KwaZulu-Natal will feature in the penultimate game of Craven Week 2012. Their opponents are Eastern Province who are unbeaten so far and should be worthy opposition, perhaps even slight favourites going into the game.
EP has a very solid frontrow including Sharks bound tighthead prop Bart le Roux, a player is expected to be one of the 44 names called out when the SA under-18 High Performance squad is announced. Other forward threats to KZN are likely to come from good ball-carriers like no.8 and captain Aidon Davis and lock Gareth Erhet. In the back division the hosts have talent in flyhalf Ernst Stapelberg, centre Luan Nieuwoudt and speed merchant wingers Seageal Petersen and Selwyn Davids. Fullback Whayburn Howley proved to be a livewire as well on Day 1.
For KZN it is essential that they get their setpiece dilemma sorted out. The pressure on their scrums will be just as tough as during the first two games. The lineout should prove to be a little less daunting thanks in part to expectations of better weather conditions and less imposing jumpers than the Lions offered. In the backline KZN will face their biggest defensive challenge to date. With EP having a well balanced flyhalf and plenty of creativity, pace and stepping ability out wide, the KZN backs are going to have to be on their toes during this one.
KZN has their strengths in open play particularly amongst the forwards and sensational fullback Jesse Kriel. They will however as an overall package be looking for better ball control, better decision-making, better ball protection at the breakdown as well more cohesion and determination amongst their backs.
Bulls vs Golden Lions in the unofficial final
It comes as no surprise that the Bulls will contest the unofficial final this year. The talented team has won both their matches by convincing margins. The Golden Lions appear in their second successive final. They do have the forward pack to hold their own against the Bull but it’s questionable whether or not the Lions will be able to deal with the relentless pace that the Bulls play at on attack. An easy win for the Bulls is predicted.
Final Day Fixtures
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
09.10 : South Western Districts vs Boland
10.40 : Western Province vs Pumas
12.10 : Eastern Province vs KwaZulu-Natal
13.40 : Blue Bulls vs Golden Lions
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium B
09.10 : Griffons vs Griquas Country Districts
10.40 : Border vs Limpopo
12.10 : Valke vs Free State
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium C
09.10 : Eastern Province Country Districts vs Leopards
10.40 : Namibia vs Zimbabwe
12.10 : Griquas vs Border Country Districts