Banda in, Penxe out for Kings

Thu, 01 Mar 2018 11:54
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: There are minimal changes to the Southern Kings starting XV for their Pro14 clash against the Dragons at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday.

Back on home soil after a difficult three-match tour of Europe, Davids decided to keep faith with the bulk of the players who started against Leinster last weekend. 

There is a single change in the backline where Masixole Banda returns in place of Yaw Penxe whilst the forward pack sees Andisa Ntsila returned to his favoured position at No.6 flank from the No.8 spot he occupied against Leinster. Ruaan Lerm returns to the run-on XV in the No.8 position vacated by Ntsila.

There was greater selection activity on the bench where the experienced Kurt Coleman (flyhalf) and Dries Van Schalkwyk (loose forward) are returned to the matchday 23 at the expense of Eital Bredenkamp and Barend Janse Van Rensburg. Scrumhalf Godlen Masimla also comes in place of Juan-Philip Smith.

Michael Willemse, who was one of the Kings players to show up well against Leinster – scoring a try – will once again captain the team from the hooker position.   

Still searching for a first win in this year's Pro14 Championship the Kings are determined to celebrate their return to familiar conditions with a good performance against a Dragons team that they ran quite close in the corresponding away fixture.  

"Every team in an international competition like this presents a tough challenge and the Dragons are no different but I expect a strong reaction from my team to last week's blowout against Leinster.

"Everyone is determined to make up for what was a bad day at the office. We've played really well at times this season and it's now time we put in an 80-minute performance at that level. 

"If we execute properly and cut down on some basic errors then we'll be in with a shout. Errors at this level are severely punished," said head coach Deon Davids. 

Southern Kings: 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Michael Makase, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Anthonie Volmink, 10 Martin Du Toit. 9 Rowan Gouws, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Martinus Burger, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Bobby De Wee, 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Michael Willemse (captain), 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Johan Smith, 18 Luvuyo Pupuma, 19 Lindokuhle Welemu, 20 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Jacques Nel.

Dragons: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Ashton Hewitt, 13 Jarryd Sage, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Jared Rosser, 10 Dorian Jones, 9 Sarel Pretorius; 1 Sam Hobbs, 2 Liam Belcher, 3 Leon Brown, 4 Joe Davies, 5 Rynard Landman, 6 Harri Keddie, 7 Ollie Griffiths, 8 Lewis Evans (captain), 7 Ollie Griffiths, 6 Harri Keddie, 5 Rynard Landman, 4 Joe Davies, 3 Leon Brown, 2 Liam Belcher, 1 Sam Hobbs.
Replacements: 16 Ellis Shipp, 17 Gerard Ellis, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Max Williams, 20 James Benjamin, 21 Dan Babos, 22 Connor Edwards, 23 Rio Dyer.

Date: Friday, March 2
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kick-off: 19.35 (17.35 UK & Ireland Time; 17.35 GMT)
Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa), Rodney Boneparte (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 16 13 1 2 65
Munster 17 10 0 7 54
Cheetahs 17 9 0 8 47
Cardiff Blues 17 9 0 8 42
Connacht 17 6 0 11 33
Ospreys 16 6 0 10 30
Zebre 16 4 0 12 22
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 17 13 1 3 64
Scarlets 17 12 1 4 61
Edinburgh 17 12 0 5 55
Ulster 16 9 1 6 46
Treviso 17 8 0 9 40
Dragons 17 2 2 13 17
Kings 17 1 0 16 9