Cheetahs name unchanged starting XV for Kings derby

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Nico Lee PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

The Toyota Cheetahs have named an unchanged starting XV for Friday evening’s Guinness Pro14 derby against the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.

The coach, Franco Smith, has opted to retain the same run-on side which recorded a 27-12 bonus point win over Zebre in Parma on 6 January.

The only change to the match squad is on the bench where scrumhalf Shaun Venter replaces the Springbok, Rudy Paige, in the number 22 jersey.

The exciting centre, Nico Lee, will be playing in his 50th game for the Cheetahs this weekend, and will once again partner the two-try hero from Parma, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, in the midfield.

The Cheetahs discipline some two weeks ago was outstanding with the team only conceding six penalties, and this is something that could mean the difference between winning and losing on Friday evening.

The Kings’ discipline is arguably the worst in the competition this season. Smith says that despite the Kings issues they must focus on their own game.

“We are proud of only conceding six penalties in the game against Zebre, and we must maintain that.

“We want to go to zero if that is possible, and that is definitely the objective.

“On the flip side, I know that this will be a concern for Deon Davids and I think they will and are working hard at improving their discipline.

“We are not going to worry about the penalties that they concede. If they do we are going to try and use it in our favour.

“It is not something that we will be bargaining on. If it happens it happens, but we will have to create our own luck.”

Friday evening’s game at the Nelson Mandela University’s Madibaz Stadium kicks off at 19:00.

Southern Kings – 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Tertius Kruger, 12 Berton Klaasen, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Ntabeni Dukisa, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Henry Brown, 6 CJ Velleman, 5 JC Astle (captain), 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 Nicolaas Oosthuizen, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Schalk Ferreira.

Replacements – 16 Alandre van Rooyen, 17 Lumpumlo Mguca, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Dries van Schalkwyk, 20 Andisa Ntsila, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Martin du Toit, 23 Harlon Klaasen.

Toyota Cheetahs – 15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Nico Lee, 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Tian Meyer (captain), 8 Daniel Maartens, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 JP du Preez, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche.

Replacements – 16 Reinach Venter / Marnus van der Merwe, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Luan de Bruin, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Walt Steenkamp, 21 Abongile Nonkontwana, 22 Shaun Venter, 23 Louis Fouché. – MORGAN PIEK