Confidence improves for ‘gelled’ Kings

FAST AND FURIOUS: Wing Michael Killian will add extra pace to the EP Kings' backline against Western Province tomorrow. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
FAST AND FURIOUS: Wing Michael Killian will add extra pace to the EP Kings’ backline against Western Province tomorrow. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

EASTERN Province Kings skipper Stephan Zaayman says his team have started to gel and their confidence levels will be high when they take on Western Province in a Vodacom Cup showdown in Cape Town tomorrow.

“The team took a lot of positives out of the 60-6 win over Border last week.

“It was the way the team gelled that was specially pleasing for me.

“There were smiles and high fives among the guys and that always lifts the spirit on the field.

“The enjoyment of the players stood out for me and it pulled us through,” Zaayman said.

“This will be a tough game for us, but we are up for the challenge. Western Province also have a young side so we are looking forward to a good contest.

“We will be taking the confidence we gained from the Border victory into our next game.”

Zaayman said he had not been totally satisfied with the way the line-outs had gone in the match against Border.

“It was not up to scratch against Border but it is something we can work on and was nothing major.

“We have been working on it at training and I will be doing the calls against Western Province.”

The Kings have made three changes to the starting lineup that did duty against Border in Grahamstown.

Flank Paul Schoeman, who has been training with the Kings Currie Cup Premier Division squad, has been drafted into the side in the place of CJ Velleman.

Other new additions to the side are tearaway wing Michael Killian, who comes in for Eben Barnard who has a calf injury, and Brendon Hector, who replaces Rynier Bernardo at lock.

Bernardo was not available for selection because he was given time off to attend a wedding.

Western Province coach John Dobson has been forced into a few more injury-enforced changes this week, but the mentor was looking forward to his team’s clash against the Kings at City Park.

Dobson said: “We really do enjoy playing at City Park and are always thankful for the amazing support we get there and to the organisers who always make us feel comfortable.

“The Kings are always a tough team to play against, no matter where, but we are determined to bounce back from last week when we lost to the Sharks.

“We want to get back to winning ways.”

Kings coach Mzwandile Stick said he had been pleased with the team’s defensive play against Border.

“As we know with youngsters, they like to play with ball in hand and even when we were leading by 40 points they stuck to their plans and defended our tryline,” Stick said.

“We know Border are a running team and not to concede a try against them is a credit to these boys.

“They showed character and they are starting to grow as a team.”

The Kings team is:

Brenden Olivier, Albe de Swardt, Vukile Sofisa, Brendan Hector, Stephan Zaayman (capt), Thembelani Bholi, Paul Schoeman, Ivan-John du Preez, Dwayne Kelly, Ntabeni Dukisa, Lance Louw, Tiger Mangweni, Brian Skosana, Michael Killian, Masixole “Coyi” Banda. Replacements: Tabbie du Plessis, Lizo Gqoboko, Aidon Davis, CJ Velleman, Sonwabo Majola, Sphumelelo Msuthwana, Selvyn Davids. – George Byron


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