Cape Town - Free State Cheetahs coach Franco Smith says they
will by no means underestimate the EP Kings in their Currie Cup clash in Port
The Kings are still winless after five outings this season
and one can be forgiven to predict that the trend will continue on Friday
After getting pummelled 57-19 by the Blue Bulls at home in
their first game, the Cheetahs have showed marked improvement, winning two of
their next four games.
They narrowly lost to the Bulls (24-17) in Pretoria last
weekend, with crucial missed goal-kicks eventually proving costly.
The men from Bloemfontein have also notched wins over
Western Province (28-21, home) and Griquas (31-9, away).
They will head into the game at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
as favourites, but Smith has warned his players to guard against complacency.
At a press conference in Bloemfontein earlier this week,
Smith said there were no real weak teams in the competition.
“We see everybody as a different challenge. Our emphasis
though is on our own ability and our own
game, we need to be better than we were at the weekend,” he said.
“We identified some errors and some places where we need to
be better, and that’s what we are going to concentrate on.
“This is the first season for this group in this competition
and we must treat everybody we play against with the utmost respect.
“I think the Kings are definitely targeting the Cheetahs as
a team to beat at home, so there are no easy games, no yards given... we’ll definitely
be playing it like it’s a final.”
Friday’s clash is scheduled for 19:10.
Eastern Province Kings:
15 Scott van Breda, 14 Siyanda Grey, 13 JP du Plessis, 12
Tim Whitehead, 11 Luther Obi, 10 Karlo Aspeling, 9 Enrico Acker, 8 Tim Agaba, 7
Thembelani Bholi, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Steven Sykes, 4 Stefan Willemse, 3 Tom
Botha, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Substitutes: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18
Simon Kerrod, 19 Cornell Hess, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Dwayne Kelly, 22
Free State Cheetahs:
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois
Venter, 12 Rayno Benjamin, 11 Cornal Hendricks, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun
Venter, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Oupa Mohoje (captain), 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 Reniel
Hugo, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 BG Uys
Substitutes: 16 Elandre Huggett, 17 Teunis Nieuwoudt, 18
Francois Uys, 19 Henco Venter, 20 Freddy Ngoza, 21 Ruan de Bruin, 22 Sias