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EP Elephants can make history on Saturday

EP fullback Masixole Banda has been in good form with the boot during his team's Carling Currie Cup First Division campaign
ON HIS MARK: EP fullback Masixole Banda has been in good form with the boot during his team's Carling Currie Cup First Division campaign

After being in the doldrums for many years, the current crop of EP rugby players can   write a new page of history for their union when they face the Griffons on Saturday.

A win over the visitors from Welkom at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium will guarantee EP a berth in the top tier Currie Cup Premier Division for the next two seasons.

Both teams are unbeaten and it promises to be a titanic struggle for supremacy in front of a big crowd at the NMB Stadium.

After what has transpired over the past few years, not many supporters expected EP to be promotion contenders when the season kicked off in April.

Several false dawns left fans sceptical about what new coach Dumisani Mhani and his revamped team could achieve in the lower tier Currie Cup First Division.

This EP side made it clear from the outset they were not looking for any handouts from Saru regarding their Currie Cup status.

In the past, efforts were made to try to persuade Saru to give the Elephants automatic inclusion in the top flight.

This time, EP said they wanted nothing to be given to them on a silver platter and they were prepared to show they were capable of punching their weight at the top level by delivering the goods on the field.

Mhani took on one of the toughest jobs in SA rugby when he was appointed as coach at the end of 2021 when Peter de Villiers decided to leave the union to pursue a career in politics.

The new coach has gone about his business quietly and put the building blocks in place for EP to emerge from the wilderness of the lower leagues.

Apart from previously coaching the Border Bulldogs, Mhani has been involved with the Springbok women’s team and the SA U19 and U21 sides.

Unlike previous seasons when EP teams were thrown together in haste at the last minute, this squad have enjoyed the luxury of a long pre-season.

Thanks to five consecutive wins, EP have momentum on their side in what is an all or nothing battle.

It is now or never for the Elephants!\



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