Kings stick with solid pack

Fri, 06 Oct 2017 08:55
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Kings Head Coach Deon Davids has opted to twig his backline for the Pro14 match against Italian side outfit Benetton Treviso.

The changes come in at centre and at wing while the forward pack, which showed up well in the wet against the Dragons, is retained intact.

Right wing Yaw Penxe, who has been an ever-present in the team so far this campaign, is given a rest and Sibusiso Sithole - who previously did duty at left wing - comes in for him to partner Alshaun Bock and Masixole Banda as the back three.

A new centre pairing of Jacques Nel and Luzuko Vulindlu does duty with Berton Klaasen dropping to the bench. Other changes on the bench see fit-again scrumhalf Rudi van Rooyen come in for Ruan Gouws while the replacement hooker berth goes to Tango Balekile in place of Stephan Coetzee.

The Southern Kings will once again be captained by hooker Michael Willemse.

Speaking after the team announcement Coach Davids said that in making his selection he was striking a balance between rewarding form and making sure all players on tour were given an opportunity to show their worth.

"The extremely wet conditions we experienced last weekend made things difficult for everyone but once we had adjusted to them I thought the team showed up well - particularly our forwards where Bobby De Wee led the Opta Performance stats in terms of tackles made and lineouts stolen.

"If we can put an 80-minute performance together against Benetton Treviso then I believe we have a good chance of coming out on top," he said.

Davids added that he knew his team were in for a tough match regardless.

"There are no easy games in an international competition like PRO14 but we are determined to do everything we can to make our fans proud," he said.

Kings: 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Sibusiso Sithole, 13 Jacques Nel, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Alshaun Bock, 10 Pieter–Steyn de Wet, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Dries van Schalkwyk, 7 Jurie van Vuuren, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Bobby de Wee, 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 Martin Dreyer, 2 Michael Willemse (captain), 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Tango Balekile, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Entienne Swanepoel, 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Khaya Majola, 21 Rudi van Rooyen, 22 Oliver Zono, 23 Berton Klaasen

Date: Saturday, October 7
Venue: Stadio Monigo, Italy
Kick-off: 20.00 (19.00 GMT, 20.00 SA Time)
Referee: Seán Gallagher (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Rhys Thomas (Wales), Jonathan Hardy (Wales)
TMO: Sean Brickell (Wales)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 22 December 2017
Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins 22h00 Kingston Park
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Wasps v Gloucester 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Leicester Tigers v Saracens 22h00 Welford Road
Sat, 23 December 2017
Treviso v Zebre 14h00 Stadio Monigo
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 16h10 BT Murrayfield
Connacht v Ulster 18h35 Sportsground
PRO14
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Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 10 10 0 0 48
Munster 10 7 0 3 36
Cheetahs 10 6 0 4 29
Cardiff Blues 10 4 0 6 19
Connacht 10 3 0 7 18
Zebre 10 3 0 7 16
Ospreys 10 2 0 8 11
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Scarlets 10 8 0 2 40
Leinster 10 8 0 2 37
Ulster 10 7 1 2 35
Edinburgh 10 6 0 4 28
Treviso 10 3 0 7 15
Dragons 10 2 1 7 13
Kings 10 0 0 10 4