EP Kings given a breather after hectic schedule

STILL WINLESS: EP Kings hooker Michael Willemse, who was on loan from Western Province, has returned to Cape Town Picture: MICHAEL SHEEHAN
STILL WINLESS: EP Kings hooker Michael Willemse, who was on loan from Western Province, has returned to Cape Town

After a hectic schedule of three Currie Cup Premier Division games in eight days, the EP Kings have been given a chance to catch their breath.

This weekend the Kings have a bye and head coach Barend Pieterse has decided to give the team three days off training.

Next weekend, the Kings travel to Durban to face the high-flying Sharks in their sixth game of the season.

The Kings are still winless and will be desperate to pick up a victory in their final three matches against the Sharks, Lions and Pumas.

Their lack of success has left them bottom of the log with just a single point to show for their efforts.

The Kings medical staff have announced that flyhalf PieterSteyn de Wet sustained a slight concussion during the Cheetahs match and will be monitored according to protocol.

Lock Dylan Pieterse sustained a wrist injury and X-rays will be taken to see how serious the injury is.

De Wet and Pieterse have both impressed in their short stay at the Kings and have put their names in the frame for regular starting berths.

The Kings have been dealt a blow with the news that Michael Willemse has been recalled by Western Province from his loan period in Port Elizabeth.

Willemse, who had been appointed vice-captain of the Kings, has been recalled following an injury to Province’s Scarra Ntubeni.

Pieterse said the team had excellent resources in the No 2 jersey with Martin Bezuidenhout, Warwick Venter and Cullen Collopy all available for selection.

After their trip to Durban the Kings will have home ground advantage for their final matches against the Lions and Pumas.

The race for playoff berths is hotting up as the halfway mark of the competition has been reached.

In the last round of fixtures the four hosts – Boland Cavaliers, Blue Bulls, Free State Cheetahs and Western Province – all emerged victorious.

The 34-27 win by WP over the Sharks at Newlands also ended the Durban side’s unbeaten run, with only Free State now unbeaten in the competition.

Despite the defeat, the Sharks are still top of the log, but Free State, one point in arrears, have a game in hand.

In the Currie Cup First Division, Border continued their good form with a solid win over the Griffons in East London at the weekend.

The other front-runner in the competition, the Leopards, was the only side victorious away from home, beating the Falcons in Kempton Park.

Tomorrow night Griquas play Boland at Griqua Park in Kimberley in what should be a keenly contested Premier Division clash. The full fixture list:

Tomorrow: 7pm: Griquas v Boland at Griqua Park, Kimberley Friday: 7pm: Golden Lions v Western Province at Ellis Park, Johannesburg Saturday: 5pm: Sharks v Free State Cheetahs at Kings Park, Durban. 7.10pm: Pumas v Blue Bulls at Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit

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