The Cheetahs will go to Port Elizabeth to face the Kings on Friday in what is going to be the final Super Rugby game for both sides.
It was confirmed last week that both teams will be axed from the competition, and recent reports have suggested that the two franchises are headed for the PRO12 in Europe.
But, on Friday, they will both want to go out with a bang. Smart money will on the Kings, who will want to end an impressive campaign on a high note. Deon Davids’ men have already claimed victories against the Sharks, Bulls, and Waratahs, and many see a win against a low-on-confidence Cheetahs side as a formality.
Last weekend’s win over the Bulls in Pretoria will no doubt have given the Kings an extra spring in their step, and while there is the possibility that the franchise will be playing in the northern hemisphere next year, a lot of their players will be out to impress potential suitors.
The Bloemfontein side, who have had a dismal campaign, last tasted victory on the final weekend ahead of the June Tests, when they skinned the Sunwolves 47-7 in Tokyo. They showed much improvement in their last game as they ran a fancied Stormers side close, and eventually lost 34-40 in front of their fans in Bloemfontein.
Both sides have shown in the past that they can play expansive, running rugby, so the clash at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium could be a try-fest as both sides throw caution to the wind to ensure that the fans leave the game well entertained.
2016: Cheetahs won 34-20 in Bloemfontein
2015: Cheetahs won 34-22 in Port Elizabeth
2013: Cheetahs won 26-12 in Bloemfontein
Kings: 15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 Wandile Mjekevu, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Lionel Cronje (c), 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Mzamo Majola
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Irne Herbst/Mzwanele Zito, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Rudi van Rooyen, 22 Masixole Banda, 23 Waylon Murray/Yaw Penxe
Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Francois Venter (c), 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Uzair Cassiem, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Elandre Huggett, 1 Ox Nche
Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Armandt Koster, 20 Junior Pokomela, 21 Chris Dry, 22 Ruan van Rensburg, 23 Niel Marais
Date: Friday, July 14
Venue: Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kick-off: 19:00 local (17:00 GMT)
Referee: Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
Assistant Referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)