Preview: EP Kings v Western Province

Date published: August 26 2016

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_Cheslin_Kolbe_Currie_Cup_training_2016

The EP Kings and Western Province will both be looking to get their first win of the Currie Cup season when they clash in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

It has been a poor start to the competition for both teams and even though the Kings play this one at home, WP should be favourites to register they first victory, mainly because they have been able to bring in some reinforcements, while the Kings have lost players to injury.

Olympic Sevens Bronze medallists Cheslin Kolbe and Werner Kok will both start for vistors. Kolbe will make his first start of the Currie Cup Premier Division after coming off the replacements bench last week, whilst Kok will make his Western Province debut on the right wing.

The only other change to the backline sees Daniel du Plessis come back from a shoulder injury to reclaim his place at inside centre, with Huw Jones shifting to outside centre.

In the pack, Jurie van Vuuren gets a chance to start at flank, whilst JD Schickerling returns from illness at lock and JC Janse van Rensburg makes his first start of the season at loosehead prop.

In stark contrast, the Kings have been dealt a big blow captain Schalk Ferreira missing the rest of the season with a hamstring injury.

Lock Cornell Hess has also been ruled out for the rest of the Currie Cup campaign. As the team's best lineout lock, his absence will leave a significant hole.

Western Province coach John Dobson believest his team will need a clinical performance if they are to come away with a crucial win in Port Elizabeth.

"We have challenged the players to raise their effort levels this weekend against what is a tough Eastern Province Kings side," he said.

"We have not been up to standard thus far this season, and that has to change, starting at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday."

Dobson is looking forward to seeing what the new faces in the team have to offer.

"It is exciting to see the energy that the new players and those returning from injury have brought on the training pitch, and hopefully that translates into our performance this weekend," he added.

The last time these teams met: Was in the Currie Cup qualifying tournament where WP won 50-10 in a one-sided affair at Newlands.

Prediciton: Both desperately need a win, but WP look strong on paper and should win this comfortably by 10-15 points.

Eastern Province Kings: 15 Johann Tromp, 14 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 13 JC Greyling, 12 Burton Klaasen, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Kobus Marais, 9 Ricky Schroeder (c), 8 Christiaan De Bruin, 7 Etienne Oosthuizen, 6 Vince Jobo, 5 Sebastian Ferreira, 4 Tazz Fuzani, 3 Vukile Sofisa, 2 Mike Willemse, 1 Justin Forwood
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Barend Potgieter, 18 Dylon Pieterse, 19 Luke vd Smit, 20 Brandon Brown, 21 Lungelo Goza, 22 Ganfried May

Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Brandon Thomson, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Jurie van Vuuren, 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 Chris van Zyl (captain), 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
Replacements: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 Oli Kebble, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Stefan Willemse, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Robert du Preez

Date: Saturday, August 27
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kick-off: 16:00 local (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Lesego Legoete
Assistant Referees: Ben Crouse, Vusi Msibi
TMO: Christie du Preez

COMMENTS