The Toyota Cheetahs will be taking on the Isuzu Southern Kings in the last match of their 2018/19 Guinness PRO14 campaigns, on Saturday, 27 April in Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein.
Action kicks off at 17:30 (SA time) with a live broadcast on SuperSport 1 (as well as Free Sports and DAZN).
At 15:00 the Toyota Free State XV will be taking on the Sharks XV in their first SuperSport Rugby Challenge match of the season. Liezel Pieters will provide entertainment at the Castle Deck before. Gates open at 14:00.
The Toyota Cheetahs will aim for successive victories after defeating the Dragons 38-13 two weeks ago, but they will meet an Isuzu Southern Kings team determined to beat the Toyota Cheetahs for the first time in the competition.
“The Southern Kings always offers a challenge and we are prepared for them. Our players are excited to play in front of our home crowd and would like to treat them to an exciting game of running rugby.” Said Captain Tian Meyer. “Our last two home games were frustrating in the sense that we weren’t rewarded with the effort put in on the field. We hope that things will work in our favor on Saturday.”
The sides have crossed paths five times in the last two seasons, and the Toyota Cheetahs have emerged victorious each time, but the margins have been close in their last three outings with nine, seven and four points separating them on the scoreboard respectively.
The Toyota Cheetahs’ Tian Schoeman (118) and Isuzu Southern Kings’ Masixole Banda (105) are currently in fourth and fifth place respectively on the top points’ accumulators table, while Bloemfontein speedster Rabz Maxwane is still the top try-scorer with 14 tries – four ahead of Dan Evans of Ospreys.
Maxwane also leads the most clean most breaks statistics with 34, while he is also in the race for the Dacia Ironman Award – which celebrates the player who has accumulated the most minutes on the field over the 21 pool rounds – with team-mates Schoeman, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, as well as the Isuzu Southern Kings’ Yaw Penxe.
Coach Franco Smith has announced his team for the clash with minor changes:
- Aranos Coetzee will be starting on tight head prop.
- Marnus van der Merwe replaces the injured Gerhard Olivier on left flanker.
- Louis Fouche and Malcolm Jaer switch places with Fouche in the starting line-up.
- Boan Venter and Erich de Jager are new to the bench.
The following players are not eligible for team selection due to injury: Oupa Mohoje (knee), Aidon Davis (broken leg), Junior Pokomela (back), Schalk van der Merwe (groin), Justin Basson (knee), William Small-Smith (knee), Gerhard Oliver (knee), Ali Mgijima (Achilles), Luan de Bruin (neck), Jacques du Toit (back).
Players on suspension: Nico Lee, Ox Nche.
1. Charles Marais (38)
2. Joseph Dweba (19)
3. Aranos Coetzee (42)
4. Walt Steenkamp (19)
5. JP du Preez (19)
6. Marnus van der Merwe (7)
7. Abongile Nonkontwana (15)
8. Henco Venter (23)
9. Shaun Venter (35)
10. Tian Schoeman (20)
11. Rabz Maxwane (27)
12. Dries Swanepoel (7)
13. Benhard Janse van Rensburg (19)
14. Tian Meyer (30)(C )
15. Louis Fouche (14)
16. Reinach Venter (11)
17. Boan Venter (0)
18. Erich de Jager (8)
19. Sintu Manjezi (13)
20. Jasper Wiese (7)
21. Rudy Paige (9)
22. Malcolm Jaer (17)
23. Darron Adonis (2)
· Guinness PRO14 caps indicated next the player’s name.
The referee for the match is Dan Jones (WRU). He will be assisted by Aled Evans (WRU) and Paul Mente (SARU). TMO is Johan Greeff (SARU).