ON THE SPORTS SCENE High hopes for an ex­plo­sive end

Rugby teams com­pete for spot in Su­per 12 con­test

The Rep - - SPORT - By Maxwell Levine

WITH two or three rounds left in the nor­mal sea­son, an ex­plo­sive end is ex­pected with teams gun­ning for the cham­pi­onship and a spot in the lu­cra­tive Eastern Cape Su­per 12 rugby com­pe­ti­tion.

A look at last week­end’s re­sults re­veals that af­ter last week’s high of beat­ing Cam­bridge, Old Col­le­gians were dis­man­tled by the Fort Hare Blues. Fort Hare an­ni­hi­lated their op­po­nents 68-12 to leave them back in the dreaded rel­e­ga­tion zone. With the win the stu­dents shot to fourth on the log with 26 points af­ter win­ning five of their seven matches. OC is 11th with nine points from nine matches. Break­ers left it late to snatch a 17-16 vic­tory against Africans. While Africans were gun­ning for that first elu­sive win, Break­ers top­pled the King Wil­liam’s Town side at the end of the game. Break­ers climbed into Su­per 12 con­tention to num­ber seven on the log on 17 points from their nine matches. Africans picked up yet another vi­tal bonus point but re­mained at the bot­tom of the log on seven points. Old Sel­bor­ni­ans looked like cham­pi­ons when they had a rou­tine 36-17 win at Cam­bridge to re­main the only team with a 100% win­ning ra­tio. Old Boys have a solid 39 points at the top, with Cam­bridge in the rel­e­ga­tion zone on 10 points from seven matches.

The sea­son’s sur­prise pack­age, Wal­ter Sisulu All Blacks, re­main in the hunt af­ter dis­pos­ing of Win­ter Rose 38-29 to keep their un­beaten run af­ter eight matches. The side have piled up 36 points with seven wins and one draw. Win­ter Rose have suf­fered two con­sec­u­tive defeats and are eighth on the log with 15 points af­ter win­ning three of eight matches. Po­lice’s chances of a first Su­per League ti­tle were boosted af­ter a 43-17 win at Buffs. The Bob­bies are ce­mented at third on the stand­ings with 35 points af­ter win­ning seven of nine matches. Buffs are sixth with 18 points af­ter win­ning four of nine. Ber­lin Tigers’ 12-3 win over Swal­lows has put the side in the top half. Tigers are fifth with 25 points while Swal­lows have dropped to ninth on 15 points. There are three chal­lenges for the crown, with Old Boys in prime po­si­tion. The other two con­tenders are WSU and Po­lice. UFH have an out­side chance. For now Old Sel­bor­ni­ans seem to be firm favourites to cap­ture a fourth con­sec­u­tive ti­tle. The side has three matches left, all away from home with two of them against ti­tle con­tenders. They face Fort Hare, WSU and Africans. To their ad­van­tage they have a three point cush­ion at the top with a 316 points dif­fer­ence. WSU’s Sipho Me­tula has done won­ders with the side. Three points adrift, the side still has to face OC away plus two home fix­tures against Old Boys and Po­lice. The Bob­bies were left to rue their losses to Old Boys and (sur­pris­ingly) Win­ter Rose. They still have to play Cam­bridge at home, end­ing off with WSU away. Three teams are in the rel­e­ga­tion zone. Africans are at the bot­tom af­ter los­ing all eight matches. They can pull one out of the bag with home matches against Buffs, UFH and Old Boys. Old Col­le­gians are hang­ing on by the skin of their teeth with nine points. They have two matches, against WSU at home and Swal­lows away. Cam­bridge has 10 points. They have matches against Po­lice and Tigers away and Win­ter Rose at home. This week­end OC play their fi­nal home match against WSU. Break­ers face Swal­lows in Mdantsane.

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