Cruel blow to Kings as Cloete hurt

The Southern Kings will be without dynamic loose forward Chris Cloete when they lock horns with the Brumbies in a Super Rugby clash at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.

Cloete, who was called up to a Springbok training camp earlier in the week, sustained a concussion during his team’s win over the Sharks.

The other bad news for the Kings is that explosive fullback Masixole Banda is a doubtful starter because of a hamstring injury

In adhering to the world rugby concussion protocol, Cloete will be rested and not made available for selection this week.

He will go through the return-to-play protocol next week before he is made available ahead of the Kings’ trip to Johannesburg to face the Lions.

Banda will undergo scans this week to ascertain the extent of the injury, but team doctor Konrad von Hagen said it was unlikely Banda would face the Brumbies this weekend.

After making good progress in his recovery from a knee injury sustained last season, flanker CJ Velleman received a setback when he damaged the same knee at training last week.

Kings skipper Lionel Cronje said his team must stay humble and keep their feet on the ground when they hunt for a fourth consecutive Super Rugby win against the struggling Brumbies on Saturday.

Cronje’s boot and leadership were key when the Kings edged the Sharks 35-32 on Saturday.

“We have got to really put teams under pressure at home with the support we have,” Cronje said .

“That is something we must keep on doing and we just have to keep focused now and stay humble and keep our feet on the ground.

“The team must also continue having the fun we have been having and keep playing positive rugby. Once again we played an exciting brand of rugby against the Sharks and really kept the ball well.”

There were 22 000 fans at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium and Cronje said home support would once again be vital when his team take on the Brumbies.

“For us, it was a clinical performance in the last five minutes to get over for the win against the Sharks,” Cronje said.

“That was credit to the support we had and I don’t think we should deny that. It was awesome to come out and play in a stadium like this and you can feel the buzz on the field.”

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