The Southern Kings team has remained relatively unchanged from their game against the Highlanders, with just one change in their starting line up as S.P Marais returns to the starting 15 for this Saturday’s game against the Cheetahs.
The Southern Kings will be hoping that a strong homecrowd will be the impetus needed to reverse the 26 -12 result on 27 April 2013 when the Cheetahs beat Southern Kings in Bloemfontein (Match Report).
Director of Rugby, Alan Solomons said they had only made two other changes, with Jacques Engelbrecht coming back onto the bench in place of Devon Oosthuizen, after his recovery from an ankle strain against the Waratahs, while Rynier Bernardo also came up to the bench for Daniel Adongo, as a rotation.
Speaking on the decision to move Marais to the starting line up and George Whitehead to the bench, Solomons said: “It was great to have SP back against the Highlanders from the bench, and he’s now proved that he’s fit and rearing to go and it’s great to have him back in the side. That said, I think George has done an excellent job for us.”
“Another bit of good news is that Andries has come through both yesterday and today’s session, which was a much more challenging session, in perfect nick, so he’s ready to take his place,” he said.
Solomons said Luke Watson, who had once again been selected as Captain of the team following his outstanding performance against the Highlanders, was battling a bit with a head cold, but was expected to be fit for Saturday’s game.
“Luke has a bit of a head cold today but it is nothing serious, as a precaution we’ve told him to stay in bed and the doctor has attended to him. With tomorrow being an off day, he should be 100% by Thursday.”
Solomons said the team was looking forward to their second clash against the Cheetahs.
“For us this is a really fantastic challenge on the weekend, and we see this as a real opportunity, bearing in mind that the Cheetahs are a side that are lying second in the South African conference at the moment and challenging very strongly for a playoff position.”
“I think the important thing is that when you play against a team like the Cheetahs you have to cut your error rate. They will capitalise on the mistakes that you make, so they are certainly a side you have to be careful about and cut your errors.
Solomons said it was also important to remain “defensively sharp” against them. “They’re a side that likes to play a tempo game and move the ball about, so I think you have to have your wits about you defensively when you play against them,” he said.
Southern Kings Team to play the Cheetahs at The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth at 15h00 on Saturday 25 May 2013:
- Starting Lineup: 15. SP Marais, 11. Marcello Sampson, 13. Ronnie Cooke, 12. Andries Strauss (Vice Captain) , 14. Siyanda Grey , 10. Demetri Catrakilis, 9. Shaun Venter, 1. Schalk Ferreira, 2. Bandise Maku, 3. Kevin Buys, 6. Wimpie van der Walt, 4. Steve Sykes, 5. David Bulbring, 7. Luke Watson (Captain), 8. Cornell du Preez
- Replacements: 16. Virgile Lacombe, 17. Grant Kemp, 18. Rynier Bernado , 19. Jacques Engelbrecht, 20. Nicolas Vergallo, 21. Shane Gates, 22. George Whitehead