There will be no love lost at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday when the Toyota Cheetahs and Isuzu Southern Kings wrap up their 2018/19 Guinness PRO14 campaigns with an action-packed South African derby in which both sides will target a strong finish to the season.
The Toyota Cheetahs will eye back-to-back victories after defeating the Dragons 38-13 two weeks ago, but they will meet an Isuzu Southern Kings team determined to topple the Free Staters for the first time in the competition.
The sides have crossed paths five times in the last two seasons, and the Toyota Cheetahs have emerged victorious each time, but the margins have been close in their last three outings with nine, seven and four points separating them on the scoreboard respectively.
This will certainly inspire the visitors who are only one log point ahead of the last-placed Dragons in Conference B going into the final pool round.
The rivalry between them aside, a few individuals will also look to remain at the top of the individual season records before the competition switches into the finals stages next week.
The Toyota Cheetahs’ Tian Schoeman (118) and Isuzu Southern Kings’ Masixole Banda (105) are currently in fourth and fifth place respectively on the top points’ accumulators table, while Bloemfontein speedster Rabz Maxwane is still the top try-scorer with 14 tries – four ahead of Dan Evans of Ospreys.
Maxwane also leads the most clean most breaks statistics with 34, while he is also in the race for the Dacia Ironman Award – which celebrates the player who has accumulated the most minutes on the field over the 21 pool rounds – with team-mates Schoeman, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, as well as the Isuzu Southern Kings’ Yaw Penxe.
The match kicks off at 17h30 and will be broadcast live on SuperSport1.
Date: Saturday, 27 April
SA time: 17h30
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein
Referee: Dan Jones (WRU)
Assistant referees: Aled Evans (WRU), Paul Mente (SARU)
TMO: Johann Greeff (SARU)
Other Round 21 matches (SA kick-off times):
Saturday, 27 April:
16h00: Dragons v Scarlets – Principality Stadium, Cardiff
18h00: Zebre v Benetton – Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma
18h15: Cardiff Blues v Ospreys – Principality Stadium, Cardiff
18h15: Ulster v Leinster – Kingspan Stadium, Belfast
20h35: Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh – Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow
20h35: Munster v Connacht – Thomond Park, Limerick