EP plan to tame Bulldogs
Maintaining discipline and playing for the full 80 minutes will be vital for the Multisure EP Elephants if they want tame the Border Bulldogs at the Wolfson Stadium in Kwazakhele on Sunday, EP coach Chumani Booi warned.
EP paid a heavy price for a yellow card when they lost 49-12 to Free State in round three of the SuperSport Rugby Challenge last week.
Booi said the yellow card to scrumhalf Richman Gora had been a big blow to his team early in the second half in Mossel Bay.
“They exposed us when we were a man short in the wide channels and we fell off our feet in the second half. We did not make the tackles we made in the first half.
“The yellow card had an impact. Unfortunately, you can’t play with 14 men. “It contributed to us not getting ball and being able to send it out to our wide men.
“Free State’s defence was very organised through the middle. With that one man short, it was almost impossible to get the ball out wide.“When we have ball in hand we must use it wisely. We also have to play for 80 minutes and not just 50 minutes.”
The Bulldogs have made a few changes to the starting team that went down heavily to the Boland Cavaliers.
The team sees four changes made to the forward pack and one to the backline as the Bulldogs name their most experienced team yet this year.
In rotational changes hooker Mkhonto Caku-caku and prop Ntsikayomzi Daka drop out of the team as Vuyisani Mavuso and Thabo Ntunja come off the bench to replace them, with Lubabalo Lento, Yanga Xakalashe and Lwando Ngcem moving onto the bench as front row replacements.
At lock Athenjosi Khetani is welcomed back into the Bulldogs side, while Lwando Ntetha drops to the bench and eighthman Athenkosi Manentsa returns to the starting line up while loose forward Siphesihle Phunguzwa drops out of the team.
In the backline Sonwabiso Mqalo makes his first start of the season at fullback after coming off the bench last weekend, while Litha Nkula drops to the bench.
“We have made a couple of rotational changes this week, I thought it would be good to give Vuyisani and Thabo a chance to start after they played off the bench last week,” explained Bulldogs coach Tiger Mangweni.
“The other three changes are for experience, Khetani, Manentsa and Mqalo have all played for the Bulldogs over the past few seasons and bring a lot of experience to the side, so we have gone with a very experienced team for the EP game.
“On the bench we have gone for a five-two (forward/backline) split.
“Our two backline players on the bench are utility backs, so they can cover most of the backline, while our forwards struggled against Boland and EP's strength is in their forwards, so we wanted to be more safe than sorry and have covered ourselves there.”
EP Elephants (Nos 15 to 1): Michael Botha, Athenkosi Mayinje, Meli Rokoua, Ntbeni Dukisa, Riaan Arendse, Oliver Zono, Richmond Gora, Zingisa April, Jurie van Vuuren, Rynardt van Wyk, Lubabalo Mtyanda (capt), Lindokuhle Welemu, Justin Forwood, Mihlali Mpafi, Xandre Vos. Substitutes: (Nos 16 to 22) Tango Balekile, Johan van Wyk, Anele Lungisa, Diego Williams, Sonwabo Majolam Sonwabile Matyoyi , Nkululeko Marwana.
Bulldogs (Nos 1-15): Blake Kyd, Vuyisani Mavuso, Thabo Ntunja, Athenkosi Khetani, Ayabonga Nomboyo, Onke Dubase, Billy Dutton (c), Athenkosi Manentsa, Anele Zweni, Aphiwe Stemele, Lelethu Gcillitshana, Sethu Tom, Lonwabo Ntleki, Siphosenkosi Nofemele, Sonwabiso Mqalo. Replacements (Nos 16-22): Lubabalo Lento, Yanga Xakalashe, Lwando Ngcem, Lwando Ntetha, Mihlali Mosi, Siphesihle Zono, Litha Nkula.Referee: Archie SehlakoKickoff: 3pm