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Elephants can edge closer to top tier promotion

EP face tough match against well-drilled Falcons on Sunday

EP's Davian Swanepoel charges forward for the Elephants during their Carling Currie Cup First Division match against the Border Bulldogs
HURTLING AHEAD: EP's Davian Swanepoel charges forward for the Elephants during their Carling Currie Cup First Division match against the Border Bulldogs
Image: FREDLIN ADRIAAN

EP’s foot-stamping Elephants can put one foot into the top tier Carling Currie Cup Premier Division if they can withstand a fiery onslaught from the Falcons at NMB Stadium on Sunday (kickoff 3.30pm).

With two matches remaining in the Currie Cup First Division Promotion league, EP top the standings with 20 points, thanks to bonus point victories over the SWD Eagles, Boland Cavaliers, Border Bulldogs and Leopards.

After Sunday’s hurdle EP face another tough game against the Griffons, who are second on the standings with 15 points and a game in hand over the high-flying Gqeberha side.

Fortunately for EP, the potentially deciding clash will be played in front of their home fans at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on May 28.

On Saturday, the Griffons will be looking to heap extra pressure on EP by beating the Leopards in Welkom in another key contest.

EP coach Dumisani Mhani says his team are facing a tough match against a well-drilled Falcons side.

“The main thing is we must just look after the ball and deny the opposition the space to play in,” he said.

“EP must not give the Falcons time and space.

“The EP guys are prepared to die for each other.

“The boys are enjoying themselves and that is the main thing.

“Whatever we do, we do it together.

“We are fully focused on the challenge the Falcons will present.

“They are a well-drilled side and it will be a good game as well.

“Once again, we will give it our all.”

EP skipper Garrick Mattheus said: “There is a lot of belief in our squad at the moment, but we know the Falcons are a very good team.

“We expect the Falcons to come hard at us on Sunday and we will have to be ready and awake from minute one.

“EP have experience in our squad, that’s a major benefit to us.

“We are a group of players who know each other well and play for one another and when you think we are down we will come back stronger.

“It’s tough playing a team that does not know how to stop.”

Teams:

EP Elephants: (Still to be named)

Falcons (possible team): 1 Bulelani Sali, 2 Pierre Rabie, 3 Hugo Pienaar, 4 Andrew Volschenk, 5 Eddie Evans, 6 Dwayne Pienaar (capt),  7 Boela Venter, 8 Kwezi Mafu, 9 Johan Pretorius, 10 Keagan Fortune, 11 Valentino Wellman, 12 Sherwin Slater, 13 Lundi Ralarala, 14 Godfrey Ramaboea, 15 Josh Vermeulen, Replacements: 16 Raynardt Nel, 17 Njabulo Gumede, 18 Ethan Jeffery, 19 Zander van der Merwe, 20 Cody Basson, 21 Luciano Elias, 22 Franco Pienaar, 23 Coert Cronje.

Ticket prices:

Adults R30. Children over 12, R20. Entrance for under 12s is free.

Tickets are on sale at ticketpro.

To enter the stadium, you need a valid match ticket, vaccination certificate or negative PCR test (not older than 72 hours) and proof of identity (ID or driver’s licence).

Children under 12 only need a valid match ticket.

Weekend fixtures:

Saturday: SWD Eagles v Zimbabwe Goshawks (Outeniqua Stadium, George), Boland v Kenyan Simbas (Boland Stadium, Wellington), Griffons v Leopards (Griffons Stadium, Welkom), Border Bulldogs v Black Lion (Old Selbornians, Buffalo City).

Sunday: EP Elephants v Falcons (NMB Stadium, Gqeberha).

Promotion log with matches played in brackets:

EP Elephants 20 (4), Griffons 15 (3), SWD Eagles 14 (5), Falcons 12 (4), Leopards 12 (5), Boland Cavaliers 11 (5), Border Bulldogs 0 (4).

 

 

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