Planet Rugby

Preview: Kings v Chiefs

14th March 2013 11:37

Share:

Chiefs v Kings preview 2013

Newcomers v Champs: The Chiefs visit the Kings

The Kings have impressed with their defensive commitment in their first two games but they'll face their sternest test yet against the best attacking side in the competition as the defending champions visit Port Elizabeth on Friday.

Indeed, the Kings ability and determination to keep the Sharks at bay was remarkable but it would be unrealistic to expect any team to continue tackling like that for weeks on end.

They've already made a whopping 302 hits in just two games. You can be sure that effort is taking it's toll and the Chiefs are ideally armed to cash in.

Despite last week's narrow loss in Cape Town - their first of the season - the Chiefs still lead the New Zealand Conference and are third overall thanks to their brilliant back play, which has them leading the Super Rugby try-scoring stats with 14 touchdowns.

Even without Sonny Bill Williams and Sona Taumalolo, the team from Waikato are tearing defences apart. It's been almost FOUR YEARS since the Stormers conceded four tries at Newlands but the Chiefs came within inches of snaching a full house of points in the Mother City.

At the Newlands post-match press conference coach Dave Rennie was looking decidedly grumpy and it took a good deal of effort to convince him that picking up two points against the tournament's best defensive side was reason to be happy.

If the Stormers can't keep the champs out, it's difficult to see the Kings doing the same. But what options do Saturday's hosts have? If they open up and try attack more, they're likely to get punished.

But the Kings will surely look to keep ball in hand more this weekend, if only to keep the Chiefs' attacking opportunities to a minimum. They've only scored two tries thus far in 2013, both by exciting wing prospect Sergeal Petersen in their opening match against the Force three weeks ago.

"The Chiefs have good depth right across the board ... so we will have a bit of a job on our hands and look forward to the challenge," said Kings head coach Matt Sexton.

"Part of being defensive (last week) was that we didn't hold onto the ball properly. We made some silly errors and turned over ball when we shouldn't have. I think if we held onto the ball for a number of phases it might have been a different story.

"So we've been working on that at training. The players have seen the pictures and the implications of letting go of the ball to easily. The Chiefs have threats right across the board. They're pretty clinical when you turn over the ball or on a miscued kick or things like that.

"We want to be nice and tidy with what we do and I think that if we do that we'll present a good challenge to them."

Darron Nell, who will once again captain the Kings in the absence of the injured Luke Watson, said he was looking forward to Friday's match against the defending champions.

"Last week we had the Sharks and this week we have the Chiefs, the two finalists from last year," said Nell.

"I think we just want to concentrate on our processes and make sure that they work well and I think the results will look after themselves. Without a doubt it's going to be a tough game but we just want to look at ourselves and make sure we can do what we can do properly."

What the Kings can do properly is take the game to the Chiefs physically, as the Stormers did last week.

"We went into the Stormers game knowing what to expect - that physical barrage - but I think the intensity of it surprised a lot of guys," Chiefs coach Dave Rennie told Fairfax NZ.

"They knew what was coming but what they experienced at Newlands was a bit of a shock and we were clearly a wee bit rattled before halftime.

"But that's the way it is, but the thing I really love about this team is that we don't concede. We never ever throw the towel in and that was apparent even when we were playing without the ball, had two guys in the sin bin and players out of position - we didn't concede anything."

"There will be no complacency in our camp. The performance against the Stormers will ensure we're just focusing on ourselves.

"We had a look at (the Kings) and they've got a lot of will - a bit like the coach [former Canterbury hooker] Matt Sexton who never gave an inch.

"Last weekend they only missed one tackle out of 107, which is phenomenal, and shows a wee bit about what they're playing for.

"They've been waiting a long time to get into this competition and they're not letting it go. They're tough and not too different to the Stormers."

Super head-to-head: Kings blindside flank Wimpie van der Walt was amazing last week, making an impressive 19 hits! The Kings back row have a big task on their hands against an experienced Kiwi trio including All Black blindside Liam Messam, who will make his 100th Super Rugby appearance, the first Chiefs player to do so.

Prediction: The Kings have done a lot to silence their critics but we don't reckon they have to firepower to upset the champs. The Chiefs by fifteen points.

The teams:

Kings: 15 SP Marais, 14 Marcello Sampson, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Sergeal Petersen, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 Steven Sykes, 4 Darron Nell (c), 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Jaco Engels, 18 David Bulbring, 19 Daniel Adongo, 20 Nicolas Vergallo, 21 George Whitehead, 22 Hadleigh Parkes.

Chiefs: 15 Gareth Anscombe, 14 Lelia Masaga, 13 Tim Nanai-Williams, 12 Andrew Horrell, 11 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Ross Filipo, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Michael Fitzgerald, 4 Craig Clarke (c), 3 Ben Afeaki, 2 Hika Elliot, 1 Toby Smith.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Pauliasi Manu, 18 Brodie Retallick, 19 Sam Cane, 20 Augustine Pulu, 21 Charlie Ngatai, 22 Patrick Osborne.

Date: Friday, March 15
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha (South Africa), Christie du Preez (South Africa)
TMO: Johann Meuwessen (South Africa)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Preview
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs ZebreMunster vs Zebre Preview
Cardiff Blues vs UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Preview
Connacht vs LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Preview
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs ToulonBrive vs Toulon Preview
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse14:45
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Clermont Auvergne vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Oyonnax18:30
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Montpellier vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs PumasLions vs Pumas Preview
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs Sharks17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau vs CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Preview
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 12
Harlequins 0 - 39 SaracensHarlequins vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26