Match Page 2017-18 - Scoreboard WP ID: 132

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Preview: Isuzu Southern Kings v Ospreys

Avatar Daniel Barnes 11 Apr 2019

Port Elizabeth provides the backdrop for the first match of Round 20 in the Guinness PRO14, with the Isuzu Southern Kings welcoming the Ospreys to the Madibaz Stadium.

Both of these teams strutted their stuff in South Africa last time out, with the Kings scrapping their way to a draw with the Dragons while the Ospreys conquered the Toyota Cheetahs.

The visitors are still in with a shout of sneaking into the Guinness PRO14 Final Series but, in their final home game of the season, the Kings will be determined to slam the brakes on the Ospreys’ ambitions.

What’s at stake?

With the end of the season fast approaching, Ospreys will be looking to finish with a flourish and keep their chances of qualifying for the Guinness PRO14 Final Series alive.

Allen Clarke’s troops enter Round 20 six points behind third-placed Connacht in Conference A.

Meanwhile, in Conference B, the Isuzu Southern Kings kept themselves a point ahead of the seventh-placed Dragons last time out courtesy of a thrilling 18-18 draw at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium – they head out in search of a positive result to keep their heads above water.

Team news (Isuzu Southern Kings)

The Kings have made a raft of changes to the team that locked horns with the Dragons in Round 19 and are boosted by the return of former South Africa sevens star Sibusiso Sithole, who is in line for his first appearance of the season.

Sithole comes in for the injured Tertius Kruger, who is ruled out with an ankle problem, while elsewhere in the back line, Ulrich Beyers comes in for Michael Makase.

Alulutho Tshakweni is also back in the fold, coming in for Schalk Ferreira, while Stephan Greeff is named at lock, with Dries van Schalkwyk shifting to blindside flanker, where he replaces Tienie Burger.

Team news (Ospreys)

The Ospreys make just a single change to the team that defeated the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein in Round 19.

South African pop Ma’afu Fia comes into the visitors’ starting line-up, coming in for Tom Botha.

Talking points

Isuzu Southern Kings head coach Deon Davids said: “We have had a few injuries that have forced us to make certain changes to our team.

“In certain positions, we have rotated some of the players, and we are happy to see a guy like Sbura Sithole back in action as he gets his first run of the season after a frustrating time out with injuries.

“Ospreys is a good side with international players, and we expect a tough encounter against them this Friday.

“We will be playing our last match at home for this current season and we want to end it off on a high in front of our loyal home crowd.”

Ospreys head coach Allen Clarke said: “Our performances in the last two games mean that we still have everything to play for over the final two rounds of the regular season.

“This weekend, we want to build on our bonus point win against the Toyota Cheetahs and finish off what has been a wonderful two weeks for the squad with an even better performance.

“It’s the first time for the Ospreys to play in Port Elizabeth, a new experience at a new ground.

“We want to enjoy that experience by delivering a thoroughly professional performance, working hard for one another, and doing what we do best both sides of the ball.”

Key stat: The Isuzu Southern Kings had lost five matches in a row in the Guinness PRO14 – but brought that unwanted sequence to an end with an 18-18 draw with the Dragons in Round 19

Did you know? The Ospreys have lost just once to a South African opponent to date in the Guinness PRO14, being beaten 44-25 by the Toyota Cheetahs in September 2017

Isuzu Southern Kings: Beyers Ulrich, Klaasen Harlon, Sibusiso Sithole, Berton Klaasen, Bjorn Basson, Bader Pretorius, Stefan Ungerer, Alulutho Tshakweni, Michael Willemse, De-Jay Terblanche, Stephan Greeff, John-Charles Astle (c), Andisa Ntsila, Andries van Schalkwyk, Ruaan Lerm

Replacements: Alandre van Rooyen, Schalk Ferreira, Pieter Scholtz, Schalk Oelofse, Stephan de Wit, Rudi van Rooyen, Masixole Banda, Meli Rokoua

Ospreys: Dan Evans, Hanno Dirksen, Cory Allen, Owen Watkin, Keelan Giles, Luke Price, Aled Davies, Nicky Smith, Scott Baldwin, Ma’afu Fia, Adam Beard, Bradley Davies, Olly Cracknell, Justin Tipuric (C), James King

Replacements: Sam Parry, Gareth Thomas, Tom Botha, Dan Lydiate, Sam Cross, Matthew Aubrey, Sam Davies, Luke Morgan

TV: At Madibaz Stadium, Port Elizabeth, 6.35pm. Live on Premier Sports, DAZN and SuperSport

Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU, 44th competition game)

AR1: Frank Murphy (IRFU) AR2: Ruhan Meiring (SARU)

TMO: Sean Veldsman (SARU)

The Guinness PRO14 Final is one of the most entertaining games in the rugby calendar and takes place in Glasgow’s Celtic Park on May 25. Tickets start at just £25 for adults, £1 for kids. Visit www.pro14rugby.org/finaltickets

Historical Lineup Pre Opta (sfms data) - Preview - v2

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Evans hat-trick fires Ospreys to victory at Kings

Avatar Paul Eddison 12 Apr 2019

Dan Evans helped himself to a hat-trick as the Ospreys kept their Guinness PRO14 Final Series hopes alive with a 43-7 win over the Isuzu Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.

The full-back crossed twice in the first half, before completing the hat-trick in the second as the Ospreys overwhelmed their hosts.

Cory Allen, Hanno Dirksen and Bradley Davies also crossed in the first half, as the Ospreys raced into a 33-0 lead, and despite a deserved score for Michael Willemse in the second half, the Kings never threatened the comeback.

The win pushes the Ospreys up to fourth in Conference B ahead of Saturday’s clash between Connacht and Cardiff Blues.

The first try came on 12 minutes as  Evans sold a huge dummy in midfield before slicing through and over. Luke Price converted to make it 7-0.

He was in again soon after, with Bradley Davies creating it with a beautiful offload that put Keelan Giles away. He then rounded the outside defence before feeding Evans for the score.

In a flash they had a third, the pick of the tries as Allen finished after a length-of-the-field attack that started with Giles, who fed Aled Davies and then finally Allen.

The Ospreys were making ground at will, with Adam Beard now making the difference as he perfectly delayed a pass to put Dirksen over.

After his earlier contribution to the second Evans try, Bradley Davies then turned scorer as he was the man to emerge from a dominant maul. Price knocked over four conversions to make it 33-0 at the break.

The Kings improved after the break, with replacement Masixole Banda particularly impressive.

They almost had a first try through Stefan Ungerer, but it was brought back for a forward pass.

Their cause was not helped when Stephan Greef was sin-binned for taking the man out in the air, and with the extra man Evans went in for number three. It came from a beautiful pass from Sam Davies, fooling the defence with his eyes before putting Evans through.

The Kings did respond however, Willemse dotting down from a maul after some extended time in Ospreys territory.

But it was the Ospreys who had the final say with a beautiful try from Bradley Davies, put in by a stunning wide pass from Beard to seal the win.


The Guinness PRO14 Final is one of the most entertaining games in the rugby calendar and takes place in Glasgow’s Celtic Park on May 25. Tickets start at just £25 for adults, £1 for kids. Visit www.pro14rugby.org/finaltickets

Match Page 2017-18 - Summary WP:137

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