By Chesley Daniels
EPRU-SEDRU Regional League
Swallows vs Rhodes – Albany Sports Ground
Top of the log clash
Swallows and Rhodes will battle it out in an EPRU SEDRU regional league, top of the Log clash, at the Albany Sports Ground on Saturday.
Rhodes is currently in first position with 18 points from 4 games, and Swallows is in second position with 13 log points from 3 games. These two are still unbeaten in the competition, and both teams recorded wins over the weekend, which ensures that all roads lead to the Albany Sports Ground on Saturday. Rhodes beat Rosebuds 17-12 on Saturday in Alicedale. Swallows left hosts Kowie United heartbroken with a clinical 25-17 win after a conversion came in their backyard at the Station Hill Sports Ground.
Rhodes are the favourites, and rightly so, as they are the log leaders since the competition started and beat Swallows last year at Rhodes and the Oval. Swallows are the underdogs and will be looking to turn the tables around, especially with a new-look squad this year that keeps surprising everyone and improving game by game. The Birds will keep their foot flat and firmly on the ground and take it step by step, game by game. The Varsity Shield outfit has momentum behind them and will look to stay on top and widen the gap. Will there be an upset this coming Saturday? Well, Saturday will be the only venue to witness the biggest weekend clash in Makhanda. This is a clash not to be missed.
Ndlambe Tigers vs OC – Nemato
Tigers are currently in third position on the overall log standings despite a narrow defeat to Klipfontein last week at the Never Loose Stadium. OC win only one win in the bag and will have to bring their A-game to Nemato, where opponents find it difficult to win against a defiant and different Tigers side than last year. Both teams are searching for a bonus point win, as this will be the only outcome as we advance in the competition. Tigers’ powerful forwards are a force to be reckoned with, and their game plan will surely be to soften their opponents up front. The Makhanda side will look to take their last win against Klipfontein as a significant confidence boost, as they will surely need it against the home side. OC can upset any team on any given day, and it’s not an impossible task this Saturday. It will be the powerful eighth man Roger Faku versus Siyamthanda Wambi.
Prediction: Tigers to win narrowly in front of their home crowd.
Kowie United vs Klipfontein United – Never Loose Stadium
The all-important Ndlambe Sunshine Coast Derby will be in Klipfontein. It was shifted from Port Alfred due to the home side Kowie United in breach of the EPRU Constitution, as their home games were suspended due to referee abuse. Kowie lost to Swallows last week and is under heavy pressure since losing three games in a row. They still need to register a win in the competition and find themselves sixth on the log and second last from the bottom. Klipfontein recorded their first win against Tigers last week and is full of confidence to settle the score win against Kowie, who they played to a draw last year at home. The home side is difficult to beat in front of their passionate home support, who will rally behind them to boost their chances of winning with a bonus point at all costs. Kowie’s slogan is “Kowie on the rise, we move”; they will surely need to rise to the occasion and move up the log standings. Will Dylan Graaf outsprint Mason Brooks and add to his try-scoring tally for the season?
Prediction: The home team to win.
EPRU Grand Challenge Group A
Brumbies vs Windvogel United – Oval
On Saturday, the home side came from a heavy defeat against the defending Champs Progress in Kariega. Brumbies are currently third on the log, and Windvogel last in eighth position. A bonus point win is not negotiable at this stage of the competition as Brumbies have no choice but to win with a bonus point with a massive points difference and margin. Uus won’t allow it, as the Gqeberha side will come and spoil the party for the home side and put up a fight. Brumbies’ powerful and dominant forwards again hold the key to achieving their mission to walk off the pitch with maximum points. Their young, exciting backs, with the inform Eldrico Kivitts, Will step up their game from last week’s performance. Brumbies are under pressure, and hopefully, that will inspire and motivate them to win big at the fortress Oval. Will Brumbies concede another RED card like last week?
Prediction: Brumbies to win with a bonus point.
EPRU Adams Cup
St Marks vs Paterson Lions – Alicedale Sports Ground
The all-awaited Derby is finally here, with the SEDRU and Sundays River Champs finally locking horns. The fortress home ground of The Bulls is the venue, and we are in for a massive clash. Hundreds of spectators are expected to fill the ground from all corners to witness this battle between the two arch-rivals. St Marks are under pressure and will feel the heat to win after a defeat to Humansdrop last week, with only one win behind them against Wallabies in the opening round. The Lions received weak points the previous week as Grootfontein didn’t pitch in Paterson. Both teams find themselves bottom of the log, and a win at all costs is paramount. The big powerful forwards of the home side need to come to the party, and the overall discipline of the team has to be better this time. The Lions’ dangerous backline can spark any day and will be tested on Saturday. Will the Bulls take sweet revenge against Lions after their Quarter Final defeat last year?
Prediction: St Marks to win narrowly.