Yesterday was no different, we started off not to badly, went behind to a couple of penalties, conceded a try, scored a beaut of a try ourselves and went into half time trailing by only 6 points, then the wheels fell off!
Most disappointing however was the crowd, in my many, many visits to our stadium for a variety of football and rugby matches yesterday’s crowd has to be the smallest that I’ve ever witnessed, I know, supporters love a winner!
Notwithstanding the result, a great day, great weather, great company.
Only one more home game left, so not much more of the agony to endure.
The Currie Cup is reputed to be the oldest rugby provincial competition in the world and after a 12 year absence my Eastern Province is back in it!
It’s the top tier of S.A. rugby and yes, you’ve probably guessed by now we (EP) have never won it.
We won’t be winning it this year either but that matters not, the season kicked off last night with our first pool game against Western Province.
After our highly successful Super rugby campaign last year most of our players have been bought / stole / enticed away to ‘bigger’ clubs. (A Scottish bunch even enticed our coach away along with one of our best flankers!)
So, lots of new names to learn last night, lots of fringe players from last season getting a chance to step up to the big time lots of mistakes and drama but who cares (not me) another great night of rugby in our very own new stadium.
You can see that the Eastern Province team have reverted back to the famous Red and Black hoops kit, no more pandering to advertisers and promoters, no more dull black or white shirts that any true EP fans have absolutely no affinity with whatsoever, no, back to our famous red and black.
As you all know by know, results are hard to come by down here, suffice to say that we scored our first Currie Cup try in 12 years in the 32nd minute and led 11-10 at halftime, then the wheels fell off.
I’m sure that the hoards of avid rugby followers that read these pages will agree with me that the gap between the two tiers of S.A. Currie cup rugby is larger than we first thought.
Although the E.P.Kings went through the season undefeated, (2 draws) and rightfully earned their place in the promotion / relegation playoffs, (home and away) last nights hammering at the hands of the Free State Cheetahs brought us all down to earth with a bang.
Ironically on the left try scorer Andries Strauss has already signed for The Kings for next season.
The score? An overwhelming 53 -14 (8 tries -2) Match report here
Here’s hoping that we don’t have more of the same next year during our first Super Rugby campaign, sure we’ll have a few new signings to strengthen the squad but against full strength outfits from the Crusaders, Reds, Bulls, Sharks et al it could be a very long season!