By Chesley Daniels
The Eastern Province (EP) Schools rugby teams are currently preparing for their respective national
tournaments that will take place during the school holidays at various venues. For the Under 18 (u/18) boys, the Craven Week, and Academy teams, the preparation continues with matches against Border at Kingswood College in Makhanda on 24 June 2023.
This past weekend in Jeffreys Bay, the EP sides were involved in matches against the highly-rated
South Western Districts (SWD), and got some vital preparation in for the upcoming tournaments.
SWD won the u/18 match 29–10, but in the match between the Academy sides EP came out on top
27–24. The u/16 side would have learned a lot from their tough encounter, with SWD victorious
Craven Week starts on July 3, and EP could not have asked for a tougher start. They will play against Free State in their first match. Free State was impressive in their warm-up matches, and is expected to be one of the top teams at the week. They recently beat Griquas 97–10. It doesn’t get any easier for the Academy team. This tournament also starts on July 3 in Johannesburg, and EP will face Western Province in their first outing.
Neville Botha, EP High Schools secretary said physiotherapy, strength and conditioning training staff had been brought on board to assist.
“This year’s team is well-gelled and is promising to give us good results, even though our captain Imaan Pemba is still injured due to a shoulder injury. We will struggle a bit with a number two hooker but plans are in place,” Botha added.