EDINBURGH – The Toyota Cheetahs and Isuzu Southern Kings will look to finish their second trip to Europe on a winning note this weekend as they line up against Edinburgh and Benetton respectively in their round six Guinness Pro14 clashes.
The Cheetahs will be highly-motivated to register their first victory of the season when they face Edinburgh at Murrayfield on Friday after a frustrating spell in their last three games, in which they squandered their lead, which left them winless.
They will, however, face a tough challenge from the hosts, who have won both of their home matches this season, albeit by small margins, and who will want to build momentum after winning only two of their five matches.
The teams have met only once before in the competition, and the Cheetahs were 33-13 victors in that encounter in Bloemfontein, which will fuel their determination to win. The fact that the Cheetahs are the only team in the competition that have yet to register a victory will add to their motivation.
The presence of a handful of South Africans in the Edinburgh squad, including Alan Dell, WP Nel, Pierre Schoeman (currently suspended), Duhan van der Merwe and Jaco van der Walt, is expected to spice up the clash.
Saturday’s match between the Southern Kings and Benetton in Treviso is expected to be equally exciting, as the visitors are determined to bounce back from a disappointing 54-14 defeat and to register their first ever away victory in the competition, while the hosts will be desperate to bounce back from three successive defeats.
The teams have met twice in the competition with Benetton – who has former DHL Western Province scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage in their ranks – winning both matches, but the clash in Port Elizabeth in March in which the Southern Kings went down by one point will boost their confidence going into the clash.
Coach Deon Davids was forced to make three changes to his squad this week, as Schalk Ferreira (broken nose) and Henry Brown and Rudi van Rooyen (ankle injuries) had to return home due to injury, which resulted in the call-up of Xandre Vos, Stephan Greeff and Ruan van Rensburg.
SA teams' weekend fixtures
Edinburgh v Cheetahs
SA time: 20h35
Venue: BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR)
Assistant referees: Manuel Bottino (FIR), Ian Kenny (SRU)
TMO: Andrew McMenemy (SRU)
Benetton v Southern Kings
SA time: 20h00
Venue: Stadio Monigo, Treviso
Referee: Craig Evans (WRU)
Assistant referees: Wayne Davies (WRU), Matteo Liperini (FIR)
TMO: Alan Falzone (FIR)
African News Agency (ANA)