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SA sides gear up for big Guinness PRO14 battles against Irish giants

Posted on Thursday, 04 Oct 2019

SA sides gear up for big Guinness PRO14 battles against Irish giants

The Toyota Cheetahs and Isuzu Southern Kings are gearing up for a tough Guinness PRO14 challenge on Saturday against Irish giants, Ulster and Munster, in a mouth-watering second round of action.

The Toyota Cheetahs take on Ulster at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein where they will look to build on their impressive victory against the Glasgow Warriors, while the Isuzu Southern Kings – who come off a narrow defeat against the Cardiff Blues – will have their sights on continuing their resurgence under the new coaching staff.

Stand-in Toyota Cheetahs coach, Franco Smith, believes that Ulster will pose a “tough test” and said the visitors will be ready after watching their game against Glasgow last week.

“We want to keep on and get better,” said Smith. 

“We agreed after the review of the Glasgow game that there were some excellent moments. In the last seven or eight games we had some 10 out of 10 moments, but in general there are still some things we have to work on. 

“It is important for us to kick on from last week, but we are not naïve. We might have caught Glasgow on an off-day. 

“We are playing better and better every week, but they would know that. Ulster will come here come here to prove us wrong after last week’s result and more so knowing that we won the Currie Cup.

“Last year we drew here, so I think they would love to get one over us in that regard. I believe, and said it to the team in so many words, that this will be the toughest challenge this year.”

Isuzu Southern Kings midfielder, Sibusiso Sithole, believes the Port Elizabeth side can meet the expectations of their fans when they host Munster at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

“We can definitely achieve a lot,” said Sithole. 

“In the past we have been written off, but this season we are not too worried about people writing us off. It is more about our own processes and what we can do to become a better team.

“Everyone can expect a lot from us, a lot of great things – and the way we played last Saturday you can definitely see there is a lot of flair and excitement coming through. It is all about that all coming together and playing a full 80 minutes.”

After leading for 67 minutes against the Cardiff Blues before the Welsh side took the game in the dying minutes, the Isuzu Southern Kings will be looking to improve their game against Munster.

“We will go out there and play our hearts out,” said Sithole. 

“Obviously the result is in our hands sometimes, and other times not, but for us the main goal is not to chase every win, but rather to become better week in and out.

“We were disappointed after the Blues game, because we knew we could have won it, but there are a lot of good things we can take out of the game.” 

Zooming in on Saturday’s match, Sithole said: “We are expecting them to come hard down here. They have a lot of SA coaches so we are expecting them to push hard up-front, but in general we are expecting a mixed bag from them, and a lot of line speed on defence.” 

Match Information:

Isuzu Southern Kings v Munster

Date: Saturday, 5 October

SA time: 16h00

Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth

Referee: Dan Jones

Assistant referees: Mike Adamson and Paul Mente

TMO: Christie du Preez

TV: SS1

 

Toyota Cheetahs v Ulster

Date: Saturday, 5 October

SA time: 18h15

Venue: Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein

Referee: Ian Davies

Assistant referees: Craig Evans and Griffin Colby

TMO: Johan Greeff

TV: SS1

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