BLOEMFONTEIN – There will be all-out action in the Pro14 this weekend as the Cheetahs set their sights on back-to-back victories, while the Southern Kings target a breakthrough win after a few disappointing rounds in what marks their final matches in 2018.
The Cheetahs host Connacht in Bloemfontein on Saturday at 5pm and the Southern Kings take on Benetton in Port Elizabeth at 7.15pm.
These matches will be the final round of the year for the two SA teams, with a four-week festive-season break lined up in December.
At the Toyota Stadium, the Free Staters will attempt to register their third victory in four rounds when they host Connacht on Saturday, following morale-boosting wins against Benetton (last week) and the Cardiff Blues.
The Irishmen come off successive victories against the Southern Kings and Dragons, which means the clash could result in a thrilling contest.
The teams have met only twice before and both matches were closely-fought, with the Cheetahs winning their home match 26-25 last season, while Connacht registered a narrow 23-15 victory in Galway.
Interestingly, the Cheetahs have been more effective on attack this season with 28 tries scored to Connacht’s 25, but they have leaked almost double the number of tries.
A composed performance by Connacht saw the men from Galway come out on top against the Isuzu Southern Kings this Sunday.— Isuzu Southern Kings (@SouthernKingsSA) November 26, 2018
Full match report from Isuzu Southern Kings vs Connacht ➡️ https://t.co/g5eUZjTKUj#KINvCON#GUINNESSPRO14 pic.twitter.com/Fr3UgL2knJ
In Port Elizabeth, the Kings will be hunting their first victory against Benetton and Italian opposition since joining the Pro14 last season when the teams meet at Nelson Mandela University.
The sides have crossed paths three times, and Benetton emerged victorious each time, with their last victory against the Kings being a 28-5 win in Treviso in October.
The last time they met in Port Elizabeth, however, Benetton won by only one point.
The teams have been closely matched on attack this season with the Kings scoring 25 tries and the Italians 24, but coach Deon Davids’ men have conceded 87 more points in their nine matches.
With four bonus points earned for tries and three for losing by seven points or less, however, the Kings could spark a change of fortunes by rounding off their try-scoring chances and reducing their error-rate and penalties conceded at crucial times.
SA Pro14 fixtures, Saturday:
Cheetahs v Connacht, Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein, 5pm
Southern Kings v Benetton, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, 7.15pm
African News Agency (ANA)