The Southern Kings will complete their encounters against Australian opposition on Saturday when they host the Waratahs in Port Elizabeth. The Super Rugby newcomers have not yet lost to an Aussie team this season and will be looking to keep that record intact in what is the Waratahs’ first visit to the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Furthermore, the Kings will be custodians of a South African win streak against the New South Welshmen. The Waratahs have lost their last eight matches on the trot in the Republic, dating back to 15 May 2009, when the beat the MTN Lions by 38-33 in Johannesburg.
Overall, the Waratahs have won only 14 of their 38 matches in South Africa, or 36.8%.
The Kings will also be looking to get back on the try-scoring sheet this weekend, after going try-less in their last two matches. They’ve scored at least two tries in each of their three matches against Aussie opposition this year.
Commenting on the try-scoring drought, Kings Director of Rugby, Alan Solomons, said: “These things happen. We have had opportunities which we have not converted into points. We believe we must take those opportunities. There has been a good focus this week and we are sure everyone is on the same page as far as that is concerned. I am sure that on Saturday things will be different.”
Kings flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis can pass 100 points in his debut Vodacom Super Rugby season on Saturday. He is currently on 88 points for 2013, which places him 10th overall on the list of top scorers for the season.
The teams are:
Southern Kings: George Whitehead, Sergeal Petersen, Ronnie Cooke, Andries Strauss (captain), Siyanda Grey, Demetri Catrakillis, Shaun Venter, Jacques Engelbrecht, Wimpie van der Walt, Cornell du Preez, Rynier Bernardo, Steven Sykes, Kevin Buys, Bandise Maku, Schalk Ferreira. Replacements: Virgile Lacombe, Grant Kemp, David Bulbring, Luke Watson, Nicolas Vergallo, Waylon Murray, Siviwe Soyzwapi.
Waratahs: Israel Folau, Cam Crawford, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Rob Horne, Peter Betham, Bernard Foley, Brendan McKibbin, Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Dave Dennis (captain), Kane Douglas, Sitaleki Timani, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson. Replacements (from): John Ulugia, Paddy Ryan, Will Skelton, Mitchell Chapman, Pat McCutcheon, Matt Lucas, Ben Volavola, Tom Kingston.