Elephants have to run amok
Ex-EP Kings player Watts a formidable opponent on Boland Cavaliers side
EP’s Elephants need to mount a killer charge if they want to snap a three-game SuperSport Rugby Challenge losing streak against the Boland Cavaliers tomorrow. The men in red and black hoops must also show improved finishing skills in the goal zone against the in-form Cavaliers in Montagu.
Three defeats have left the Elephants propping up the bottom of the South Section log and coach Ryan Felix is desperate for his team to start winning.
The Cavaliers moved into second place on the log with a convincing 37-12 win over the Eagles in their last match.
One of the players posing a threat to the Elephants will be former Southern Kings flyhalf Elgar Watts, who kicked two conversions against the Eagles.
There was heartbreak for Felix and his charges when they were edged 22-17 by archrivals the Border Bulldogs in East London in their last outing.
EP were leading 10-3 at the break, but failed to hold off a determined Border charge in the second half.
Now Felix wants his men to show greater patience when they get within striking distance of the Cavaliers tryline.
Missed chances proved costly against the Bulldogs, and Felix wants his charges to step up against a formidable Cavaliers outfit, second on the South Section log standings.
“We created a lot of opportunities against Border and it was a game we could have won,” Felix said. “Sometimes in front of the poles and in the goal zone the boys are too eager. They hurry things when patience is needed.
“But they will get better with experience and there were a lot of positive things to take out of the game.
“We kept the ball longer and put more phases together. In the forwards our set pieces were efficient and we were good at the breakdown, slowing Border’s ball and giving ourselves quick ball.”
The 15 teams in the competition are divided into three regional pools of five teams (North, South and Central).
Each team will play home and away matches against the other four in their pool over 10 weeks.
The top two teams from each pool, along with the two third-placed teams with the best record, will progress to the playoffs, which will comprise quarterfinals, a semifinal and a final.
It was always going to be an uphill battle for Felix and his hastily assembled squad, who did not even have a warm-up game to fine-tune ahead of their opener against WP.
Champions WP have made a flying start and are topping the South Section log after winning their opening three matches.
The tournament winners will pocket a handsome prize of R500 000 when the competition reaches its conclusion on July 15.
The first game of the weekend is in Bloemfontein tonight when a Free State XV host the Sharks XV in a Central section clash.
Both sides scored impressive wins in Rustenburg in their last outings, and this match will kick off what should be another absorbing weekend of rugby action.