Stakes extra-high for encounter with Pumas
Flyer Siviwe “Shakes” Soyizwapi is back in the EP Kings team for their make-or-break Currie Cup Premier Division clash against the Pumas on Friday. Both teams are winless after seven rounds and the stakes will be extra-high between the division’s worst-performing teams at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (kickoff 6pm).
Soyizwapi takes the place of Alcino Isaacs and the Kings will be hoping his blistering pace down the touchline gives them an edge in the back division.
There has been a double change at lock, with Tazz Fuzani and Dylan Pieterse coming into the side in the places of David Antonites and Sebastian Ferreira.
Ferreira has been moved to flank in a shuffling of the Kings pack.
“David Antonites has injured his knee and that is a big loss for us,” Kings coach Barend Pieterse said.
“My idea was to play David and Tazz Fuzani together to add a bit of grunt in the forwards.
“David has done very well for us so I am sorry he is out. Dylan Pieterse is back at lock after recovering from the gastro which kept him out of the Lions game.”
In the front row, Barend Pot“After gieter replaces Justin Forwood, who has concussion, and Vukile Sofisa replaces Pieter Stemmet.
Pieterse said it was vital that his team stood up to the Pumas in the forwards.
“The Pumas are a decent team and they have been together for a couple of seasons,” he said.
“It will be important that we match them up front because they have a heavy pack.”
Pieterse said he wanted his team to play attractive rugby in their final outing of the season.
“I told the guys I don’t want us to go into our shells just because it is an important game for us.
“Because it is such an important game, we should be more expressive. We gave permission to the guys to get ball in hand and do their magic.
“Do whatever you do that makes you a special player. I really hope this comes out against the Pumas.”
Pieterse said he had had some harsh words with his team after they leaked 11 tries when they crashed to a 71-7 defeat against the Lions.
the Lions game, I got the impression there was a nonchalant attitude on one-on-one tackles. We spoke seriously about that after the game.
“This was not about system errors. It was one-on-one tackles with one guy running through three guys.
“It comes down to the attitude we had on the day and, as everyone could see, our defence was not great against the Lions.”
While the Kings were smashed by the Lions in Port Elizabeth, the Pumas were thumped 52-10 by the Cheetahs in their last outing.
Both teams have been leaking tries at an alarming rate and the Kings have an even worse record than the Pumas.
The Kings line has been breached 53 times, while the Pumas have had 40 tries scored against them.
The Pumas are four points ahead of the Kings thanks to picking up two losing bonus points and three try-scoring points.
Stuck at the bottom of the table, the Kings have only a solitary tryscoring bonus point.