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VIDEO: PE Crusaders slump to Uruguayan club at St. Georges, Grand Challenge results

BY MARC JACOBSON - APRIL 13, 2017
VIDEO: PE Crusaders slump to Uruguayan club at St. Georges, Grand Challenge results

The PE Crusaders Rugby Club played host to the touring Lobos Rugby Club from Uruguay at the Crusaders’ fields at St. Georges Park on Tuesday night, where the hosts were whitewashed 19-0.

Through poor ball retention and sloppy handling, the Crusaders were unable to string together five-plus phases throughout the whole game, and were as a result unable to gain any real momentum throughout.

Logos were also often feeding off turnovers won at the breakdowns, as they capitalised on more possession. At set pieces, the Crusaders went regularly adrift at line-out time and were unable to often win their own line-outs due to poor throwing and jumping.

With no apparent game-plan, the Crusaders often looked clueless on attack, conceding soft turnovers and rendering poor decision-making with very little vision and being physically dominated, had barely any go-forward through the forwards in first or second-phase ball carries.

The home side, however were close in the first half, when they were pressing on Logos’ line, when the Crusaders’ right wing was sent along the touch line in for a try at the corner, only to spill it forward after crossing the whitewash.  

Looking a bit more clinical on attack and executing more opportunities, Logos then won by the three-try to nil deficit.

The Eastern Province Rugby Union Grand Challenge also kicked off on March the 25th, which sees rugby clubs from all over the province encountering each other in a round-robin league.

The Grand Challenge commenced following the conclusion of the EC Super 12 Rugby Competition in mid-March, which saw Gardens Rugby Club from Uitenhage beat EL Police 6-3 in the Final to claim the top prize. Springrose from PE placed third after beating Progress also from Uitenhage 29-25 in the third/fourth playoff.

Split into two groups of 10, the Grand Challenge sees a total 20 rugby clubs take part, with each club playing each side twice within their respective groups (18 matches), before the quarter-finals in July.

In Group A last weekend (Saturday, 8th of April), Super 12 winners, Gardens edged Windvogel United 23-21 in Windvogel. Other Uitenhage compatriots, Progress thrashed the aforementioned Crusaders 64-10 at Central in Uitenhage, also a Group A encounter.

The third-placed Super 12 positioners, Springrose slumped 26-19 to the Patensie Barbarians in Ramaphosa in a Group B clash on the same weekend. Also in Group B, NMMU thrashed Kruisfontein 44-3 at the South Campus fields, while PE Harlequins edged Parks 40-33 in a high-scoring affair at the Adcock Stadium in PE.

The Grand Challenge takes a break over the Easter long weekend, with the next set of fixtures taking place on the 22nd of April in the fourth week of the league.

All Grand Challenge results (8th of April):

Windvogel United 21-23 Gardens

Grahamstown Brumbies 16-15 Trying Stars

Progress 64-10 Crusaders

Star of Hope 17-16 Suburbans

Despatch 40-6 Gelvandale Wallabies

NMMU 44-3 Kruisfontein

Born Fighters 16-12 Central

Patensie Barbarians 26-19 Springrose

PE Harlequins 40-33 Parks

African Bombers 14-31 PE Police

Grand Challenge fixtures (22nd of April):

Group A:

Crusaders vs Windvogel United (St. Georges Park)

Gardens vs Grahamstown Brumbies (D. Ferreira A)

Suburban vs Progress (Kleinskool)

Gelvandale Wallabies vs Star of Hope (Chapman)

Group B:

NMMU vs Parks (NMMU South Campus)

Born Fighters vs Springrose (Victoria Park)

Central vs Kruisfontein (Koeberg)

Patensie Barbarians vs PE Police (Ramaphosa)

Watch for snippets of the Crusaders vs Lobos at St. Georges Park B-Field on Tuesday night