More trampling ahead? EP Elephants still far off premier level

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EP skipper Inny Radebe attempts to tackle the Bulls' Marco Jansen van Vuren. (Gallo Images)
EP skipper Inny Radebe attempts to tackle the Bulls' Marco Jansen van Vuren. (Gallo Images)

Purely on paper, the EP Elephants opening their preparation series account against the recently double trophy-winning Bulls in their Pretoria stronghold was never going to be ideal.

That drawback was duly illustrated as the visitors, back in the “big time” for a few weeks, were obliterated 87-10 ... and lost in the process their one properly proven first-class attack factor and captain Inny Radebe to injury for the rest of the programme.

The vast majority of their playing staff coming out of the club ranks - at a time when club rugby has been necessarily dormant - meant the rookies were always likely to be in for an unforgiving time on the highveld just in terms of conditioning drawbacks (they didn’t lack heart and should slowly develop some “lungs”, too, as the tournament goes on).

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