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SA sides look to finish tours on a high

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    Posted: 08-Nov-2019 at 7:38am

The Toyota Cheetahs and Isuzu Southern Kings will have their sights set on strong finishes to their Guinness PRO14 tours when they line up against the Cardiff Blues and Ospreys in Wales on Saturday, in what marks their penultimate matches in 2019 in the competition.


The Isuzu Southern Kings will take on Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea at 17h00 (SA time), with the Toyota Cheetahs and Cardiff Blues meeting at Cardiff Arms Park directly after at 19h15 (SA time). They will then have a two-week break, before making one last short trip to the UK before the festive season break.  


The Free Staters will be hoping the artificial field in Cardiff will help them break their duck after back-to-back defeats. This followed a sensational start to the season where they recorded three wins in a row at home. Should they register a victory, it would be their first win under new coach Hawies Fourie.


“We were disappointed that we didn’t win the last two games,” said Fourie.


“We came very close in both of them. In the game against the Scarlets, in particular, it was difficult to adapt to the wet and windy conditions, and we couldn’t play our normal style of rugby.


“This weekend against the Cardiff Blues there could be rain again according to the weather forecast. Our practices, however, have all been in good, dry weather, so we haven’t had a chance to train in the rain.


“But our plans are right, and we are playing on an artificial surface, which is fast, and that should suit the way we play. We chose the team in such a way that if there is enough speed on the outside and we get enough ball, we can give ourselves a good chance to win.”


Fourie added: “It would be nice to get onto the flight with a win. It’s always difficult with the last game before returning home, but I’m confident the guys will be ready and up for it. They have next week off, so we know they will give everything on the field.”


Isuzu Southern Kings coach Robbie Kempson, meanwhile, hoped for an improved performance from his team against Ospreys after going down scoreless against the Glasgow Warriors last week.


“We have a young side, but that is no excuse for the result we got against Glasgow,” said Kempson.


“They came out firing, and we should be able to handle whatever is thrown at us. Ospreys are a new and different challenge for us. They come off a loss to Connacht and will be desperate for a win. We are expecting quite a hefty forward battle, and we need to combat this.


“We are looking for more entry in terms of how we play the game, and regardless of the conditions, we are looking to be a bit more ambitious in how we want to be play in the Guinness PRO14 going forward.”


Ospreys v Isuzu Southern Kings

SA time: 17h00

Date: Saturday, 9 November

Venue: Liberty Stadium, Swansea

Referee: Andrea Piardi

Assistant Referees: Ben Whitehouse and Gianluca Gnecchi

TMO: Alan Falzone



Cardiff Blues v Toyota Cheetahs

SA time: 19h15

Date: Saturday, 9 November

Venue: Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff

Referee: Ben Blain

Assistant Referees: Mike Adamson and Fin Brown

TMO: Andrew McMenemy


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Transvaal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Nov-2019 at 2:06pm

Lloyd Williams captains Cardiff Blues on 200th appearance

Lloyd Williams will make his 200th appearance for Cardiff Blues in Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 encounter against Toyota Cheetahs (5.15pm).

The scrum-half, who came through the Blues academy system, made his senior debut for the region in 2009-10, and overtook Gethin Jenkins (195) on the all-time list earlier this season.

Only Taufa’ao Filise has made more appearances for Cardiff Blues (255) and head coach John Mulvihill has led the tributes to the 29-year-old stalwart, who will also captain the team against the South African outfit.

He said: “Playing 200 senior games is an amazing individual achievement for Lloyd and what is even more impressive is the fact that he has done it all in a Cardiff Blues jersey.

“He is a true role model both to our younger generations but also the young men he leads within our current squad.

“He has come right through our pathway from the Cardiff Blues academy all the way to the international stage. This milestone and his 28 caps for Wales, all achieved by the age of 29, is testament to Lloyd’s athletic ability, work ethic, determination, diligence and professionalism.”

Wales’ Capital Region go into the encounter on the back of four disappointing defeats and Mulvihill has made five changes to his starting line-up with Jarrod Evans lining up at inside centre.

That sees Jason Tovey pull on the number 10 jersey for the first time in a competitive fixture since returning to the Arms Park, while Harri Millard is preferred to Jason Harries on the wing.

The other three changes in personnel come up front with Liam Belcher returning from illness to start at hooker, Seb Davies packing down alongside Josh Turnbull in the boiler house and Nick Williams returning to number eight.

With injuries striking down Rory Thornton and Olly Robinson, Macauley Cook and Alun Lawrence are included among the replacements for the first time this season.

Mulvihill added: “Unfortunately we’ve lost Kristian Dacey, Rory Thornton and Olly Robinson to injuries, but we have also taken the opportunity to freshen things up a bit.

“At the moment we can benefit from having two ball players and two kicking options on the pitch and an axis of Jason Tovey and Jarrod Evans will give us that.

“It is vital that we get back to winning ways on Saturday and that we finish this block of Guinness PRO14 matches on a positive note before moving into European competition.

“The Cheetahs have scored more tries than anyone else so far in the competition so we will need to be at our best and I am sure there will be a reaction come Saturday night.”

Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan; Harri Millard, Rey Lee-Lo, Jarrod Evans, Aled Summerhill; Jason Tovey, Lloyd Williams (capt); Corey Domachowski, Liam Belcher, Scott Andrews, Josh Turnbull, Seb Davies, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Will Boyde, Nick Williams

Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Brad Thyer, Keiron Assiratti, Macauley Cook, Alun Lawrence, Lewis Jones, Willis Halaholo, Jason Harries.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Transvaal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Nov-2019 at 2:08pm

Toyota Cheetahs face Cardiff Blues on last match on tour

The Toyota Cheetahs will be facing Cardiff Blues on Saturday, 9 November in their last of three matches on tour. The action at Cardiff Arms Park, in Cardiff, Wales, kicks off at 19:15 (SA time). Live on SuperSport 1, S4C, Premier Sports, eirSports and DAZN.

Coach Hawies Fourie: “We’re looking forward to Saturday’s match. It is the last one on tour. We came here to win all three but unfortunately we lost the first two close losses. This is our last chance to win a match on tour.”

“Our preparations this week went well. We are lucky not to have any injuries and have a full team to train with, which brings continuity. We’ll be playing on an artificial pitch and luckily we trained on Cardiff City’s soccer field this week, with the same surface for the players to get used to the conditions.”

“Cardiff didn’t have the best start, but they have strong team, especially with players returning from the World Cup. We expect a big challenge.”

Lock, Sintu Manjezi: “For us it is important to just put the two previous results behind us and focus on the task at hand. In terms of performances, I think we have performed well. We’re just lacking that 5 to 10% execution in all departments. That could be the difference between closes loses and wins.”

“The main focus this week is on Cardiff. We will be looking to execute as best we can in order to give ourselves as best opportunity we can to win. Our setpiece hasn’t been as good as in the three games which we won at home, so we are looking to better that and improve that. I think it will also have to be an improvement in our general game plan as well. We will look to do everything to the best of our ability.

“Obviously the conditions here are a bit different to back home but that is no excuse. We as players in the team expect to execute a lot better than we have done. It is the last game on tour and we are looking to get a win to take back to Bloem and end the tour on a high.”

The two sides have met on four previous occasions with each match going with the home field advantage. Blues won 2, Toyota Cheetahs won 2. Cardiff lost their last two matches at the Arms Park, to Edinburgh and Munster but have not lost three in a row at the venue since December 2016. Toyota Cheetahs’ last seven matches have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst they have not won away from home since beating Southern Kings on 18 January.

Junior Pokomela, who hails from Grey High School in Port Elizabeth, the same school as the Springbok Captain, Siya Kolisi, will be playing in his 50th game for the Toyota Cheetahs this weekend. His journey includes two Super Rugby caps, 14 Currie Cup and 33 Guinness PRO14 appearances for the Bloemfontein-based side.

“It is a small victory for me, but it is a big thing, as it happened so quickly. I wasn’t expecting it and didn’t even know it happened. It is an honour to be playing my 50th game this weekend. I wouldn’t have done it without the guys I’ve played with before and the guys now. I’m grateful to the coaches who gave me the opportunity and hopefully I can contribute more to the team,” Pokomela says looking towards the game.

Coach Hawies Fourie announced the team with changes from last week’s match against Scarlets.

  • Luan de Bruin and Boan Venter switch places with De Bruin starting on loosehead prop and Venter on reserve.
  • Walt Steenkamp and Gerhard Oliver moves to the starting line-up with JP du Preez and Sias Koen providing cover on the bench.
  • Ruan Pienaar will be starting on scrumhalf and leading the team.
  • The wings are Anthony Volmink and Clayton Blommetjies and the centres are Benhard Janse van Rensburg and William Small-Smith.
  • Tian Meyer and Louis Fouche will be providing cover for the backline.

The following players are not eligible for team selection due to injury: Justin Basson (knee), Marnus van der Merwe (foot), Charles Marais (bicep).

Toyota Cheetahs

1. Luan de Bruin
2. Joseph Dweba
3. Aranos Coetzee
4. Sintu Manjezi
5. Walt Steenkamp
6. Gerhard Olivier
7. Junior Pokomela
8. Jasper Wiese

9. Ruan Pienaar (C)
10. Tian Schoeman
11. Anthony Volmink
12. Benhard Janse van Rensburg
13. William Small-Smith
14. Clayton Blommetjies
15. Rhyno Smith

16. Wilmar Arnoldi
17. Boan Venter
18. Erich de Jager
19. JP du Preez
20. Sias Koen
21. Tian Meyer
22. George Whitehead
23. Louis Fouche

The referee for the match is Ben Blain (SRU, 4th competition game). He will be assisted by Mike Adamson (SRU) and Fin Brown (SRU). The TMO is Andrew McMenemy (SRU).

The team will be returning to South Africa on Sunday, arriving in Bloemfontein on Monday, 11 November. Their next match is on 30 November against Ospreys at 21:35 (SA time), at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea, Wales.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Transvaal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Nov-2019 at 2:09pm

Southern Kings name team for Ospreys clash

“Cool and experienced” centre, Howard Mnisi, will lead the Isuzu Southern Kings on Saturday when they take on the Ospreys at Liberty Stadium in Swansea.

Isuzu Southern Kings interim Head Coach, Robbi Kempson, named his match-day squad of 23 on Friday having made a few changes to the team that will see an alteration to the leadership in the last of three matches of the South African side’s first European tour of the 2019/20 Guinness PRO14 season.

“Howard Mnisi is our captain,” confirmed Kempson following the return of the centre to the team after he had recovered from a calf injury sustained earlier on in the season.

“It is great to have him back from injury – all the experience he brings and the calmness he offers. He is one of our firm leaders in the team who has had a heavy influence.

“Tienie Burger will then be our vice-captain who will lead our forwards.”

Mnisi will pair up in midfield with Erich Cronje, who left the field last weekend following a knock to the neck, but has fully recovered to continue the good vein of form he has shown in the matches he has played so far.

The Isuzu Southern Kings are also bracing themselves for an exciting back three which will see young wingers Josiah Twum-Boafo and Christopher Hollis playing alongside loanee, Scott van Breda, at fullback.

The Worcester Warriors utility back replaces the evergreen Masixole Banda, who is receiving some needed rest this week, having played in all of the Isuzu Southern Kings matches so far.

“From a selection point of view, we have moved things around subtly,” said Kempson.

“With regards to our backs, we have brought in Scott van Breda, who will bring a bit of extra experience at the back in the conditions we are expecting on Saturday – there is quite a cold front that is expected to come through Wales, so we expect very tricky conditions throughout the game.

“Josiah Twum-Boafo comes onto the wing, getting his place with a couple of players slipping down to the bench in view of the ill-discipline and yellow cards in the previous game which we just cannot afford.”

In the forwards pack, Junior Springboks, Elrigh Louw, who has shone each time he has come on from the bench in previous matches for the Isuzu Southern Kings, will earn his first starting berth this weekend at No8, where he replaces last weekend’s captain, Ruaan Lerm.

Aston Fortuin, who has been one of the standout forwards this season, will also be managed after playing almost every minute of the Isuzu Southern Kings’ matches so far this season. The talented lock will play from the bench this week, with Jerry Sexton replacing him in the starting XV.

“Elrigh Louw, under the same circumstances, gets his opportunity. He has been excellent off the bench in the games up to now. He will start at No8 in place of Ruaan Lerm,” said the interim head coach.

“As far as the locks are concerned, purely from a fatigue point of view, Aston Fortuin will be playing off the bench. He has been our standout lock so far in this season.

“He has a lot of minutes under the belt, so instead of risking him by playing a full game, we decided it was in his best interest to bring him off the bench, in view of the season that we have going forward.”

The experienced scrumhalf, Sarel Pretorius, who has a wealth of knowledge of Welsh teams and conditions, will provide half-back cover from the bench as he will make his first appearance for the Isuzu Southern Kings this season after recovering from a leg injury.

After last weekend’s emphatic defeat to Glasgow Warriors, Mnisi stressed that the side had put the unflattering result behind them as they hope to make amends this week against a “tough” Ospreys side that will also be looking to get onto a winning track.

“We just want to put the previous game behind us and focus on the next game, which is against the Ospreys. They are a team that is historically very dangerous, especially at home,” said the captain.

“They (Ospreys) have not had the best of results recently, similar to ourselves. So it will be a major battle on the day.

“Our boys are pretty excited. We aim to improve each week, just to get better. The guys who have been picked will hopefully put their hands up and stake their claim to each position.

“We are building a very decent side, even though the results don’t quite show it at the moment, but the guys are really working hard and they are sticking together. The team culture is getting a lot better – which is one of the most important things when building success in a side.

“All in all, we are pretty excited for the game. It will be physical, we expect an aerial game if you look at the conditions. It will be a battle up front, so we will look to curb their kicking game and whatever they bring on that front. We want to just go out there and enjoy ourselves, show the world what we are capable of doing.”

Kempson also pointed out that the team got together for some introspection following last weekend’s defeat and are now intent on regaining the confidence of their faithful supporters back home when they take on Ospreys.

“We had a good sit down after Glasgow and had a lot of introspection with regards to our players and the manner in which we played that game,” said the coach.

“From a team point of view, we really wish to try inspire everyone back home with the manner we intend to play the game against the Ospreys. We are looking forward to putting up a good performance.”

The Isuzu Southern Kings team to take on Ospreys is:

1 Juan Schoeman
2 Jacques du Toit
3 Pieter Scholtz
4 Jerry Sexton
5 Bobby de Wee
6 Martinus Burger (VC)
7 Thembelani Bholi
8 Elrigh Louw

9 Josh Allderman
10 John-Thomas Jackson
11 Josiah Twum-Boafo
12 Howard Mnisi (C)
13 Erich Cronje
14 Christopher Hollis
15 Scott van Breda


16 Alandre van Rooyen
17 Xandre Vos
18 Lupumlo Mguca
19 Aston Fortuin
20 Ruaan Lerm
21 Sarel Pretorius
22 Siyabonga Masuku
23 Sibusiso Sithole
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Transvaal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Nov-2019 at 2:13pm
Ospreys team to play Isuzu Southern Kings

The Ospreys team to play Southern Kings at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea on Saturday 9th November K.O 3pm has been named:


15. Cai Evans
14. Hanno Dirksen
13. Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler
12. Scott Williams
11. Lesley Klim
10. Luke Price
9. Shaun Venter

1.Rhodri Jones
2.Scott Otten
3. Tom Botha
4. Marvin Orie
5. Lloyd Ashley
6. Dan Lydiate ©
7.Olly Cracknell
8. Morgan Morris


16. Sam Parry
17. Gareth Thomas
18. Ma’afu Fia
19. Guido Volpi
20. Sam Cross
21.Matthew Aubrey
22. James Hook
23. Tom Williams

Lesley Klim makes his first Ospreys start.

The following players were unavailable for selection:

Adam Beard, Aled Davies, Alun Wyn Jones, Bradley Davies, George North, Nicky Smith, Justin Tipuric and Owen Watkin.

The following players were unavailable for selection due to injury:

Gareth Anscombe
Harri Morgan
Cory Allen
Dan Evans
James King
Rhys Henry
Ben Glynn
Luke Morgan
Keelan Giles

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