The Eastern Cape Super 14 Rugby Competition is living up to its high expectations of being the premier club rugby tournament in the Province. It is better and exciting and have fans on the edges. This coming weekend is the final round-robin matches and still only two teams, Progress and Swallows, that have secured semi-final spots. A total of five teams have a mathematical chance of securing the remaining two spots which make this weekends fixtures so intriguing. African Bomber, EL Police, Ncerha Leopards, Harlequins and Kruisfontein are all fighting for destiny.
Swallows came out on top in the biggest match of the round six when they defeated African Bombers 25-21. This blockbuster match was billed “the final before the final” and had the entire Province in suspense as to who the better team was. It lived up to expectations, judging how close the score was, with both teams dishing out exhilarating rugby for the big
crowd in attendance at NU1 Stadium in Mdantsane. Swallows have made sure of top position in Group B on 26 points while Bombers is second on 20 points. Police won 28-0 against Trying Stars to keep their semi-finals aspiration alive and is sitting third on 16 points.
Kruisfontein is still in the running for knock-outs after beating Old Selbornians 38-35, which took their log points tally to 15.
Progress made sure of topping Group A with a convincing 50-19 drubbing of Young Leopards. They have amassed 28 points and have the biggest number of points in the combined log. Harlequins is back in business and have a fighting chance for the semis after annihilating Black Eagles 78-12. They occupy third position on the log with 15 points. Park taught Breakers a rugby lesson with a thumping 73-3 victory. It’s all to play for this weekend as spots for the semi-finals is hotting up. What is interesting is that both Swallows and Progress who have qualified on top of their respective groups, enjoy a well-deserved break after playing six straight weeks. It is an advantage for both sides as they will be fresh and at home for the semi-finals in a fortnight.
Meanwhile, African Bombers needs two points to make sure of qualifying for the semis in their match against Old Selbornians. A point could be enough, but then points differential would come into play should Police get a bonus point win against Kruisfontein. However, it is expected that Bombers should win this match. Kruisfontein host Police with both teams still having an outside chance to qualify should the unlikely happen and Bombers slip-up.
The equation is simple for Ncerha Leopards, beat Black Eagles and you are through to the semi-finals. Harlequins must beat Breakers away from home in Komani and hope Black Eagles do them a huge favour against Ncerha Leopards. The other two matches are not of any significant relevance as all four teams are playing for pride as Young Leopards host Park
while Trying Stars have a date with Gardens. For now, it looks more and more likely that it will be an all EP and an all Border semi-finals. If Bombers come through their match against Old Boys unscathed, they will end second in Group B and meet the table topping Progress in the semi-finals. Ncerha Leopards is the favourites to end second in Group A which then will pit them against Swallows in the semi-finals.