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: Connacht welcome Kings to Sportsground fortress

Avatar Andy Baber 29 Nov 2019

After two back-to-back weekends of European action, Connacht return their focus to the Guinness PRO14 on Saturday as they welcome a fresh Isuzu Southern Kings to Galway.

The Conference B showdown will provide the Irish province with a chance to get back to winning ways after losing to Toulouse in the Champions Cup last weekend in France.

But Southern Kings picked up their first Guinness PRO14 win on the road last time out and the Southern African outfit will fancy their chances of executing repeat performance.

The visitors will also be able to call on Yaw Penxe at The Sportsground, with the winger making his long-awaited return after sustaining a hamstring injury in the opening match of the season.

His inclusion is one of three changes to the starting XV that prevailed 16-14 at Ospreys three weeks ago, with Stefan Ungerer and Aston Fortuin also back in the fold.

Connacht have also been boosted by several returnees, with Bundee Aki returning at inside centre after missing the Toulouse defeat, while Niyi Adeolokun takes his place in the back three.

There’s also an all-new front row from the side that started in France as Denis Buckley has recovered from illness to start at loosehead alongside Finlay Bealham and Tom McCartney.

Kick-off: The Sportsground, Galway |KO 17.15

How to watch: Live on Premier Sports 1, eir sport 1, SuperSport 1, TG4, DAZN, PRO14.tv

Players to watch out for: Bundee Aki (Connacht), Juan Schoeman (Southern Kings)

Not only are Connacht boosted by the return of Aki for the visit of Southern Kings, the Irish province have also announced the explosive centre has agreed a new three-year extension.

The Ireland international will remain at The Sportsground until the summer of 2023 at least, moving onto a central contract after establishing himself as a key cog in the national team.

Aki has the ability to tear apart defences and his presence in midfield will undoubtedly strike fear in the Southern Kings players, who will need to be at their very best to counter his rampaging runs.

The visitors will at least be able to call on Penxe for just his second appearance of the season as the Port Elizabeth-based side go in search of back-to-back away wins in Galway.

But the key man to watch will be loosehead prop Juan Schoeman, whose loan agreement from Super Rugby side the Sharks comes to an end after the Connacht encounter.

The 28-year-old has been one of the most consistent performers for Kings so far this season, significantly strengthening their set-piece, and he will certainly want go out with a bang.

Key stat: Southern Kings have met Irish provinces on 14 previous occasions in the Guinness PRO14 and have lost them all, including their two encounters with Connacht.

Connacht: Matt Healy, Niyi Adeolokun, Kyle Godwin, Bundee Aki, John Porch, Conor Fitzgerald, Caolin Blade; Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Quinn Roux (C), Eoghan Masterson, Colby Fainga’a, Paul Boyle

Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Matthew Burke, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Joe Maksymiw, Jarrad Butler, Angus Lloyd, Jack Carty, Peter Robb

Isuzu Southern Kings: Scott van Breda, Christopher Hollis, Erich Cronje, Howard Mnisi (C), Yaw Penxe, John-Thomas Jackson, Stefan Ungerer; Juan Schoeman, Jacques du Toit, Pieter Scholtz, Jerry Sexton, Aston Fortuin, Martinus Burger, Thembelani Bholi, Elrigh Louw

Replacements: Chad Solomon, Xandre Vos, De-Jay Terblanche, Bobby de Wee, Ruaan Lerm, Theo Maree, Siyabonga Masuku, Sibusiso Sithole


Cardiff City Stadium will play host to the 2020 Guinness PRO14 Final on June 20 as one of the most exciting days in the club rugby calendar comes to Wales!

General sale tickets are available from http://bit.ly/PRO14Cardiff2020 and prices start at just £13 for concessions and £26 for adults (subject to booking fees), that’s a 15% early bird discount. Family ticket (2 adults / 2 children) prices begin at £64 and fans are encouraged to buy early to get the best value tickets.

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

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Report: Porch double spells trouble for Kings as Connacht ease to victory

Avatar Charlie Bennett 30 Nov 2019

John Porch scored two tries as Connacht moved to within a point of Conference B leaders Munster with a hard-fought victory against Isuzu Southern Kings.

The Australian winger crossed once in each half, while further scores from Bundee Aki and Finlay Bealham settled a bonus-point win.

The Kings stay bottom of the Conference with just a single win this season, but they impressed at the Sportsground and scored two tries through Erich Cronje and Scott van Breda.

KEY MOMENTS

Connacht, who arrived with four wins from six league games, started impressively, with Ireland international centre Aki powering over in the 12th minute.

But the Kings, filled with confidence from securing their first ever Guinness PRO14 away win at Ospreys last time out, hit back as centre Cronje wrestled his way over four minutes later.

However, Connacht boast great forward power and they moved back ahead mid-way through the first half thanks to tries from prop Bealham and winger Porch.

The Kings hit back on the stroke of half-time through full-back Van Breda, who only joined on loan from Worcester Warriors this week.

After camping near the Connacht line, the Kings moved right and Van Breda dotted down after stepping up to collect a flat pass.

Connacht strengthened their advantage early in the second half, as Conor Fitzgerald and Aki combined to release Porch, who sprinted in for his second try in the corner.

No more points were scored in a lacklustre second half but that won’t matter to the hosts, who got the job done.

MAN OF THE MATCH

John Porch underlined just why Connacht decided to take him to Galway. With two predatory tries, the wing made the difference as the Irish province once again showed how dangerous they will be this season.

But the star man was fly-half Conor Fitzgerald, who pulled the strings all night. The No.10 helped set up Porch’s second try, showed bravery to deliver flat passes at the gainline and was defensively stable.

PLAY OF THE DAY

Porch has pace to burn and his second try was a thing of beauty. Fitzgerald fired a pass into Aki, before wrapping around to collect the return.

A couple of passes later, the ball reached Porch on the left wing – the No.11 straining every sinew to pluck it out of the sky – before he pressed the accelerator and dived over in the corner.


Cardiff City Stadium will play host to the 2020 Guinness PRO14 Final on June 20 as one of the most exciting days in the club rugby calendar comes to Wales!

General sale tickets are available from http://bit.ly/PRO14Cardiff2020 and prices start at just £13 for concessions and £26 for adults (subject to booking fees), that’s a 15% early bird discount. Family ticket (2 adults / 2 children) prices begin at £64 and fans are encouraged to buy early to get the best value tickets.

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