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Sable and the South African Rugby Legends take on Portugal

by Sable International | Jun 14, 2016
  • In the first weekend of June, the South African Rugby Legends Association (SARLA) was in Portugal promoting the beautiful game of rugby. Sable was a proud sponsor of the week-long event. We sent some of our team from our Cape Town and London offices to network with South African and Portuguese real estate investors and developers.
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    Tackling a worthy cause

    SARLA is a non-profit organisation composed of former national and provincial South African rugby players. It brings together retired players from across the country to raise money for underprivileged children in South Africa.

    This year, Portuguese property investor Tim Vieira and rugby enthusiast and teacher, Lorne King decided to bring the legends to Portugal to play a match against an invitational Portuguese Legends team. The idea was two-fold: First, Tim and Lorne wanted to promote rugby in Portugal. Second, both having grown up in South Africa, they wanted to bring people from the two nations together.

    sarla-team

    Golf day

    A golf day took place on the Friday at the Penha Longo golf course, giving everyone the chance to spend some time getting to know one another.

    john-smit-gemma-golf

    The four-balls brought rugby legends, business people, fans and investors from both South Africa and Portugal together, and gave the non-rugby players a chance to compete with the rugby stars. It was a fantastic day as the team got to mingle and network. 

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    sable-group-photo-golf-cart

    Golf balls weren’t the only things sunk with glee on the greens of Penha Longo. On the fifth hole, we set up a refreshment station serving a South African staple: Brandy and Coke. Our Portuguese friends were particularly enamoured with the drink and the conversation flowed a little easier after the fifth tee.

    The big game

    Saturday brought sunny skies for the big game. With the likes of Thinus Delport, Lawerence Sephaka, Butch James, Percy Montgomery, De Wet Barry, Brent Russell and John Smit in the South African Legends side, the hosts were always going to be the underdogs. The Portuguese Legends put up a good fight and the game was played in excellent spirits. 

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    playing-rugby

    Danie Gerber, a true rugby legend, ran onto the field with seven minutes left on the clock. Gerber, regarded as South Africa’s best-ever centre, managed to score a try in the final moments of the match, sealing the victory for South Africa.

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    Both the victors and the defeated were in high spirits at the end of the match; the camaraderie between the sides extended into the evening as we visited Espelho d’Água in Lisbon for dinner.

    Coaching clinic and auction

    The week wasn’t just about the adults. Tim and Lorne were able to organise a coaching clinic, led by the Springbok Legends, at Lorne’s school, Saint Julian’s, for a few of the boys. This incredible opportunity was grabbed with both hands by the youngsters, as they did their best to learn everything from the giants of the game.

    After the final match there was a charity auction, led by Rudi Keil (man of the match in the legends game), in which nearly R100,000 was raised for SARLA in aid of their work in South Africa.

    Fond farewells

    It was an amazing week and all involved had a fantastic time in the name of a good cause. A common love of rugby brought everyone together and by the end of the week plans were already being hatched for a Portuguese legends tour to South Africa.

    What was clear on this trip was that Portugal is indeed an excellent investment destination. Many of the South Africans, including some of the Springboks, had not visited Portugal before and were mightily impressed with what the country had to offer both investors and holiday-makers.

    Sable was proud to be part of this world class event. We can’t wait to help when the lads from Portugal come down to South Africa for a rematch.

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