Cape Town - The Cheetahs and Southern Kings will target
fresh starts at home in the PRO14 this weekend as they look to recover
from slow starts to the tournament in Europe.
Both sides will go in search of their first victories
against teams who come off back-to-back wins in what marks the first round of
local matches, with the Cheetahs taking on the Glasgow Warriors in
Bloemfontein on Saturday, while the Kings host Ulster in Port
Elizabeth on Sunday.
The Free Staters will take to the field first against a
Glasgow Warriors outfit high on confidence after wins against Connacht and
Munster, and bolstered by the fact that they registered home and away wins
against the Cheetahs last season.
The Cheetahs’ defeat in Bloemfontein last year, however,
marked one of only two home losses, and they will be inspired by the fact that
it was by only three points.
Franco Smith’s charges, however, will have their work cut
out to register a victory, as the visitors – who have former Stormers prop
Oli Kebble in their ranks - have been superior on attack and defence this
season, with 52 points scored and 36 conceded, while the Cheetahs have scored
only 14 points and conceded 84.
In Port Elizabeth, the Kings will look to
build on their encouraging performance last week against the Dragons - in which
they went down by only five points - when they take on Ulster.
Coach Deon Davids’ men lost both matches against the
Irishmen in their debut season last year, but with only seven points separating
them on the scoreboard in their first encounter in the Eastern Cape, the Kings will be determined to emerge victorious this time around.
Interestingly the men from Port Elizabeth have scored more
tries than Ulster – whose squad includes former Springbok Marcell Coetzee,
Wiehahn Herbst and Jean Deysel - but they have also conceded more tries,
meaning that they will have to tighten up their defence to come away with a
PRO14 Round 3
Cheetahs v Glasgow Warriors
Date: Saturday, 15 September
SA time: 19h30
Referee: Frank Murphy
Assistant referees: Andy Brace (IRFU), Cwengile Jadezweni (SARU)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (SARU)
Southern Kings v Ulster
Date: Sunday, 16 September
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Referee: Sam Grove-White (SRU)
referees: Ben Whitehouse (WRU), Ruhan
TMO: Johan Greeffe