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Match Page 2017-18 - Scoreboard WP ID: 132

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Preview: Southern Kings v Cardiff Blues

Will Thompson 13 Apr 2018
Cardiff Blues

Cardiff Blues travel to Nelson Mandela Bay for their first encounter with the Southern Kings in the Guinness PRO14.

Although the Kings sit bottom of Conference B, they will be anxious to end their season on a high with victory at home.

What’s at stake?

Blues will be looking to keep ahead of Ospreys, who have a game in hand, in the race for European qualification.

Danny Wilson’s men lie in fourth on 48 points whereas their Welsh counterparts sit just a place behind on 40.

Southern Kings will be hoping to stall Blues however, seeking their second win of the campaign.

Team news (Southern Kings)

Kings head coach Deon Davids makes five changes to the team that lost out to Munster in Round 19, with two of those coming in the back-line.

Luzuko Vulindlu, who has already scored four Guinness PRO14 tries this season, starts at outside centre ahead of Jacques Nel, while Ntabeni Dukisa comes in at fly-half in place of Martin du Toit.

In the forwards, three changes sees Rossouw De Klerk coming in at tighthead prop, with Lubabalo Mtyanda starting behind him in the second row and Lusanda Badiyana at blindside flanker, as Pieter Scholtz, Stephan Greeff and Andisa Ntsila drop out.

Team news (Cardiff Blues)

The Blues side has been reshuffled following the close defeat to Cheetahs in the previous round as the Welsh team has an eye on European qualification.

Four of the changes come in the forwards, with Scott Andrews starting in the front-row and Josh Turnbull coming in behind him. Nick Williams starts at the back of the pack and Ellis Jenkins captains the side at openside flanker.

In the backs, Jarrod Evans joins Tomos Williams at half-back, while Rey Lee-Lo comes back into the middle of the park and Gareth Anscombe switches to full-back.

Talking points

Blues head coach Danny Wilson said: “We were all bitterly disappointed with the defeat to the Cheetahs, especially the manner of it, conceding a penalty try at the end following such a spirited comeback.

“But considering everything the boys went through with a 55-hour journey due to the flight cancellations and just one short training session before we left Wales, their attitude was phenomenal.

“Now we simply have to beat the Kings to stay ahead of the Ospreys if we want to qualify for the Champions Cup next season.

“That is something we are all hugely determined to achieve and the boys have prepared well this week. With a semi-final at the Arms Park next week it is also crucial that we carry on a bit of confidence and momentum.

“It is great to have so much to play for at this stage of the season but we certainly won’t be underestimating the Kings.

“They are a very dangerous team with some elusive runners in the back-three and some very big ball carriers. We will have to be at our best to get the job done.”

Key battle – Ruaan Lerm v Ellis Jenkins

Lerm made the 12 tackles in Kings’ encounter with Munster last weekend, the joint-highest in his team, whilst also making a healthy amount of metres in the match.

Although Jenkins started on the bench in the last round, he captains Blues on Saturday and will be eager to lead the line from the front and show his worth.

The two go head to head in this clash and will ensure they give their all not only in the breakdown but in open play as well.

Key stat: Willis Halaholo beat 12 defenders in Round 19 of the Guinness PRO14, more than anyone else in that round.

Did you know? The two teams are yet to meet in the Guinness PRO14, but all of the Kings’ 11 league points this season have come in home games.

Southern Kings: Masixole Banda, Michael Makase, Luzuko Vulindlu, Berton Klaasen, Yaw Penxe, Ntabeni Dukisa, Godlen Masimla, Schalk Ferreira (c), Stephan Coetzee, Rossouw De Klerk, Bobby De Wee, Lubabalo Mtyanda, Lusanda Badiyana, Martinus Burger, Ruaan Lerm

Replacements: Tango Balekile, Justin Forwood, Luvuyo Pupuma, Lindokuhle Welemu, Khaya Majola, Rudi Van Rooyen, Alshaun Bock, Harlon Klassen

Cardiff Blues: Gareth Anscombe, Alex Cuthbert, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Blaine Scully, Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams, Rhys Gill, Kirby Myhill, Scott Andrews, Seb Davies, Josh Turnbull, Josh Navidi, Ellis Jenkins (c), Nick Williams

Replacements: Ethan Lewis, Brad Thyer, Anton Peikrishvili, Damian Welch, Olly Robinson, Lloyd Williams, Garyn Smith, Matthew Morgan

Referee: Sean Gallagher (IRFU, 9th competition game)

Assistant Referees: Quinton Immelman, Ruhan Meiring (SARU)

Citing Commissioner: Nomsebenzie Tsotsobe (SARU)

TMO: Johan Greeff (SARU)

TV: Live on SuperSport and S4C

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Prices start at just €35 at www.ticketmaster.ie with tickets available to suit every experience.
To book hospitality, visit: https://www.pro14rugby.org/hospitality
For Travel packages, visit: https://www.pro14rugby.org/travel-packages
For Fanzone & Dublin 7s, visithttp://www.dublin7sfestival.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

Super Cardiff roll past the Kings

Rich Dore 14 Apr 2018

A classy performance from Cardiff Blues saw them romp home to a fine victory at the Southern Kings to keep their hopes of a place in the Guinness PRO14 Finals Series alive.

Alex Cuthbert got the ball rolling with a try in just the second minute and that set the tone for a fine performance which saw a bonus point confirmed in just half an hour.

Seb Davies, Josh Turnbull and Willis Halaholo each crossed but the Blues did not let up from there as Kirby Myhill and Blaine Scully crossed either side of half time.

The Kings did hit back through Ntabeni Dukisa and Lindokuhle Welemu but they remain with just one win this season.

This was the first meeting of the two teams and the Blues raced out of the traps, desperate to put last weekend’s loss to the Toyota Cheetahs behind them.

Within 90 seconds they had crossed for the first try after a powerful break from Nick Williams carried the Blues to the edge of the try line.

And winger Cuthbert, an instinctive try scorer, pounced – flinging his arms across the line to get the ball down.

The Blues’ physicality was proving to be a menace, especially at the breakdown, and they added two further scores before the half-hour mark.

Davies got the first of those, and 20 minutes later the Blues stole the ball back brilliantly on the Kings’ five-metre line where Turnbull powered over.

Halaholo got the fourth at the end of a driving maul but, refusing to let up, they continued to use their momentum and added two further scores.

Kirby Myhill scored the first of those before a sublime kick through set up Blaine Scully early in the second half.

Myhill added a second but the Kings were next to strike with Dukisa rolling over before Welemu got a second – ensuring they finished on a high.

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Prices start at just €35 at www.ticketmaster.ie with tickets available to suit every experience.
To book hospitality, visit: https://www.pro14rugby.org/hospitality
For Travel packages, visit: https://www.pro14rugby.org/travel-packages
For Fanzone & Dublin 7s, visithttp://www.dublin7sfestival.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