First Division Preview: Round Three

 Jul 12,2012
Written by: Editor

The table-topping Griffons will be looking to make it three wins from three in this year's Absa Currie Cup First Division when they host the winless Border Bulldogs at the North West Stadium in Welkom on Friday (15:00, live on SuperSport 1).

In Friday's other matches, defending First Division champions the Regent Boland Kavaliers will want to pick up their first win of 2012 when they host the Leopards at the Wesbank Rugby Club grounds in Malmesbury, while the Ford Pumas, victors over the Kavaliers in Nelspruit last week, travel to Outeniqua Park in George to take on the SWD Eagles.

There is only one Saturday match in Round 3, where the Valke, following their convincing away win over the Bulldogs last week, are at home to the only other unbeaten team in the First Division, the EP Kings, at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park.

The Kavaliers' director of coaching, Eugene Eloff, believes his champion team will bounce back from their two defeats to the EP Kings and Ford Pumas, even though they are missing eight of the players who contested last year's final and have been hit hard by injuries to key forwards.

“No teams wants to kick off the season with two losses, but the experience which our new players have picked up over the past fortnight can't be bought,” said Eloff. “This experience is going to prove vital as the competition goes on. We could have beaten the Kings but against the Pumas the occasion perhaps got to the guys a bit.

“If you think about it, the Pumas were giving Western Province, the Blue Bulls and the Sharks a hard time last year. The Leopards also played Premier Division rugby last year, but the Kavaliers aren't First Division champions for nothing.”

EP Kings flyhalf George Whitehead tops the First Division point-scoring log after Round 2, with 33 points made up of 2 tries, 4 conversions and 5 penalties. Just behind Whitehead is Griffons wing Reinhardt Erwee on 26, and Eagles No 10 Kurt Coleman on 21.

Ford Pumas flanker Jaco Bouwer leads the try-scoring stakes with four touchdowns, followed by Leopards wing Danie Dames and Griffons flyhalf Tertius Maarman, with two tries apiece.

This weekend's fixtures – Round 3:

Griffons vs Border Bulldogs

Date: Friday, 13 July

Kickoff: 15:00 (TV)

Venue: North West Stadium, Welkom

Referee: Joey Salmans

Assistants: Quinton Immelman, Pieter Janse van Vuuren

TMO: Deon van Blommenstein

Last meeting: 24 Sep 2011 in Welkom (Absa Currie Cup First Division): Bulldogs won 25-21.

Regent Boland Kavaliers vs Leopards

Date: Friday, 13 July

Kickoff: 16:00

Venue: Wesbank Sports Ground, Malmesbury

Referee: Lesego Legoete

Assistants: Jason Jaftha, Marc van Zyl

Last meeting: 1 Apr 2011 in Potchefstroom (Vodacom Cup): Kavaliers won 43-14.

SWD Eagles vs Ford Pumas

Date: Friday, 13 July

Kickoff: 19:00

Venue: Outeniqua Park, George

Referee: Sindile Mayende

Assistants: Matt Kemp, Cobus Wessels

Last meeting: 25 Feb 2011 in George (Vodacom Cup): Pumas won 35-26.

Valke vs EP Kings

Date: Saturday, 14 July

Kickoff: 15:00

Venue: Barnard Stadium, Kempton Park

Referee: Stuart Berry

Assistants: Rasta Rasivhenge, Sieg van Staden

Last meeting: 7 Oct 2011 in Port Elizabeth (Absa Currie Cup First Division): Kings won 48-17.

Round 2 results:

EP Kings 38-15 SWD Eagles

Border Bulldogs 11-33 Valke

Ford Pumas 33-10 Regent Boland Kavaliers

Griffons 41-20 Leopards

Round 1 results:

Regent Boland Kavaliers 20-25 EP Kings

SWD Griffons 46-8 Border Bulldogs

Leopards 32-23 Ford Pumas

Valke 27-37 Griffons


Tags: Currie Cup |  Griffons | 

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