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While the scramble for second place on the standings will be a big driving force for a few Women’s Premier Division teams this weekend as the competition enters round seven, the teams participating in Group 2 of the First Division will look to build momentum after kicking off their competition last week.
The EP Queens and Cell C Sharks Women will kick off the Premier Division action on Saturday in Port Elizabeth at 12h00, while the Boland Dames take on log-leaders, DHL Western Province, in the Western Cape derby in Wellington at 14h00, where the hosts will hope to create the upset of the season. Both matches will be streamed live on www.Springboks.rugby.
The main match-up of the round will play out at Loftus Versfeld where the Blue Bulls Women will go full-out to defeat the Border Ladies as they attempt to reduce the gap between the sides on the log with an eye on closing in on second place for a possible final berth. This match will be broadcast live on SuperSport Variety 4 at 13h00.
The two matches in the First Division will see the Pumas begin their campaign against the Valke in Standerton and the Leopards go up against the Limpopo Blue Bulls in Potchefstroom, with both encounters kicking off at 13h00.
The EP Queens will be hunting their fourth victory in five outings against the Cell C Sharks Women and their second win a row in the competition when the sides meet at the Wolfson Stadium on Saturday.
Both teams have struggled to find their rhythm this season with the Port Elizabeth outfit winning only two of their six games up to now and the KwaZulu-Natalians one. But with only four pool rounds remaining – including this match – both teams will be hoping to make their way off the lower end of the table with relegation looming for the last-placed side this season.
The EP Queens have been superior on attack this season, scoring more than double the number of points as the visitors, but they have conceded more points, which is something they will want to improve on.
In Wellington, defending champions DHL Western Province will enter their clash against the Boland Dames as favourites after earning six wins on the trot this season and given their impressive form, which has seen them top the attack and defence statistics.
The Dames, however, have a newfound confidence after registering back-to-back wins against Cell C Sharks Women and EP Queens, and they will enter the match feeling they have nothing to lose.
The Blue Bulls Women, meanwhile, will enter their clash against the Border Ladies knowing that a victory would be invaluable in opening up the door for them to possibly force their way into the top two in the next few weeks, as they trail Border by only seven log points.
The home side stumbled last week after back-to-back wins and will be keen to return to their winning ways as the business end of the competition approaches, but they will be wary of the fact that the Border Ladies are under pressure to win to maintain their breathing space on the table over Boland and the Blue Bulls with an eye on earning a final berth.
Both teams have been good on attack this season, but the Blue Bulls will look to tighten up their defence.
The Pumas will kick off their 2021 campaign against a determined Valke outfit at Standerton High School on Saturday after having a bye in the opening round of Group 2 of the First Division last week.
With the Valke making their return to the competition last week for the first time since 2016, the Pumas will look to take advantage of the fact that the Brakpan team are still finding their feet, which should set the scene for a competitive encounter.
The Leopards, in turn, will go in search of their fourth successive victory against the Limpopo Blue Bulls and their second win in as many games when the teams cross paths at Olën Park.
The Potchefstroom side got their campaign off to an encouraging start last week with a 41-17 victory against the Valke, and with their main rivals in the group – the Mastercard Golden Lions Women – having registered a comprehensive 66-0 win last week, they will be mindful of the fact that a favourable points difference will be vital if they attempt to pip them for a possible final berth this season.
Women’s Premier Division fixtures (Saturday, 19 June):
EP Queens v Cell C Sharks Women Time: 12h00 (live stream on www.Springboks.rugby) Venue: Wolfson Stadium, Port Elizabeth Referee: Johre Botha Assistant referees: Local referees
Blue Bulls Women v Border Ladies Time: 13h00 Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria Referee: Maria Mabote Assistant referees: Local referees TMO: Cwengile Jadezweni TV: SuperSport Variety 4
Boland Dames v DHL Western Province Time: 14h00 (live stream on www.Springboks.rugby) Venue: Boland Stadium, Wellington Referee: Divan Uys Assistant referees: Local referees
Women’s First Division Group 2 fixtures (Saturday, 19 June):
Pumas v Valke Time: 13h00 Venue: Standerton High School, Standerton Referee: Angie Bezuidenhout Assistant referees: Local referees
Leopards v Limpopo Blue Bulls Time: 13h00 Venue: Olën Park, Potchefstroom Referee: Siyanda Pikoli Assistant referees: Local referees
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