Currie Cup

Kings similar to Cheetahs

2014-08-15 17:14
Warren Whiteley (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Heading into the second-round of the Currie Cup competition, the Golden Lions will be resounding favourites for their clash against the Eastern Province Kings at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The hosts will be buoyed by their comprehensive 41-13 victory over the Blue Bulls last weekend, but Lions skipper Warren Whiteley stressed one win did not make a season.

"There is definitely a great feeling among the guys, but it is only one game down and there is still a long way to go so we are keeping our feet firmly on the ground," Whiteley said.

He said the Lions were looking forward to the clash as the Kings were also an attack-minded team.

"It is exciting for us to play them again. The brand of rugby they are playing is also quite exciting and makes the game extra special for us.

"It is almost like playing the Cheetahs again - they play an expansive brand which is nice."

The Kings' return to top flight rugby started with a disappointing 35-16 defeat to Western Province in Port Elizabeth last Friday.

The result suggested it was a one-sided affair but the Kings held an 11-10 lead at the half-time break before WP scored three second-half tries to claim the victory.

Kings coach Carlos Spencer named an unchanged side this week and said his charges needed to rectify the mistakes they made against WP if they wanted to beat the Lions.

With the exception of an injury-enforced change, Lions coach Johan Ackermann also stuck with the same side which turned in a dominant performance against the Blue Bulls.

Ackermann named the 20-year-old Jaco van der Walt as replacement for star flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff, who was ruled out for up to 12 weeks after fracturing his right arm against the Blue Bulls.

The Lions mentor said the scoreline in the Kings' defeat was not an accurate reflection of the match and predicted a backlash from the Eastern Cape side.

"There were one or two touches that let them down, so one can definitely not see anything in the result," Ackermann said.

"The public see a result and they see 41 points to us and they think it is an automatic win, it doesn't work like that.

"They were still leading at half-time and eventually there were one or two errors that cost them. The talk is that they want to come and rectify it so we know the challenge."

Although it was a convincing performance by the Lions last weekend, Ackermann said they were looking for some improvements against the Kings.

"We have to rectify some of our things and focus on what we want to do. The process is that it is a home game and we need to win that to keep the momentum," he said.

"We know what to expect in a sense that Carlos is a guy who likes to play with the ball, that was his mindset as a player, so we know it is going to be a highly entertaining game."


Golden Lions:

15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Lionel Mapoe, 13. Stokkies Hanekom, 12. Harold Vorster, 11. Ruan Combrinck, 10. Jaco van der Walt, 9. Ross Cronje, 8. Warren Whiteley (captain), 7. Derick Minnie, 6. Jaco Kriel, 5. Franco Mostert, 4. MB Lusaseni, 3. Ruan Dreyer, 2. Robbie Coetzee, 1. Schalk van der Merwe

Substitutes: 16. Armand van der Merwe, 17. Jacques van Rooyen, 18. Willie Britz, 19. Warwick Tecklenburg, 20. Guy Cronje, 21. Kwagga Smith, 22. Howard Mnisi

EP Kings:

15. Scott van Breda 14. Ronnie Cooke 13. Tim Whitehead 12. Shane Gates 11. Siviwe Shakes Soyizwapi 10. Gary van Aswegen 9. Tobies Botes 8. Luke Waton (captain) 7. Stefan Willemse  6. Thembelani Bholi 5. David Bulbring 4. Steven Cummins 3. Tom Botha 2. Edgar Marutllule 1. Lizo Gqoboka

Substitutes:16. Albe de Swardt 17. CJ van der Linde 18. Steven Sykes 19. Aidon Davis 20. Kevin Luiters 21. George Whitehead 22. Ntabeni Dukisa


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