By Chesley Daniels
SWALLOWS VS OLD COLLEGIANS (OC) – THE OVAL
These two neighbouring Clubs will battle it out at the Oval Sports Ground in a local Derby encounter. Both came from much-needed preseason-friendly preparation games and should be well set for the season’s opener. A large crowd is expected to fill the Oval where the heart of rugby is and we can expect a decent crowd in. A new-look Swallows unit will be very much eager to get their campaign underway with a win but it won’t be easy against a deviant and well-set OC team that knows each other very well. OC will be favourites in terms of last season’s stats as the Birds will welcome the underdog tags in this battle. But come Saturday, it will be a different ball game where stats and the past don’t really matter. OC is known for its fast-paced game by giving the ball air and using its skillful backs to run into spaces. A new look Swallows outfit will be looking to unleash their new recruits that might just have the surprise package up their sleeves.
We are in for a treat of entertaining and physical battles come Saturday.
RHODES STALLIONS VS NEMATO TIGERS
Rhodes is back from a highly disappointed FNB Varsity Shield Competition and will surely be looking to redeem them in the league. The formidable forward pack and the exciting young backs of Stallions will play with much-needed confidence in front of their home support. Tigers will also be banking on their big forwards to gain momentum and put the home side under pressure.
Rhodes will definitely be gunning for a bonus point win.
EPRU GRAND CHALLENGE GROUP A
MISSIONVALE VS TRYING STARS – PORT ELIZABETH
Stars will go down the coast full of confidence after their 26-8 bonus point win over Windvogel a fortnight ago in Alexandria at home. A determined Missionvale side awaits them and the home ground might play to their advantage. They are also a tough team to beat at home but the Stars side is confident to go to the Northern Areas to collect full points. Stars can pull this one out of the hat if their discipline improved from the last game.
DESPATCH VS BRUMBIES – DESPATCH
Brumbies will be traveling down to take on a somehow new look Despatch side who is very difficult to beat at home. The two sides met in the same group stages last year and know each other very well. The homeground advantage is also very important in this competition and surely Despatch will take this to its advantage. Brumbies are known for their ability to upset any side and with their young and attacking backs, they surely in with a good chance. Despatch can also be a tough customer especially playing at home and their big forwards are up for the task.
LILY WHITE VS BORN FIGHTERS – LAVENDER VALLEY
The Blues will be playing on a ground that was last played on years ago and the unknown factor will be very interesting for both teams. The ground was last used for playing matches years ago and this weekend’s encounter will be a tester. The home side Lily White lost in their opening encounter narrowly against Brumbies but is full of confidence to beat Born Fighters. The Somerset outfit is no walkover and will test the home side, especially with their speedy backs. The Blues can pull this one through with a win and have what it takes.