By Chesley Daniels
EPRU SEDRU REGIONAL LEAGUE
ROSEBUDS UNITED VS SWALLOWS RUGBY CLUB – ALICEDALE (16 JUNE 2023)
Friday June 16, Youth Day, will see the Alicebaai Sports Ground full to its capacity when the home side host the EPRU SEDRU log leaders in an all-important clash.
The much awaited battle between the two sides is finally here, and everyone is looking forward to this fixture. Rosebuds is a very difficult team to beat at home, and with their intimidating and passionate supporters behind them, it can be fairly said that the home side have earned the Favourites Tag.
Swallows, as log leaders, will go into the contest as underdogs with their feet firm on the ground and showing huge respect for the home side.
Rosebuds came from a highly disappointing 22-50 defeat against OC on the Oval on 10 June and want to put that behind them and focus on handing Swallows a 50+ on Friday. On the other hand, Swallows beat Tigers 36-0 a fortnight ago at the Oval and are keen to build on their winning momentum as the only unbeaten side in the competition. Rosebuds wants to prove a point. They will be unleashing their speedy backs and playing their favourite high tempo game to keep the ball away from the dominant forwards of Swallows. Swallows forwards are on a roll and in great form of late, running like backline players and possess of explosive pace for their size.
Swallows will also be keen to unleash their BOOM SQUAD in the second half to maintain the momentum and tempo of the game in pursuit to clinch an All-important bonus point win which is very vital and crucial in this competition going forward.
PREDICTION: SWALLOWS TO WIN WITH A BONUS POINT
OLD COLLEGIANS VS KOWIE UNITED – OVAL SPORTS GROUND (16 JUNE 2023)
Both teams are full of confidence heading in to this final fixture of round one before the second round resumes next week. OC trashed Rosebuds 50-22 in last week’s fixture at the Oval and Kowie registered its first win of the competition also against Rosebuds a couple of weeks ago in Alexandria 28-12. It is a crunch battle as both teams are seeking maximum points from here on in order to move up on the overall log standings. The home side OC played brilliantly as a team last weekend and wants to build on that in order to hand Kowie their fifth defeat.
OC is currently in 3rd position and Kowie in 6th on the log table. Kowie’s young and dangerous backline slowly but surely finding their feet and rhythm. They are keen to explode at the fortress Oval against a defiant backline of OC. The visitors have what it takes to upset OC in their own backyard. They are a decent side if they stick to the game plan, and control their discipline. OC’s forwards gel well together as a unit and scrum very well of late, while they also like to give the ball some air and play a high tempo game.
It will be brutal, physical and very intense come Friday…
PREDICTION: NARROW WIN FOR KOWIE.
EPRU GRAND CHALLENGE GROUP A
TRYING STARS VS GRAHAMSTOWN BRUMBIES – ALEXANDRIA (16 JUNE 2023)
This is probably the Clash of the Weekend that will take place in Eastern Province. It’s one of the biggest Derbies in the EP Region and has always lived up to its expectations. Stars had the upper hand of late in recent years and are keen to keep that track record. They are currently in 2nd position with Brumbies in 3rd position on the log. Bonus point wins are the order of the day, and that is what these two top rural teams are chasing for.
This is also the last fixture of round one before the second round kicks off. The Makhanda side has what it takes to go and upset the home side in their own backyard as they capable of doing in the past, but it will take a complete team effort to do so against a hungry Stars side. Brumbies’ powerful and dominant pack of forwards will be key as they are in sublime form and is probably the best scrum team in the competition. Eldrico Kivitts is the key play maker for Brumbies while the veteran Kelvano King will lead the onslaught for Stars.
We are in for a titanic battle in Alex as the stadium will be full packed to witness some salubrious and entertaining running rugby.
PREDICTION: STARS TO WIN CLOSELY
KINGSWOOD COLLEGE (KC) VS ST ANDREWS COLLEGE (SAC) – KDAY (17 JUNE 2023)
Kingswood will play host to SAC in one of the biggest Derby fixtures in the country. Both teams enjoyed some decent success on the rugby field this season and 17 June will be a spectacular titanic humdinger at City Lords. A full capacity crowd is expected from all over the country and overseas to attend this historical event.
SAC narrowly defeated Selborne last week at Lower Field, while KC beat Dale at City Lords. The home ground advantage will be key for KC and they should make use of this, while SAC’s K-Day record over KC is very impressive.
PREDICTION: KC TO WIN NARROWLY