 2007, Irish vocal pop band Westlife held a concert for The Love Tour supporting their album The Love Album.

RugbyEdit

Boet Erasmus stadium was primarily used as the home of rugby in the Eastern Cape. Situated in the affluent suburb of Summerstrand, it hosted matches at Test, Super Rugby, Currie Cup, Vodacom Cup and club level.[2] It was regularly used by the Eastern Province Elephants under their previous names, the Mighty Elephants and the Eastern Province Kings and hosted their two home matches during the 1994 Super 10 season. The stadium was also the intended home of the Southern Spears, a team that was scheduled to play in the 2006 Currie Cup in preparation for its admission to the Super Rugby starting in 2007. However, the Spears were later denied entry into both competitions.

The stadium is credited for being the first stomping ground of a number of Springbok legends, included in which are Danie Gerber, Garth Wright, Frans Erasmus and Hannes Marias.[2]

The Battle of Boet ErasmusEdit

On 3 June 1995, South Africa took on Canada at the 1995 Rugby World Cup in a clash that has since been dubbed the Battle of Boet Erasmus. The match, which South Africa ultimately won 20-0, was marred by an on-field scuffle which saw no fewer than four players involved in a brawl. South Africa hooker James Dalton, who had come to the aid of a teammate who had been struck on the back of the head, and winger Pieter Hendriks were suspended for the remainder of the tournament for their roles in the incident and could only watch from the sidelines as the nation went on to claim its first Rugby World Cup title.[3][4]

FootballEdit

The stadium was used as the home ground for Port Elizabeth-based football club, Bay United who moved to the stadium for their 2008/2009 season in the Premier Soccer League. The club used the stadium again at times during their 2009/2010 campaign in the National First Division. This was due to availability problems with their preferred home ground, the Westbourne Oval.

Closure and abandonmentEdit

 
Remnants of the EPRU Stadium in 2016

The stadium was officially closed in July 2010. The Eastern Province Rugby Union have moved all games to the new world class Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. The last match to be played at the stadium was a friendly against the Blue Bulls on 3 July 2010.[1] The Boet hosted age-group, amateur and club rugby matches after being officially closed but has since been abandoned, with vagrants and thieves having slowly dismantled the stadium to such an extent that all that remains are the concrete structures.[1] The local municipality, who own the property, has asked for proposals from the private sector for the redevelopment of the land.[2]

International tournamentsEdit

1995 Rugby World CupEdit

The stadium was one of 9 venues throughout South Africa used for the Rugby World Cup. The stadium was used for group games in Group A. It hosted 3 games, including the match between South Africa and Canada:

Date Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Attendance
1995-05-26   Canada 34-3   Romania Group A 18,000
1995-05-31   Australia 27-11   Canada Group A 15,000
1995-06-03   South Africa 20-0   Canada Group A 31,000

1996 African Cup of NationsEdit

When the tournament was moved to South Africa, the EPRU Stadium was chosen as one of 4 host stadiums. A total of 6 pool games were played at the stadium, as well as a quarter-final:

Date Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Attendance
1996-01-14   Ghana 2–0   Ivory Coast Group D 8,000
1996-01-16   Tunisia 1–1   Mozambique Group D 1,000
1996-01-19   Ghana 2–1   Tunisia Group D 1,000
1996-01-21   Ivory Coast 1–0   Mozambique Group D 500
1996-01-24   Algeria 2–1   Burkina Faso Group B 180
1996-01-25   Tunisia 3–1   Ivory Coast Group D 1,000
1996-01-28   Ghana 1–0   Zaire Quarterfinals 8,000

2010 FIFA World CupEdit

During the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the stadium was used as a logistics point for Port Elizabeth, a host city.

International matchesEdit

RugbyEdit

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Attendance
1960-04-30   South Africa 18-10   Scotland Test match 24,000
1960-08-27   South Africa 8-3 New Zealand Test match 53,000
1961-08-12   South Africa 23-11 Australia Tour match 26,000
1962-06-30 Eastern Province 6-21 British Lions Tour match
1963-09-07   South Africa 22-6 Australia Test match 48,600
1968-05-29 Eastern Province 14-23 British Lions Tour match
1968-06-22   South Africa 6-6 British Lions Test match 70,000
1970-08-29   South Africa 14-3 New Zealand Test match 55,000
1974-05-25   South Africa 9-26 British Lions Test match 55,000
1974-06-13 Eastern Province 14-28 British Lions Tour match
1980-05-10 Eastern Province 16-28 British Lions Tour match
1980-06-28   South Africa 12-10 British Lions Test match 45,000
1984-06-02   South Africa 33-15 England Test match 46,000
1994-10-08   South Africa 42-22 Argentina Test match 28,000
1995-06-03   South Africa 20-0 Canada Test match 31,000
1997-05-24 Eastern Province XV 11-39 British Lions Tour match
1999-06-12   South Africa 74-3 Italy Test match 35,000
2001-06-30   South Africa 60-14 Italy Test match 35,000
2003-06-28   South Africa 26-25 Argentina Test match 25,000
2005-06-25   South Africa 27-13 France Test match 35,000
2006-06-17   South Africa 29-15   Scotland Test match 25,844

FootballEdit

Date Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Attendance
2000-07-29   South Africa 0–1   Zimbabwe 2000 COSAFA Cup#Semi-Final
2003-06-14   South Africa 2–1   Trinidad and Tobago International Friendly 28,000
2006-11-12   South Africa 2–3   Senegal Nelson Mandela Challenge
2008-06-01   South Africa 0–1   Nigeria 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier 30,000

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Lambley, Garrin (11 July 2013). "So sad. Boet Erasmus in Ruin". Sport24. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Foster, Grant (15 November). "Former EP Rugby home in ruins". SA Promo. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  3. ^ "'Battle of Boet Erasmus' remembered". News24. 3 June 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  4. ^ "1995 RWC Battle of Boet Erasmus - South Africa vs Canada". Rugby Dump. 4 June 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2016.

External linksEdit