Bulldogs in mean mood
Wounded Border eye SWD’s scalp in Buffalo City’s Currie Cup duel
The Currie Cup First Division kicks into high gear in East London on Friday night as the Border Bulldogs welcome the South Western District Eagles to the Buffalo City Stadium for their matchup.
Both teams are heading into the second weekend of action off the back of opening weekend losses and will be hunting a win to make up some ground on the early season pace-setters.
Both sides managed to claim losing bonus points from their first game, the Bulldogs for scoring four tries and the Eagles for losing within seven points, but they will still be eager to walk away with a full complement after Friday’s encounter.
“Both teams will definitely want to get the win,” said Bulldogs coach Tiger Mangweni.
“Even though we both got losing bonus points it doesn’t mean much and we want the points from a win.
“SWD will be under a lot of pressure, especially since they lost at home last weekend, but we will also be under pressure to put in a good performance at home, and both teams can’t afford to lose two weeks in a row.”
In the SuperSport Rugby Challenge competition earlier in the season, the Bulldogs lost against the Eagles at home and away and they will need to up their game if they are to pick up their first win of the First Division campaign.
“We learnt a lot from those matches earlier this season and I believe we have what it takes to get a win over them,” said Mangweni.
“We just have to pitch up, stick to the plan and things will look after themselves.”
The Eagles will be bringing down a big forward pack, backed by a deadly backline and they will be looking to keep a hold of the ball for long periods of the game.
“SWD have some big boys, it is a very physical team, I think they will try and bully us as they did last time and they will keep the ball close and be patient,” said Mangweni.
“They have a good blend of youth and experience, such as players like Alshaun Bock who is a veteran, they will be looking to those senior guys to lead the way and with their good finishers we will have to keep them at bay.”
The Bulldogs however are an impressive attacking force themselves, shown by the four tries they managed despite a heavy defeat against the Valke and they will be gunning for more tries in the match.
“We like to throw the ball around but we need the forwards to be good at the breakdown and setpieces so that we can get good ball,” explained Mangweni.
“It is going to be a big forward battle and the guys have to front up.”
In all it will be the hosts’ first home match of the campaign and they will be eager to get a win for the fans, as well as to help them head towards reaching their goals.
“It is always nice to play at home in front of our home support, so everyone is excited and looking forward to the match,” said Mangweni.
“We still believe we can make it to the knockout phases, but we have to start showing that on the field, starting with the SWD match.”
The game kicks off at 6pm...