Craven Week: The dark horses
With Craven Week drawing ever closer, we take a look at the teams that could cause an upset or two during the week, or better yet, emerge unbeaten come Saturday, 6 July.
Border turned heads in the 2018 edition of the festival by emerging unbeaten after their three matches – the biggest being a 33-17 victory over the Free State on the final day. The class of 2018 has set the bar high for the new crop of players and many eyes will be on the smaller union to see if they can maintain or improve on their previous showing.
With the majority of the team coming from Selborne – ranked 16th on out Schools Top 20, continuity will certainly be there.
With a good chunk of the team coming from a Top 5 ranked school in the country, you would expect Eastern Province to be on the contender’s list. However, when looking back to their 2018 Craven Week results, their only victory came on the final day, having lost both matches on Day One and Three, respectively.
The Pretoria-based union will be heading into the 2019 Craven Week with one objective – make up for the poor 2018 showing. The Blue Bulls failed to pick up a win from their three matches but have nine Garsfontein – ranked sixth on our Top 20 – players in their team.
Our 14th-ranked team is Menlopark, who have four players in the team. On paper, the Blue Bulls seems to be the dark horse this year.
Golden Lions XV
The “second team” of the Johannesburg union looks to be the sleepers this year. With the majority of their players coming from our seventh-ranked team – Monument – the cohesion should be there from the beginning. It will just be a matter of execution on the day, having lost all of their matches at the 2018 festival.