Super Rugby

Kings expect Rebels 'dog fight'

Deon Davids (Gallo Images)
Deon Davids (Gallo Images)

Port Elizabeth - The Kings may be facing the Super Rugby axe in 2018, but they are feeling pretty good about life on the field at the moment. 

Last weekend's 26-24 win over the Waratahs in Sydney was perhaps the highlight of the franchise's Super Rugby existence, and there is a new-found belief in this Kings squad. 

They are back at home this weekend, where a clash against Australia's Rebels awaits at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. 

The Rebels have never won in South Africa, though they came extremely close last weekend when they played out to a 9-9 draw against the Sharks in what was a contender for the worst Super Rugby match of all time in Durban. 

But while that match did little to suggest that either side is in good shape from an attacking perspective, Davids believes it did show that the Rebels have the potential to make life difficult for their opponents. 

"There are a lot of things we have had to look at, like the way in which they compete when they don't have the ball," Davids said.

"For us it's going to be a dog fight in order to keep our momentum and our ball and to handle the physical ability of the Rebels.

"It's back to square one for us and we need to start all over again. We have to work for 80 minutes to ensure that we get a good result here."

If the Kings do win, it will be the first time in their history that they secure back-to-back Super Rugby wins. 

Kick-off on Saturday is at 19:30.

Teams:

Kings

15 Masixole Banda, 14 Wandile Mjekevu, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Lionel Cronje (captain), 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Justin Forwood

Substitutes: 16 Michael Willemse, 17 Schalk van der Merwe 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Mzwanele Zito, 20 Stefaan Willemse, 21 Johan Steyn, 22 Nicolaas Hanekom, 23 Pieter-Steyn de Wet

Rebels

15 Reece Hodge, 14 Sefa Naivalu, 13 Tom English, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Ben Volavola, 9 Nic Stirzaker (captain), 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Colby Fainga’a, 6 Jake Schatz, 5 Culum Retallick, 4 Steve Cummins, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Siliva Siliva, 1 Fereti Sa’aga

Substitutes: 16 James Hanson, 17 Toby Smith, 18 Laurie Weeks, 19 Dominic Day, 20 Will Miller, 21 Hugh Sinclair, 22 Mick Snowden, 23 Jackson Garden-Bachop

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