The Isuzu Southern Kings hit the ground running upon their return from Scotland following their Guinness PRO14 Round 13 match against Edinburgh as preparations began for the next assignment – the first South African derby of the 2018/19 Guinness PRO14 season against the Cheetahs.
The old rivalry between the two South African sides competing in the European championship will be revived with both sides eager to claim the bragging rights of the first of three derby matches for the season.
The match, initially scheduled for Saturday, January 19, has been moved forward by a day and will now be played on Friday, January 18, at the Nelson Mandela University’s Madibaz Stadium.
Isuzu Southern Kings Head Coach Deon Davids wasted no time in starting preparations for the much-anticipated derby.
“We have had to be critical of our own game after our first match of the year. We have a few things that we need to work hard on ahead of the important derby against the Cheetahs,” Davids said.
“They (Cheetahs) have had a good start with a win this past weekend. They are a good side which we have to be well-prepared for when we face them next week. We are expected a tough match against them which should live up to the traditional South African derby.”
The two teams have had some close encounters in previous meetings, with the Cheetahs still holding the bragging rights from the most recent encounter after winning the match 29-20 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on April 28 last season.
The Isuzu Southern Kings have since had two former Cheetahs players, Tertius Kruger and Sarel Pretorius, joining another ex-Cheetahs player, Tienie Burger, at the Port Elizabeth-based side.
This rivalry will be further fuelled by the presence of former Isuzu Southern Kings and Eastern Province players Malcolm Jaer, Sintu Manjezi and Junior Pokomela who will all add some excitement on the field of play.
The derby between the two SA sides will kick off at 19h00 next week Friday.