Preview: Griquas v Eastern Province Kings

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 16:53
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CURRIE CUP CATCH-UP MATCH: The Eastern Province Kings will face the Griquas in Kimberly on Wednesday with an almost completely new team.

The game - which was postponed from a revamped Round One when the Kings were still recruiting players - means the men from Port Elizabeth are playing the seconds of three matches in eight days.

Not surprising then Kings coach Barend Pieterse opted to send a second-string selection to the Northern Cape city.

Pieterse said the short turnaround time between the games - as well as the fact that both the Griquas and Free State Cheetahs games were away games and requiring travel - meant that preparation and training schedules were impacted.

"I have not seen the team for Griquas yet, but I know they will be fielding their strongest team possible against us and will be looking to take five points away," Pieterse said.

Griquas have a bye this coming weekend when the Kings will be playing the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

In contrast to the Kings, their starting XV shows just three changes.

In the Kings starting XV there is just one player in the starting line-up that retained his place from the 6-36 loss to Western Province last Saturday.

Pieterse has appointed Martin Bezuidenhout as captain, giving Ricky Schroeder and Mike Willemse, both of whom led the team at the weekend, a rest ahead of the EP Kings match against the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein this coming Saturday.

"We have always said that these three games are going to have to be a squad effort," said Pieterse.

"A number of the players who will be playing on Wednesday will be making their debuts, but it is an opportunity for them to show what they are capable of, it is why they are here and are part of the squad, so this is an opportunity for them to do their thing " he said.

Up front Bezuidenhout, who comes up from the bench to captain the side, is joined by props Barend Potgieter and Pieter Stemmet.

The locks are Dylan Pieterse and Hannes Huishamen. The loose trio consists of former Griffons player, Dirk Grobbelaar at No.8, along with Brandon Brown and Luke van der Smit.

Among the backs, Namibian Johan Greyling is the only person who retains his spot at outside centre and is joined by Siphumelele Msutwana at inside centre.

The Scrumhalf is Jacques Fick and Lungelo Goza will start at flyhalf.

Minenhle Mthethwa and Alcino Izaacs take over at left and right wing respectively, while Ganfried May covers fullback.

The Griquas pack shows just one change from last week's 41-35 win over the Pumas - with Wandile Putuma replacing Mzwanele Zito at lock.

In the backline, Ederies Arendse comes onto the win for Jacobus Jonker, who move to outside centre in place of the injured Jonathan Francke.

Pieterse said although the scoreboard had not reflected it, there were a number of positives to come out of the Kings' game against Western Province the past weekend.

"There was certainly not a lack of effort on the players part, and the set pieces were sound," the Kings coach said.

"The forwards stood their ground to stop the mauls and breaks in defence were mostly due to individual errors, rather than system errors," he added.

"These are things that we can work on and we can fix."

Teams:

Griquas: 15 Adriaan Coertzen (captain), 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Jacobus Jonker, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Alshaun Bock, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Rudi van Rooyen, 8 Jason Fraser, 7 Sias Koen, 6 Wendal Wehr, 5 Jono Janse van Rensburg, 4 Wandile Putuma, 3 Stephan Kotzé, 2 Abraham le Roux, 1 Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Devon Martinus, 18 Steven Meiring, 19 Thabo Mabuza, 20 Renier Botha, 21 André Swarts, 22 Eric Zana.

Eastern Province Kings: 15 Ganfried May, 14 Minenhle Mthethwa, 13 Johan Greyling, 12 Siphumelele Msutwana, 11 Alcino Izaacs, 10 Lungelo Goza, 9 Jacques Fick, 8 Dirk Grobbelaar, 7 Brandon Brown, 6 Luke van der Smit, 5 Dylan Pieterse, 4 Hannes Huishamen, 3 Pieter Stemmet, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout (captain), 1 Barend Potgieter.
Replacements: 16 Warrick Venter, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Etienne Oosthuizen, 19 Cullen Callopy, 20 Vian van der Walt, 21 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 22 Siviwe Soyizwapi.

Date: Wednesday, August 31
Venue: Griqua Park, Kimberley
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT)
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant referees: Jaco Kotze, Griffin Colby

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Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 8 8 0 0 39
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Western Province 8 5 0 3 27
Golden Lions 8 5 0 3 26
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Pumas 8 1 0 7 10
EP Kings 8 0 0 8 1