Elephants expect big Border battle
EP manager Thando Manana expects Bulldogs to bite
GEP’s Elephants can expect the Border Bulldogs to fight like a wounded animal when the sides clash at the Wolfson Stadium on Sunday, EP manager Thando Manana warned.
After being thrashed 52-0 by the Boland Cavaliers, Manana says the Bulldogs will come back fighting in a make-or-break SuperSport Rugby clash in Kwazakhele.
EP are also hurting after they crashed to a heavy 49-12 defeat to a formidable Free State side in Mossel Bay on Saturday.
“In this competition we are not right at the bottom and we are optimistic that against Border we can get the full five points,” Manana said.
“EP have to get the car going again so there is a lot of work lying ahead of the guys,” Manana said.
“This competition has just started so the boys will have to treat each game as if it is a final from here on. We still want to do very well in this competition.
“Now we wait for Sunday against Border to give our followers a win and it must be a very good win against a Border side that lost to Boland.
“Despite that heavy loss against Boland, we must not fall into the trap of being complacent against the Bulldogs. When Border play EP they pull up their socks and they play like a wounded animal fighting for its life.
“The Elephants will have to be very careful and I am sure our coach Chumani Booi will have taken note of that.” Manana said EP were not happy with their showing against Free State.
“That defeat was two steps backwards for us. That was not what we wanted to happen in Mossel Bay and we did not think it would happen. We prepared so well for the game in terms of training and doing the fundamentals.
“This is a group that has been together for almost four weeks and we have played three Rugby Challenge games and a friendly. We have won two and lost two so we have a 50% win record. Manana said coach Booi and his support staff remained optimistic despite the setback against Free State. “They are very positive and they want to move on from Mossel Bay.
They know they can do their work in preparation. On Tuesday we will get back on the treadmill and start running in preparation for Sunday. “Though it was not a good day against Free State, the positive I took away from the game was that after 55 minutes we were still in the match.
“One should remember that the Cheetahs have been together since September last year in preparation for the Rugby Challenge.
“So once we get everyone on board about how EP must operate things will turn for the better. The more time you have as group the more time you have to work on each individuals weak and strong points.
“You can then put those strengths into one big basket of wanting to do well as a collective. This will be a tough week for coach Chumani and the boys and they are up for the challenge.
“We know we disappointed the people with our display in Mossel Bay.”
Saturday’s game at the Wolfson Stadium kicks off at 3pm.