DHL Western Province and the Bulls Daisies have the most players away on national duty, but the log leaders from Cape Town have a bye this weekend, while the Daisies – who recently contracted close to 30 players – will get an early dip into their depth when they resume their quest to the title after a bye last weekend.

The Daisies travel down to Nelson Mandela Bay to face the EP Queens with a couple of new players, amongst them Springbok Women and Sevens flyer Ayanda Malinga, who will return to the XVs game after spending the last five months preparing for the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series.

“That was a good couple of months, and I am really happy that we managed to qualify for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series,” said Mlainga.

“It was a first mission accomplished from me, but now the next one awaits, to help the Daisies win the title. I am happy to return to fifteens now and play with the Daisies. We have worked hard this week and the training session against the Springbok Women earlier in the week gave us confidence that we can go and do the business on Saturday.”

The EP Queens will be under pressure as they know that they cannot drop another result at home, this time at Wolfson Stadium. They are also without their international stars in Saneliswe Charlie and Nomawethu Mabenge, with scrumming power and try-scoring ability lost in their departure to Madagascar.

Both the Mastercard Golden Lions Women and Boland Dames will be looking for a first win in the tournament and will clash in the early match of the weekend in Johannesburg.

The home side have played two matches already and after a big defeat against the EP Queens in the opening round, the Gautengers bounced back nicely, taking the Cell C Sharks Women to the wire in Durban last weekend.

Lions coach Timmy Goodwin will be looking for more improvement from his troops at Wits Stadium, but not as much as Boland Dames coach, Thomas Chowles.

The Dames suffered a huge loss against DHL Western Province in Hawston last weekend in their season opener and Chowles offered no excuses for his side’s inability to get into gear. They will be looking at their pack to provide the go-forward, but their backline will have to defend better than last week if they want to stay in the game.

An interesting fixture awaits in Mdantsane, where the Border Ladies are chasing a second win on the bounce, this time against the Cell C Sharks Women, who themselves got their first win Lions last weekend.

The Durbanites will again field some new combinations due to four national call-ups but they will have the midfielder prowess of Zintle Ndawonde back. The firefighter was not available last week due to work commitments but will bring all of her international XVs and Sevens experience to the Eastern Cape.

The Border side shocked the EP Queens at home last weekend and did so by smothering defence and finishing off the chances that came their way. A big crowed is expected at Sisa Dukashe Stadium and they will carry the Border Ladies.

Despite their bye this weekend, DHL Western Province, such was their dominance over the first two rounds that they can easily still top the standings at the end of the third round.

Match information:

Mastercard Golden Lions Women v Boland Dames
Venue: Wits Stadium, Johannesburg
Date: Saturday, 20 May
Kick-off: 12h00
Referee: Sinesipho Foloti
Livestream: SuperSport Schools app

Border Ladies v Cell C Sharks Women
Venue: Sisa Dukashe Stadium, Mdantsane
Date: Saturday, 20 May
Kick-off: 13h00
Referee: Angie Bezuidenhout
Livestream: SuperSport Schools App

EP Queens v Bulls Daisies
Venue: Wolfson Stadium, Nelson Mandela Bay
Date: Saturday, 20 May
Kick-off: 13h30
Referee: Lulutho Matomela