Preview: EP Kings v Griquas

Date published: September 25 2015

The EP Kings will be searching for their second win of the season when they host the bottom of the log Griquas at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.

The Kings, who come into the game off the back of a loss against the Pumas, will be keen to get a bonus point win over the men from Kimberly to keep them in the hunt for the play off stages.

Both the Griquas and the Kings have only secured one victory after kicking of their season with back-to-back losses, making it difficult for them to fight their way back into the competition.

The Kings however broke their duck in style when they clinched a 32-24 home victory over the Cheetahs a fortnight ago despite being reduced to 14 men soon after the start of the second half. 

The men from Port Elizabeth had come close in at least four matches this season but they have struggled to be consistent as proven last weekend against the Pumas. They dominated the first half but they were unable to score any points from the 43rd minute as they spent most of the second stanza defending in their own half. 

The Kings will be keen to build on their performance this coming weekend against the Currie Cup basement dwellers Griquas, who suffered a disappointing 44-24 loss to the Cheetahs last weekend.

The Griquas have made a terrible start to their campaign and even though they were able to pull one over the Pumas they will have to be at their best against a strong Kings side.

Kings coach Brent Janse van Rensburg has made several changes to his team with Sylvian Mahuza replacing the injured Siyanda Grey who will sit out for lengthy period after sustaining a grade three hamstring tear.

There are several changes to the pack, with Lizo Gqoboka returning to the front row in place of Schalk Ferreira, who will be on the bench, along with hard-working loose forwards Thembelani Bholi and Tim Agaba. Cornell Hess will start at lock, with Stefan Willemse, Paul Schoeman and Jacques Engelbrecht making up the loose trio.

The only change to the backline sees Dwayne Kelly get a chance at scrum-half, with Enrico Acker starting on the bench.

The 31 year-old Steven Sykes will play his 100th Currie Cup game having made his Currie Cup debut back in 2005 for the Sharks. 

The Griquas have rung the changes with Gouws Prinsloo starting at full-back in the place of the absent Riaan Viljoen. Michael van der Spuy will slot in at outside centre this week, where he replaces Jonathan Francke. Van der Spuy is making his return from injury.

Jacquin Jansen falls out of the matchday squad altogether and will be replaced by Ntabeni Dukisa on the left wing in the last of the changes to the backline.

In the forwards Jonathan Adendorf will slot in at lock as openside Jonathan Janse van Rensburg returns to the team, at the expense of lock Jaco Nepgen. Ewald Van Der Westhuizen comes into the team in place of Stephan Kotze , who moves down to the bench. At hooker, Martin Bezuidenhout will replace Abraham le Roux.

Prediction: The home side are a competitive unit who have impressed throughout the tournament and should be too strong for the Griquas. Kings to win 15 points.

The teams:

EP Kings: 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Phillipus du Plessis, 12 Tim Whitehead (captain), 11 Luther Obi,  10 Karlo Aspeling, 9 Dwayne Kelly, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Cornell Hess, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Tim Agaba, 21 Enrico Acker, 22 Elgar Watts 

Griquas: 15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Danie Dames, 13 Michael Van Der Spuy, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Ntabeni Dukisa, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Tian Meyer(c), 8 Carel Greeff, 7 Jonathan Janse Van Rensburg, 6 RJ Lebenberg, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Jonathan Adendorf, 3 Ewald Van Der Westhuizen, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16 AJ Le Roux, 17 Stephan Kotze, 18 Stephan Greeff, 19 Wendal Wehr, 20 Dylon Frylink, 21 Jonathan Francke, 22 Ederies Arendse.

Date: Saturday, September 26
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kick-off: 15.30 (13.30 GMT)
Referee: Quinton Immelman
Assistant referees: Renier Vermeulen, Jabian Jeftha