Eastern Province Kings coach, Mzwandile Stick has called on the services of two of his most experienced players ahead of their crucial Vodacom Cup match against the SWD Eagles at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth later today.
The fifth placed Kings are still in with a chance to reach the play-offs, but a solid win against the fourth placed Eagles is a must if they want to qualify in the top four. The Eagles are currently on 11 log points, 3 points ahead of the Kings, and a mere win will not be good enough as the Eagles have a better points difference which means they will remain in fourth place if log points are level.
Stick and skipper Tim Whitehead said the experience of Luke Watson and CJ van der Linde would be crucial in what is shaping up as a massive showdown between the neighbouring provinces.
“We will probably give Luke about 20 to 30 minutes and CJ about 20 minutes, but it will all depend on how the game goes,” Stick said.
“Both of them cannot wait to get back and they have been working hard with the team. Luke is ready to go and CJ may not be quite there, but we will use him for a short while to counteract their strong forwards.”
An indication of what the Eagles are planning comes in their squad, with a five-two forwards-backs split on the bench.
“We know they will try to attack us up front because they have big and physical forwards, but we are prepared for that,” Stick said.
The match kicks off at 3pm.
1 Lizo Gqoboka 2 Edgar Marutlulle (v/c) 3 Simon Kerrod 4 Cameron Lindsay 5 David Bulbring 6 Paul Schoeman 7 Stefan Willemse 8 Tim Agaba 9 Jaco Grobler 10 Tony Jantjies 11 Luther Obi 12 Tim Whitehead (capt) 13 Ronnie Cooke 14 Siviwe Soyizwapi 15 Scott van Breda
16 Mike van Vuuren 17 CJ van der Linde 18 Aidon Davis 19 Luke Watson 20 Dylon Frylinck 21 Hansie Graaff 22 Siyanda Grey
1 Marius Fourie 2 Kurt Haupt 3 Ashley Buys 4 Andries van der Walt 5 Mzwanele Zito 6 Johannes Stander 7 Davon Raubenheimer (capt) 8 Zandre Jordaan 9 Dwayne Kelly 10 Gerhardus Smith 11 Alshaun Bock 12 Luzuko Vulindlu 13 Kirsten Heyns 14 Clinton Wagman 15 Elric van Vuuren
16 Layle Delo 17 Raoul Larson 18 Alwyn Bester 19 Andisa Ntsila 20 Buran Parks 21 Leighton Eksteen 22 Martin du Toit