The return derby in Bloemfomtein on Saturday 20 January 2018 in Bloemfontein was billed as the Southern Kings chance to redeem themselves.
Alas and alack, as any seasoned Grey schoolboy will tell you, taking on Grey Bloem on their home turf is one monumental task so why should it be different for any other team travelling to the hard Free State surfaces?
And that old adage was proven to be true as the Cheetahs scored 45 points once again against the Southern Kings off of a late trademark try from Makazole Mapimpi in what proved to be an easy 45-24 Pro14 victory over the Southern Kings in Bloemfontein on Saturday. The Eastern Cape speedster out-raced two Kings players and grubbered the ball ahead to score his 10th try in 12 PRO14 games.
This was Mapimpi’s last game for the Cheetahs as he now heads off to join the Sharks for Super Rugby.
Consolation prizes went to the Kings who at least scored 3 more points than last Saturday AND the the first try in the 10th minute through Luzuko Vulindlu off of a superb move and offload from Southern Kings flank and 2017 Springbok contender, Andisa Ntsila, who wriggled his way through a tackle before the offload.
Southern Kings fullback Ntabeni Dukisa slotted a penalty just before halftime to put the Port Elizabeth side within reach at 24-17.
Speaking post-matc, Southern Kings captain Michael Willemse, conceded that he had felt his charges were still well in the game at halftime. “We do need to be more composed when those moments and when we have momentum present themselves and that’s what I feel we didn’t do today. Composure and lack of belief is where we are costing ourselves in my opinion,” said Willemse.
For his part a disappointed Southern Kings Head Coach Deon Davids said he was concerned by the team’s tendency to start matches slowly.
“Too often we allow early scores against us and then have to play catch-up which is not ideal. It’s also frustrating to note how many of the Cheetahs scores came about not from set plays that fooled our defence but rather from broken play situations where we turned the ball back over to them and they punished us,” he said
Following these two tough Derby fixtures against the Cheetahs the Kings must now prepare for a lengthy tour North in February. A tour which will see them come up against Ulster, Ospreys and Leinster.
- Cheetahs – Tries: Nico Lee (2), Uzair Cassiem, Ox Nche, Makazole Mapimpi, Shaun Venter. Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (6). Penalty: Zeilinga.
- Southern Kings – Tries: Luzuko Vulindlu, Schalk Ferreira, Tienie Burger. Conversions: Ntabeni Dukisa (2), Benhard Janse van Rensburg. Penalty: Dukisa.