Several teams could be facing severe backlashes in the EP Grand Challenge this weekend as the leading sides vie for the top positions in the competition.
Last weekend’s draw between Despatch and PE SAPS meant the status quo remained, with the log-leading Despatch maintaining a four-point lead. But that should change this weekend when the policemen run out against Crusaders at Saders in a match where they will be determined to get maximum points.
Considering the fact that Saders have not scored any points in the last two games – they have suffered 32-0 and 65-0 losses to Park and Gardens respectively – the odds will be firmly in SAPS’ favour of earning five points to leap-frog Despatch, who have a bye, on the log.
But Saders have a long rugby tradition and there will be pride at stake when they take the field on Saturday afternoon so SAPS will know that nothing can be taken for granted. Nonetheless, it will still take a heroic effort by the home team, even to have a slight chance against the policemen.
Spring Rose will be looking to bounce back after a loss to Brumbies in Grahamstown and Park could bear the brunt of that at the New Brighton Oval. However, the Londt Park outfit do not stand back for anyone. After running Despatch close, losing by two points, they have comfortably handled Crusaders and African Bombers.
But Spring Rose will be desperate to regain the winning touch after the setback against the Brumbies.
Third-placed Gardens are on a roll at the moment and even homeground advantage may not be enough for African Bombers to stop the Uitenhage outfit.
They must go into the match as outright favourites, although it’s not impossible for Bombers to break out of their rut of eight straight defeats. They have put in some fighting performances recently and will need more of the same to have any chance against the visitors.
Kruisfontein showed what a potentially dangerous outfit they are by comfortably defeating Harlequins last weekend and should have too much firepower for Brumbies in Humansdorp, while Quins have another big challenge in Alexandria against Trying Stars.
The fixtures, kicking off at 3.30pm, are: Kruisfontein v Brumbies at Country Club, Spring Rose v Park at New Brighton Oval, African Bombers v Gardens in Zwide, Crusaders v SAPS at Crusaders, Progress v Windvogel at Uitenhage Central field, Trying Stars v Harlequins in Alexandria.