Kings opt for consistency against Rebels
Port Elizabeth - Southern Kings head coach Deon
Davids has made just one change to his starting XV that returned from Australia on
the back of a 26-24 win against the Waratahs last week.
The Kings take on the Melbourne
Rebels in a Super Rugby clash at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on
Saturday (kick-off at 19:30) and they will be eager to claim back-to-back victories ahead of a bye next week.
In a rotational change, Davids
has named Martin Bezuidenhout as the side’s starting hooker while Michael
Willemse, who produced a star performance in last weekend’s victory in Sydney,
will provide back up on the bench this time around.
Stefaan Willemse will also return
to the team on the bench as loose-forward cover following an ankle injury to
The rest of the Southern Kings
squad remains the same as the head coach hopes for consistency from his charges.
“It has been in our plans that
for this game we will rotate Martin Bezuidenhout and Michael Willese,” Davids
said on Thursday.
“Michael also struggled a bit in
the recovery from the last game. It’s also a good thing to manage him well in
this game. Ruaan Lerm could not pass a fitness test this morning, so Stefaan
Willemse replaces him on the bench.”
Davids indicated that his side
was expecting a tough encounter against a Melbourne Rebels side that has shown
some good form this season having beaten the Brumbies and then played to a 9-9 draw
with the Sharks last weekend.
“We have been speaking about the
Rebels and they are a side we have plenty of respect for,” the head coach said.
“They played well against the
Sharks and the Brumbies. We are expecting a very tough and hard match.”
The head coach indicated that the
team will be out to play for the Southern Kings supporters, while singing the
praises of the manner in which his charges have played with ball in hand
over the past few weeks.
“We believe that we owe our crowd
a good performance, and that is our biggest drive this weekend – to come out
and play some very good rugby,” said Davids.
“We enjoy playing with the ball
in hand, and I am obviously excited at seeing these guys with the ball in hand.
I think the way Louis Schreuder and Lionel Cronje are directing the play at
this point in time is very good, and creates opportunities.
“I think with just a bit more
better communication and more time with ball in hand, I believe we can strike
at any occasion with the pace that we have on the outside. It’s exciting to see
the guys starting to gel and getting a better feel for each other after the
past three weeks. Hopefully the ball will stick a bit longer in our hands this
15 Masixole Banda, 14 Wandile Mjekevu, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Lionel Cronje (captain), 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Justin Forwood
Substitutes: 16 Michael Willemse, 17 Schalk van
der Merwe 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Mzwanele Zito, 20 Stefaan
Willemse, 21 Johan Steyn, 22 Nicolaas Hanekom, 23 Pieter-Steyn de Wet