As we look ahead to the all-South African match-up between the Southern Kings and the Toyota Cheetahs some key head-to-heads are likely to decide to the game.
We have picked out a couple of particularly intriguing match-ups, one in the forwards and one in the backs, as well as some of the other players who could play an important role.
Oliver Zono v Fred Zeilinga
In the battle of the fly-halves on Saturday there will be a distinct difference in experience.
Fred Zeilinga will play in his 50th game for the Cheetahs and he will hope to use all of that as the Cheetahs try to bounce back from last week’s loss in Italy.
The 25-year-old arrived from the Sharks in 2015 and has stepped up in the absence of Ernst Stapelberg.
He will face Zono, one year his senior, and the 26-year-old has impressed this year with offloading game and ability to beat defenders.
In what is likely to be a high-paced game, the Kings will hope that Zono’s attacking instincts come to the fore.
Bobby de Wee v Reniel Hugo
There’s a tantalising second-row battle with Bobby de Wee back for the Southern Kings where he will go head-to-head with Reniel Hugo.
De Wee is an impressive lineout jumper with the Kings retaining 96 percent of their own line out ball, and at 6ft5in he will be a prominent threat in the air.
Both players hold strong tackle statistics within their teams, although Hugo’s 78 trails his counterpart who currently has 114 tackles to his name.
The 27-year-old Hugo, whose father Niel played for South Africa, will be an important figure in the tight five though as the Cheetahs look for a second win on the road this season.
Others to watch
With a combined tackle count of 231 Paul Schoeman and Torsten van Jaarsveld will look to showcase their defensive might for the Cheetahs.
Van Jaarsveld unsurprisingly features heavily across multiple areas with nine clean breaks and defenders beaten as he demonstrates his dynamism in the loose.
Cheetahs will also look to their top scorer Makazole Mapimpi who is in search of his tenth try of the season.
The absence of Andisa Ntsila from the Kings line-up could be a major blow for the Kings, with the flanker top of the tackling charts and third in metres made for his team.
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