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Match Page 2017-18 - Scoreboard WP ID: 132

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Preview: Southern Kings v Toyota Cheetahs

Charlie Talbot-Smith 12 Jan 2018

Southern Kings will continue to search for their first win of the season against Guinness PRO14 Conference A side Cheetahs, on Saturday.

Kings will host their South African counterparts at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in the 3pm kick-off.

What’s at stake? Cheetahs have won two of their last three matches in the PRO14 and with two games in hand of second-place Munster, they will feel confident they can close the 13-point gap between them.

Kings on the other hand are cemented at the bottom of Conference B with just four points to their name, a win here would go a long way to reigniting their season.

Saturday’s match marks the first ever all South African derby in the Guinness PRO14 Championship.

Team news (Southern Kings): Head coach Deon Davids makes just two changes in the pack with the second-row pairing of Bobby De Wee and Stephan Greeff restored, in a partnership that boasts a 96% success rate on their own lineout ball.

In the backs Michael Makase and Anthony Volmink come on to the wings, moving Yaw Penxe to fullback.

The half back pairing of Oliver Zono and Rowan Gouws replace Kurt Coleman and Rudi van Rooyen at fly half and scrum half respectively.

Team news (Cheetahs): Coach Rory Duncan makes three changes to his backline with Clayton Blommetjies returning to fullback and Nico Lee replacing injured captain Francois Venter.

Lee will partner Neil Marais in the centre and flyhalf Fred Zeilinga will earn his 50th cap for the Cheetahs on Saturday.

Props Ox Nche and Tom Botha start in the front row and Justin Basson replaces Carl Wegner at lock.

Talking points: The first South African derby ever will provide ample atmosphere regardless of the position of both teams. No doubt both sets of players will want to hold bragging rights in their own country and this is their first opportunity.

Cheetahs Captain Torsten van Jaarsveld said: “Dealing with pressure, we’ve been taking this season week by week and not looking ahead, but this is the week we’ve been waiting for – the first South African derby.

“It is going to be real tough and physical game. We expect the Kings to come out guns blazing, but so will we.”

Southern Kings coach Davids said of the matchup: “Firstly I think we’re due a little luck and, secondly, players naturally seem to lift their game a notch or two when it’s a local derby.

“My main message to the team this week has been to not let the emotion of the occasion get to them and to show patience when on attack.

“We must also endeavour to play in the right areas of the park and keep our mistakes to a minimum.”

Key Battle: Michael Makase v Makazole Mapimpi

Other than scoring tries for his team on Saturday, Makase will no doubt be on guard to keep Cheetah’s top try scorer Mapimpi at bay. With nine tries to his name Mapimpi will look to exploit his counterpart and add to his tally.

Key Stat: Southern Kings are still without a win in the Championship this season, although they do have two try bonus points and two losing bonus points.

Did you know? Toyota Cheetahs slipped to a fifth defeat of their campaign at Benetton Rugby on Saturday, whilst their only away victory in the Championship this season came on their other visit to Italy, against Zebre in October.

The two sides have never met before in the PRO14, but in Super Rugby Cheetahs have won all four previous fixtures between the two.

Southern Kings: Yaw Penxe Michael Makase, Berton Klaasen, Martin du Toit, Anthony Volmink, Oliver Zono, Rowan Gouws, Schalk Ferreira, Stephan Coetzee, Pieter Scholtz, Stephan Greeff, Bobby de Wee, Eital Bredenkamp, Tienie Burger, Ruaan Lerm

Replacements:  Michael Willemse, Johan Smith, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Lindokuhle Welemu, Freddy Ngoza, Rudi van Rooyen, Ntabeni Dukisa, Harlon Klaasen

Toyota Cheetahs: Clayton Blommetjies, Craig Barry, Nico Lee, Niel Marais, Makazola Mapimpi, Fred Zeilinga, Shaun Venter, Ox Nche, Van Jaarsveld, Torsten, Tom Botha, Justin Basson, Reniel Hugo, Paul Schoeman, Oupa Mohoje, Uzair Cassiem

Replacements: Jacques du Toit, Charles Marais, Johan Coetzee, Rynier Bernardo, Junior Pokomela, Henco Venter, Zee Mkhabela, AJ Coertzen

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

Match officials – Referee: Stuart Berry (SARU), AR1: Cwengile Jadezweni (SARU), AR2: AJ Jacobs (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

Nico Lee hat-trick fires Toyota Cheetahs to win

Rich Dore 13 Jan 2018

Nico Lee scored a stunning hat-trick to help the Toyota Cheetahs to a comprehensive victory over the Southern Kings and keep up the pressure on Munster in Conference A.

In a fast-paced first half it was the Cheetahs who were first to score through full-back Clayton Blommetjies, but the Kings responded immediately with Yaw Penxe’s searing try.

Lee and Shaun Venter then touched down before the break for the away side, and the bonus point was secured just after half-time when Lee grabbed his second.

Eital Bredenkamp got the Kings back in it and a penalty try then threatened a comeback, but Lee incredibly struck for the third time, with the Cheetahs down to 13 men, and Jacques Du Toit added a sixth to put the result beyond doubt.

The game at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium started at frenetic pace, with Makazole Mapimpi displaying his electric speed inside five minutes, eventually leading to Blommetjies’ try – the full-back throwing a lovely dummy to get himself over.

But the Kings had their own tricky full-back and two minutes later Penxe stormed over the tryline, coming on to the ball at pace and dummying his way through a gap in the opposition defence.

Minutes later Kings prop Pieter Scholtz was penalised for not rolling away and Fred Zeilinga put the visitors 10-7 up with a straightforward kick.

20 minutes in the Cheetahs scored their second try, with Lee going over from close range and Zeilinga again adding the extras.

The visitors dominated at the breakdown and kept the Kings pinned back with some excellent tactical kicking, including, surprisingly, a monster clearance from second-row Reniel Hugo.

The Cheetahs’ third try came from the hands of scrum-half Venter, with the half-back barging through three tackles to touch down just next to the posts on minute 32.

The home side rallied just before the break with a succession of drives almost gaining a crucial try before the interval, but after half-time Lee finished off an interception try to secure the bonus point for the Cheetahs.

The Kings were in no mood to submit though and roared back ten minutes later when a period of intense pressure saw back-row Bredenkamp touch the ball down following Schalk Ferreira’s drive.

As the hosts piled on the pressure, Cheetahs’ Charles Morais saw yellow whilst attempting to stop a drive, with the Kings registering their third try soon after with a penalty try

Cheetahs replacement Junior Pokomela also saw yellow in the act of conceding the score, leaving his side with 13 men for the final 10 minutes of the game.

But it mattered not, with the Conference A side marching downfield for Lee to complete his hat-trick from short range before Du Toit completed the scoring with the Cheetahs’ sixth 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