Three teams, African Bombers, Swallows and Progress continued to be ruthless and pulverise oppositions in the Eastern Cape Super 14 Rugby Competition. Ironically all three are unbeaten and all three have won two matches on the road and only played once at home. They have shown their dominance again this past weekend, again with all three winning away from home. A fourth team, Kruisfontein, is also unbeaten, but enjoyed a well-deserved break over the weekend after a very good start to the competition.
So, who are the favourites? Both groups are water-tight with 1 or 2 points the difference between the top 3 teams in each group. A lot of rugby followers have put their money on a Bombers/ Swallows finale. However, both teams are in Group B, the group of death. Both teams must still play each other in a crucial match on the 22 February at the NU1 Stadium in Mdantsane. Kruisfontein might have other ideas though. Both Swallows and Bombers is scheduled to play Kruisfontein, starting this coming weekend with African Bomber hosting the red-hot Kruisfontein outfit at Zwide Stadium. Swallows must travel to Humansdorp on the 15 TH February which will also be a highly contested tie to determine the semi-finalist. EL Police, on six points, have given themselves a lifeline with their win over Old Selbornians and remain in the title race and any slip-up by the top three will give them a gap. But its advantage Bombers in the group on 14 points, followed closely by Swallows on 12 points and Kruisfontein on 8 points.
In Group A, Progress is the run-away leaders and have swept all before them. They have won three out of three with 12 points in the bag. What is more impressive, the EP champs have won two matches away from their Central Field stronghold. They have beaten their closest rival Ncerha Leopards convincingly over the weekend to consolidate their pole
position. Harlequins have made a huge statement in the last two weekends. After suffering an opening loss to log leaders Progress, Harlequins have muscled and clawed their way with back to back bonus points wins over Young Leopards and Park and are sitting pretty in second place on 10 points. Ncerha Leopards is third on 9 points.
Looking at the past weekend’s results, Progress won 24-7 away to Ncerha Leopards to cement their top spot. Harlequins is back on track with another five pointer in their outstanding 35-17 demolishing job of Park. Young Leopard got their first win under the belt with an impressive 33-8 win over Black Eagles away from home. Gardens remain winless in their 21-18 loss to Swallows. Gardens can take heart for their second half performance after clawing their way back into the match with 13 men after two players received their marching orders. Discipline is key for a team that is in a rebuilding phase. EL Police won the East London derby 22-16 over neighbours Old Boys. As expected, Trying Stars put in a fight till the bitter end in their 25-22 loss to a Bombers side that have taken no prisoners.
This weekend, it’s do or die when African Bombers host Kruisfontein in the battle of the unbeaten sides. Swallows welcome Trying Stars at the NU1 Stadium in Mdantsane. Old Selbornians host Gardens which should be an interesting tussle between two sides that have yet to put the Super 14 on fire. Progress should have a stroll in the park and is
expected to take all five points against a Black Eagles side that have battled to compete against the best. Park welcome Ncerha Leopard at Londt Park. Breakers travel to Ducats for a date with Young Leopards, with both teams recording one victory thus far. Harlequins and EL Police have byes.