Deviation from plan sank Elephants, laments coach
Frustrated coach Ryan Felix has expressed disappointment at the EP Elephants’ failure to implement their game plan against the SWD Eagles.
Leading 28-0 at the break, the Eagles were always in the driving seat and condemned the Elephants to a sixth consecutive SuperSport Rugby Challenge loss.
Despite rallying in the second half, the Elephants crashed to a heavy 47-28 defeat at the Rosemore Stadium in George.
“I was so disappointed with our first-half performance,” Felix said.
“The strategy was to play a high-tempo game and we only managed two plays in the first 10 minutes and we let the Eagles back in the game.
“We struggled with our scrums and we had five guys out because of injuries and exams.
“At the break I told the boys to go back to what we had planned during the week.
“I also felt that Zingisa April and Sonwabo Majola had a good impact and we managed to get good forward ball and Majola’s service was good.
“In my opinion we were unlucky not to score a few more tries in the second half.”
EP’s second-half tries were scored by Riaan Arendse, Nkululeko Marwana, Mbeko Kota and Quinton Haasbroek.
With EP’s chances of making the playoffs dashed after six straight defeats, they will look to salvage some pride in their remaining matches, against the Border Bulldogs and Boland Cavaliers. Elephants captain Siya Mdaka has promised his team will work hard to rectify their mistakes before their final two games.
“We left it too late to actually get into the game against the Eagles.
“Now the team will go back to the drawing board and fix our mistakes,” Mdaka said.
“On the positive side there were passages where we did things right.”
The ambitious men from George are third in the South Section standings with 15 points from five outings.
Runaway South Section logleaders Western Province made it six wins on the trot when they trounced the Border Bulldogs 52-24 in False Bay.
The 15 teams in the competition are divided into three regional pools (North, South and Central) of five teams.
Each team plays home and away matches against the other four teams in their pool over a 10week period.
The top two teams from each pool, along with the two thirdplaced teams with the best record, progress to the playoffs.