Glasgow Warriors protect one of only two 100 per cent records still standing in Guinness PRO14 as their South African adventure continues against Isuzu Southern Kings.
The Scottish side sit proudly atop Conference A with three wins from their first three outings, while Conference B bottom side Kings are bidding for a first victory of their second PRO14 campaign.
Next stop Port Elizabeth ✈️🇿🇦 pic.twitter.com/euM8gL3Ljg
— Glasgow Warriors (@GlasgowWarriors) September 21, 2018
What’s at stake? With such unfamiliar surroundings and an untested rivalry, pretty much everything is up for grabs in Saturday’s fixture.
Warriors and Kings have only met once – at Scotstoun last October – and the game will be played at the Nelson Mandela University Stadium in Port Elizabeth for the first time in competition history.
Dave Rennie’s men finished top of Conference A last year, before falling at the semi-final stage, so will be determined to go one better and reach Glasgow this season.
Team news (Isuzu Southern Kings) Head coach Deon Davids has made four personnel changes and two positional switches for the Round 4 fixture.
On the back of a 28-7 defeat to Ulster, he has opted for a fresh half-back pairing with Rudi van Rooyen playing at scrum-half and Martin Du Toit at fly-half.
Masixole Banda, Kings’ top-scorer with 15 points in their first three games, shifts to full-back in an otherwise unchanged backline.
Ruaan Lerm starts at number eight and Henry Brown at openside flanker, with Andisa Ntsila shifting to blindside flanker to make it all change in the back row.
Team news (Glasgow Warriors) Warriors have this week been dealt the blow of an extended lay-off for star full-back Stuart Hogg, facing three months out with an ankle injury.
But the return of Scotland centre Huw Jones, after his own four-month injury absence, offers a silver lining and his inclusion is one of nine changes from the win over Toyota Cheetahs.
Nick Grigg joins Jones in the midfield after recovering from illness, while Pete Horne moves in to fly-half and is partnered by Nick Frisby on his first start for the club.
Jamie Bhatti, D’Archy Rae and George Turner form an all-new front row while Greg Peterson comes into the second row.
Talking points: Toyota Cheetahs head coach Deon Davids said: “Our plan has always been to give our players a chance to play, hence our rotation of the squad.
Getting ready for Saturday’s game against Glasgow Warriors 💪
Watch it live at NMU’s Madibaz Stadium 🏟
— Isuzu Southern Kings (@SouthernKingsSA) September 20, 2018
“It is great to see guys like CJ Velleman returning to the side after working hard to get back to full fitness.
“We have worked hard this week on all the areas where we felt we fell short over the past few weeks.
“We are looking forward to playing at a new venue here at the Nelson Mandela University, but we know we have a big task ahead against a strong Glasgow Warriors side that remains unbeaten in the Championship.”
Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie said: “”We’ve made a handful of changes with Pete Horne moving to 10, Nick Grigg back from illness and it’s great to give Huw Jones a start, so it’s an exciting pairing.
“I thought our back-three were outstanding against The Cheetahs and we’re fortunate that we’ve got really good depth at scrum-half and we’re keen to give Nick a crack and he deserves a start.
“Robbie Nairn is a big guy and he’s very quick, so I’m excited to see him make his debut tomorrow.”
Key battle: Martin du Toit v Pete Horne
Which of these two auxiliary fly-halves settle quicker should prove a key read on which side comes out on top tomorrow.
Horne, with 141 Warriors starts behind him, faces the challenge of filling the precocious boots of Adam Hastings as he moves in from centre.
Du Toit’s task is to revive the ailing fortunes of his team’s attack, which has yielded a joint league-low six tries so far this season.
Key fact: In the first three rounds, Glasgow lock Jonny Gray has made the joint-most tackles in Guinness PRO14 with 49.
Did you know? Isuzu Southern Kings have lost their last seven Guinness PRO14 matches since beating Dragons 45-13 last March.
Southern Kings: Masixole Banda, Yaw Penxe, Harlon Klaasen, Berton Klaasen, Bjorn Basson, Martin Du Toit, Rudi Van Rooyen, Schalk Ferreira, Michael Willemse, Luvuyo Pupuma, Bobby De Wee, John-Charles Astle, Henry Brown, Andisa Ntsila, Ruaan Lerm
Replacements: Alandre Van Rooyen, Justin Forwood, Martin Dreyer, Stephan Greeff, CJ Velleman, Godlen Masimla, Ntabeni Dukisa, Michael Botha
Glasgow Warriors: Ruaridh Jackson, Tommy Seymour, Huw Jones, Nick Grigg, DTH van der Merwe, Pete Horne, Nick Frisby, Jamie Bhatti, George Turner, D’Arcy Rae, Greg Peterson, Scott Cummings, Ryan Wilson, Chris Fusaro, Adam Ashe
Replacements: Fraser Brown, Alex Allan, Kevin Bryce, Rob Harley, Callum Gibbins, Ali Price, Adam Hastings, Robbie Nairn
TV: Nelson Mandela Stadium, Port Elizabeth. Live on Premier Sports 1, FreeSports, Eir Sport and SuperSport
Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU, 37th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Frank Murphy (IRFU), Paul Mente (SARU)
TMO: Marius Jonker (SARU)
Martin du Toit’s double inspired the Isuzu Southern Kings to a bonus-point victory over Glasgow Warriors that earned the South Africans a first win of the campaign.
The form was with Glasgow heading into the match but they soon found themselves three tries down as Yaw Penxe, du Toit and Rudi van Rooyen all grabbed first-half scores.
Masixole Banda added a penalty and in the second period Harlon Klaasen touched down before Nick Grigg and DTH van der Merwe responded for the Scots.
Du Toit completed his double with eight minutes remaining, meaning van der Merwe’s second try and Fraser Brown’s late score were mere consolation.
On home turf the Kings wasted no time in getting started, and were ahead on six minutes as successive hands found Penxe out wide – the winger then going in and out to evade the scrambling defence and touch down.
Less than five minutes later and du Toit doubled the try-count, the fly-half powering over after a series of phases from the South African outfit.
As the game approached the quarter-mark the Kings’ dream start continued, as brilliant interplay saw scrum-half van Rooyen released and touching down under the posts – Banda given an easy conversion.
The final action of the half saw the Kings close out the first 40 with a penalty, kicked by Banda to create a 24-0 half-time lead and leaving Dave Rennie’s men with plenty of work to do.
Some may have expected a Glasgow fightback immediately in the second half but the southern hemisphere side picked up where they left off as Klaasen went over on 53 minutes.
The centre’s try was a thing of beauty as Berton Klaasen busted through a tackle to exit the 22, passing on to his namesake who sprinted away from the defence and chipped over Ruaridh Jackson before grounding.
Glasgow got their first points on the board on the hour-mark as centre Grigg powered over in a score that forced a TMO review.
Replacement fly-half Adam Hastings converted and was then involved in the Warrior’s second try, passing out wide for van der Merwe to go over in the corner.
With 15 minutes remaining a comeback was still on the cards, but the home side snuffed out any hopes Glasgow might’ve had when du Toit crossed on 72 minutes.
Replacement hooker Fraser Brown powered over from the back of a catch-and-drive late on, and there was still time for van der Merwe to dive over in the corner once more, but not enough time to deny the Kings a magnificent win.
22 Sep 2018
21 Sep 2018
21 Sep 2018