The Cheetahs will look to make it three-out-of-three in the Guinness Pro14 on Saturday when they host Zebre Rugby Club in Bloemfontein in a match in which flyer Rabz Maxwane will look to stretch his lead as the top try scorer in the competition.
The clash between the Cheetahs and Zebre Rugby Club will mark their second match in three rounds. With the hosts boasting a flawless record against the Italians – with their last victory being a 27-12 win in Parma three weeks ago – they will enter the match with confidence.
A victory for the Cheetahs will not only be their fifth in six matches, but it will also ensure that they maintain their favourable win record against the Italian sides, which currently stands at played five, won four. The Free State side will have be careful to not write off Zebre, who are desperate to bounce back from a six-match losing run.
The Cheetahs’ superior attacking form has seen them score 18 more tries than the Italians despite playing one less match this season, which they will look to build on at the Free State Stadium. However, they will enter the match knowing that the visitors have conceded four fewer tries.
The Southern Kings, meanwhile, will have all the motivation they need to register a victory against Edinburgh in Port Elizabeth on Saturday after a heart-breaking injury-time defeat against the Cheetahs last week and a 38-0 defeat against the Scottish side in their previous outing.
The Southern Kings will not only look to break Edinburgh’s three-match winning run this weekend at the Nelson Mandela University, but they will also be targeting their second victory this season.
With four defeats by seven points or less in their last five matches, coach Deon Davids’ charges will be determined to push through for a morale-boosting victory, especially with only nine pool matches left.
Edinburgh, however, will have their sights set on remaining in the top two in their conference – with Benetton, the Scarlets and Ulster hot on their heels – and keeping their unbeaten run intact against the Southern Kings in the competition, which should set the scene for an exciting clash.
Interestingly, the teams have been closely matched in terms of their attack this season, with the men from Port Elizabeth scoring only three fewer tries than the Scots, but the Southern Kings’ defence has let them down.
Pro14 Round 14 fixtures (Saturday, 26 January):
Cheetahs v Zebre Rugby Club
SA time: 15h00
Venue: Stadium, Bloemfontein
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)
Assistant referees: Ben Crouse and Paul Mente
TMO: Johan Greeff
Southern Kings v Edinburgh
SA time: 17h15
Venue: Madibaz Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Referee: Dan Jones (WRU)
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry and Ruhan Meiring
TMO: Shaun Veldsman
Other round 14 matches (SA kick-off times):
Friday, 25 January
21h35 – Glasgow Warriors v Ospreys, Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow
21h35 – Leinster v Scarlets, RDS Arena, Dublin
21h35 – Uslter v Benneton, Kingspan Stadium, Belfast
Saturday, 26 January
17h00 – Dragons v Munster, Rodney Parade, Newport
19h15 – Cardiff Blues v Connacht, Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff
Issued by SA Rugby Communications