Match Page 2017-18 - Scoreboard WP ID: 132

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Preview: Toyota Cheetahs v Southern Kings

Charlie Bennett 19 Jan 2018

Six Nations squad announcements and Champions Cup Pool stages may dominate the headlines this week, but in terms of the shake-up of the Guinness PRO14, the South African derby could be crucial.

Just a week after they met for the first time in the competition, the Toyota Cheetahs and Southern Kings do battle again in Bloemfontein – where the hosts hope to win back-to-back derbies.

What’s at stake? Aside from bragging rights, there is a lot on the line in this South African battle with both sides desperate for a win.

The Cheetahs have been immense at home all season and have lost just once, while their away form has picked up – demonstrated by last week’s 45-21 bonus-point success at the Kings.

A handsome victory would move them to within striking distance of second-placed Munster in Conference A.

In contrast the Southern Kings are still winless this season, although they showed glimpses of their potential in the reverse fixture last week and will hope that promise can deliver something bigger on Saturday.

Team news (Toyota Cheetahs): The Cheetahs are without captain Torsten van Jaarsveld due to a minor injury, with flanker Oupa Mohoje taking the armband.

Henco Venter replaces Paul Schoeman at flanker, while Joseph Dweba and Clinton Swart could make their Guinness PRO14 debuts from the bench.

Team news (Southern Kings): The Southern Kings are able bring back captain and hooker Michael Willemse from a long-term groin injury.

Andisa Ntsila is handed a start at flanker, Martin Du Toit replaces the injured Oliver Zono while Harlon Klaasan makes his first start of the season at outside centre.

Talking Points: Stand-in captain Mohoje knows the pressure is always more intense in derby matches but trusts his players to keep their emotions in check.

A win would complete a perfect two weeks for the Cheetahs and push them closer to a knock-out spot.

“We need to focus on our standards – the detail and discipline, the small things and what we need to do,” said Mohoje.

“Derbies are always more personal and we are focussing on us and what we need to do to get our execution right.”

Meanwhile, the Southern Kings have a hole to fill with winger Anthony Volmink out injured and Yaw Penxe moving across to cover him.

Ntabeni Dukisa starts at full-back and head coach Deon Davids believes he could add a touch of unpredictability.

“His [Volmink] absence is largely precautionary,” said Deon Davids.

“Ntabeni offers us an option as a place kicker and has made good use of the opportunities he’s been given so far this season – he deserves a start,”

Key Battle: Jacques du Toit v Michael Willemse: It’s all change at hooker and, without the vital Torsten van Jaarseveld, the Cheetahs will be worried.

Jacques du Toit is a quality player but has often played second fiddle to the experienced Van Jaarsveld this season but comes up against the returning Willemse.

The Kings skipper will bring leadership to the scrum and will be eager to make an instant impact in such a high-profile game as he works his way back to full fitness.

Key Stat: The Kings have visited Toyota Stadium twice before, both in Super Rugby, losing 12-26 in April 2013 and 20-34 in May 2016.

Did you know? The Cheetahs’ only loss at Toyota Stadium this season was 26-29 to Glasgow Warriors in round six.

Toyota Cheetahs: Clayton Blommetjies, Craig Barry, Nico Lee, Niel Marais, Makazole Mapimpi, Fred Zeilinga, Shaun Venter, Ox Nche, Jacques Du Toit, Johan Coetzee, Justin Basson, Reniel Hugo, Henco Venter, Oupa Mohoje (c), Uzair Cassiem

Replacements: Joseph Dweba, Charles Marais, Tom Botha, Rynier Bernardo, Junior Pokomela, Zee Mkhabela, Clinton Swart, AJ Coertzen.

Southern Kings: Ntabeni Dukisa, Michael Makese, Harlon Klaasen, Luzuko Vulindlu, Yaw Penxe, Martin Du Toit, Rowan Gouws, Schalk Ferreira, Michael Willemse (c), Pieter Scholtz, Stephan Greeff, Bobby de Wee, Andisa Ntsila, Martinus Burger, Ruaan Lerm.

Replacements: Tango Balekile, Johan Smith, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Lindokuhle Welemu, Eital Bredenkamp, Rudi van Rooyen, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Berton Klaasen

TV: SuperSport1/Sky Sports (KO 5pm local)

Officials: Referee: Quinton Immelman (SARU), AR1: Archie Shelako (SARU), AR2: AJ Jacobs (SARU), TMO: Johan Greeff

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

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

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Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Nico Lee double powers Toyota Cheetahs to victory

Rich Dore 20 Jan 2018

Nico Lee followed up last week’s hat-trick with a double to help the Toyota Cheetahs to a resounding win over the Southern Kings and solidify third position in the Guinness PRO14 table.

The first-half was a fairly even affair, with Luzuko Vulindlu and Schalk Ferreira crossing for the Kings, but Uzair Cassiem’s score and Lee’s brace giving the Cheetahs a half-time lead.

The second half though was all Cheetahs, as Ox Nche, Makazole Mapimpi and Shaun Venter all got their name on the scoresheet.

Tienie Burger did get a late consolation for the Kings but it was the Cheetahs’ day, with the Conference B side completing two wins from two in the South African double header.

Fred Zeilinga opened the scoring for the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, kicking a penalty after just four minutes.

But the Kings fired back almost immediately to take the lead, with Andisa Ntsila popping up with the ball after a lineout and offloading to centre Vulindlu for the score.

Ntabeni Dukisa kicked the conversion but then the Cheetahs picked up the pace, with a succession of phases resulting in the ball in Lee’s hands to finish off the move.

On 26 minutes the lead was stretched, with powerful No.8 Cassiem going over but the Kings again responding, this time through prop Ferreira.

Lee then completed his double, his fifth try in the South African double header, to give the home side a 24-17 lead at the break.

After the interval though the Cheetahs’ relentless pressure started to tell, and when Clayton Blommetjies picked up a loose kick and punted upfield all that was left to do for Nche was collect the ball five metres out and trundle over the line.

The visitors attempted to get back into things but on 49 minutes the ball was stripped whilst the Kings were five metres out from the Cheetahs’ line, the ball was booted away and Mapimpi won the foot-race to go in under the posts.

Four minutes later the Cheetahs got their sixth try, with a neat lineout seeing the ball passed back inside to Venter, who showed his pace to sprint 30 metres to the line.

The Kings refused to give up though and got their third try on 73 minutes with Burger taking a flat pass close to the line and proving unstoppable from ten metres out.

There was more pressure late on from the away side but the Bloemfontein team held on to complete the victory.

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