Preview Of The Week Ending 26 Mar 2017 – Eastern Cape

Rugby 3

 

All roads in the Eastern Cape Region leads to Grahamstown and particular to Graeme College. The cream of the province will be attending the annual Graeme College Rugby Day and the fixtures carefully planned to provide maximum excitement. Quite a few teams will be playing their first fixtures of the season and one can expect the boys to be rusty and short of match fitness.

The first match starts at 08h00 and immediate fireworks are expected. Muir College will want to forget their loss against Kingswood 0-45. I am sure they worked hard on their passing as some, on the other hand, passes saw their small deficit of 0-5 in the 50th minute turn into a massive hiding. Their opponents Cambridge may have lost 5-25 against Queens College two weeks ago but is still the favourite to win this one by a very narrow margin.

The second match between Nico Malan and Union should see Nico Malan winning with ease.

A match one would be foolish to predict is the one between Dale and Brandwag. Brandwag was not impressive at the Grens festival when the beat Stirling 17-15 and will want to use their big forwards to dominate Dale. Dale College had an easy win against Grens, 20-10 and maybe just maybe could win this one by the narrowest of margins.

The matchup between Queens's and Framesby will see a Framesby side with big forwards and sublime backs helping them to a 21-10 victory against Grens last week. Queen's themselves will be looking at their big forwards to supply their backline with quality ball. Queen's is still unbeaten in two matches this year with wins against Cambridge 25-5 and 18-10 against Stirling. As with most of the matches at Graeme College, this will also be very close.

The Marlow vs Grey PE fixture is already causing some heated arguments on who is the best. Grey PE will be playing their first match of the season and little of regarding their team, but all knows. Their that Grey PE always have quality teams. Marlow, on the other hand, is unbeaten in two matches. Both of their matches was not of the same quality as that of what is expected of Grey PE. Expect the Wolramme to come out hard against Grey PE and take advantage of Grey's lack of match fitness and practise.

Kingswood came out in their first match against Muir with all guns blazing beating Muir 45-0. Kingswood clearly showing some early season promise of a big season ahead. Their fitness was a big factor against Muir as they scored 40 points in the last 20 minutes of the match. Their opponents, Pearson will play their first match of the season hoping they will be able to improve on their performances in 2016 winning only 4 out of 16 games with Kingswood beating them 55-5.

St Andrews will be believing in themselves after the victory of 66-10 against Union High. Although their 1stXV is a "young" team they are expected to be one of the better teams in the Eastern Cape. Hudson Park, on the other hand, will be looking for their first victory of the season after suffering losses against Marlow 17-26 and Selborne 3-24 earlier this year. Expect this to be a close game with St Andrews gaining the upper hand in the last quarter of the game.

In the last game of the day, the hosts Graeme College will meet Selborne College. Selborne had an easy day at the Border rugby day beating Hudson Park 24-3 and will go into this match as favourites. Selborne currently ranked no 5, purely on their 2016 form, must be the favourites with Graeme playing their first match of the year.