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Match Page 2017-18 - Scoreboard WP ID: 132

Match Page 2017-18 - Last Time WP ID: 133

Match Page 2017-18 - Current Standing WP: 134

Match Page 2017-18 - H2H WP: 136

Match Page 2017-18 - Last 3 Matches WP: 142

Match Page 2017-18 - Season so Far WP:141

Preview: Southern Kings v Ulster 

Paul Eddison 3 Nov 2017
Penxe

Ulster will be looking to redeem themselves after a frustrating 25-10 defeat to Leinster last week as they head to South Africa to face a Southern Kings side still searching for their first point. Kings will be hosting Ulster at the Isaac Wolfson Stadium at 1pm on Saturday afternoon.

What’s at stake? Ulster will be desperate to gain maximum points from this match as they look to gain ground on the top two sides in Conference B: Scarlets and Leinster. Five points behind second-placed Leinster, Ulster need a victory to keep their rivals within touching distance. Kings, meanwhile, will be aiming to looking to put in a big performance as they play their first game at the Wolfson Stadium.

Team news (Southern Kings): Two of three Kings changes come in the backline, with Oliver Zono replacing the injured Martin du Toit, and Masixole Banda making way for Michael Makase. Hooker Stephan Coetzee comes in for captain Michael Willemse, meaning Schalk Ferreira will lead the side out.

Team news (Ulster): Craig Gilroy is set to make his 150th Ulster appearance, returning from a back injury to play his first game of the season. Gilroy will not be joined by Jacob Stockdale in the back three, with their top try scorer, currently on five, away with Ireland.

Talking points:  Kings will not be hosting Ulster at their normal ground, with the match moving from the 46,000-seater Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium to the 6,000 capacity Wolfson Stadium with the hope that the smaller ground should help the atmosphere.

Kings COO Charl Crous said: “A crowd of 10,000 can get ‘lost’ in a massive venue like the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, but it would lift the roof off the rafters in a packed Wolfson Stadium.

“It will be an opportunity for many fans to experience top-flight rugby as never before – in a full, vibrant stadium with a unique atmosphere and energy.”

Key Battle: Yaw Penxe v Charles Piutau

Ulster’s two main danger men this season have been Charles Piutau and Jacob Stockdale in the back three. While the latter is away with Ireland, Piutau starts in the No.15 jersey and as ever will be one to watch for the Kings defence. However they have an attacking option of their own in Yaw Penxe, who has been a danger whenever he gets the ball both on the wing or at full-back this season.

Key Stat: Southern Kings are still winless after the first seven rounds of the Guinness PRO14, with their closest margin of defeat being 16 points against Dragons in Round Five.

Did you know? Wolfson Stadium becomes the 42nd different venue to host a Guinness PRO14 encounter.

Southern Kings: Yaw Penxe; Michael Makase, Berton Klaasen, Luzuko Vulindlu, Alshaun Bock; Oliver Zono, Rudi van Rooyen; Schalk Ferreira, Stephan Coetzee, Rossouw de Klerk, Stephan Greeff, Bobby de Wee, Andisa Ntsila, Jurie van Vuuren, Ruaan Lerm.

Replacements: Tango Balekile, Mzamo Majola, Martin Dreyer, Lindokuhle Welemu, Dries van Schalkwyk, Rowan Gouws, Kurt Coleman, Jarryd Sage.

Ulster: Charles Piutau; Craig Gilroy, Louis Ludik, Darren Cave, Andrew Trimble; Christian Leali’ifano, John Cooney; Andy Warwick, John Andrew, Wiehahn Herbst, Kieran Treadwell, Alan O’Connor, Matty Rea, Chris Henry, Sean Reidy

Replacements: Adam McBurney, Callum Black, Ross Kane, Robbie Diack, Clive Ross, Jonny Stewart, Peter Nelson, Tommy Bowe

TV: SuperSport2/BBC 2 Northern Ireland (KO 1pm)

Match officials – Referee: Quinton Immelman (SARU), AR1 Rasta Rasivhenge (SARU), AR2: Ben Crouse (SARU) TMO: Shaun Veldsman (SARU)

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start at just €30 for adults and €5 for children, and can be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Diack late show snatches victory for Ulster over Southern Kings in classic

Jimmy Booker 4 Nov 2017

Robbie Diack’s late try was the difference as Ulster and Southern Kings played out a barn-storming encounter in South Africa.

Kings raced out of the blocks and were 22-10 up at the break, but a volley of late scores at both ends ultimately ensured Ulster came away from a blustery Port Elizabeth with a bonus-point victory.

The home side started the game at breakneck speed and were over the line twice within the first ten minutes.

Berton Klaasen dived over the whitewash within four minutes to give the home side the lead, which was doubled almost instantly when full-back Yaw Penxe charged through after picking up a grubber.

After missing his first attempt in very tricky conditions, Oliver Zono slotted the conversion to pull the hosts ahead 12-0 and leave Ulster shell shocked.

However, the away side got the first points of the day on the board soon after in style through No. 8 Sean Reidy, who applied the finishing touch to a sweeping Ulster attack to make it 12-5.

John Andrew crashed over from a rolling maul minutes later as the visitors grew into the game.

They should have been in the lead soon after following a tremendous break from centre Darren Cave, who was impressive all afternoon.

But in a play that typified the ding-dong nature of a thrilling match, Kings winger Michael Makase intercepted Cave’s pass to the left and kicked up field before applying the afterburners.

Makase made up sensational ground to beat Charles Piutau to the loose ball and grounded with a desperate lunge to put the hosts back into the lead, Zono adding the extras.

The second half was even more breathless than the first, with Les Kiss’ side striking two decisive blows early on, first when Andrew crossed for his second after another effective rolling maul, and John Cooney dotting down under the posts to level proceedings at 22-22 and net Ulster a bonus point.

The Kings, winless and without a single point in Conference B before today’s contest, claimed a bonus point of their own through Klaasen’s converted score, sparking a frenzy of activity near both try lines until the culmination of the match.

And back came Ulster, with Andrew Trimble ghosting through after clever work by Cooney for his 50th league try, with Christian Leali’ifano doing the honours from the tee.

Clive Ross charged over with ten minutes to go as Ulster took the lead for the first time in the match, but Penxe hit back instantly for the Kings as proceedings were squared once more with moments left.

Both side had shown adventure and commitment all afternoon, but Ulster’s class came through in the end, Diack forcing his way over in the right following smart build-up play from Piutau for the game’s 12th and final try.

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start at just €30 for adults and €5 for children, and can be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie

Match Page 2017-18 - Summary WP:137

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Performance WP:138