EP Kings playing to avoid wooden spoon
The Eastern Province Kings are set to play the Pumas in their last Currie Cup match for the 2016 campaign, when they meet at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
The clash is a bottom-of-the-table encounter, as both sides will play to avoid the demeaning wooden spoon for this season. Both the Pumas and the Kings have yet to win a game this season, and on Friday, one of the two sides will have docked their first and only victory; while the other side will be cemented at last place without a single win in eight matches.
However, on the current standings, the Pumas sit second-last on five log points, while the Kings are placed last with a solitude point. This means that for the Kings to avoid last place, they would need to either win with a bonus point or win without a bonus, but preventing the Pumas from obtaining a losing bonus point.
If the Pumas win with a bonus point, they could draw level on log points with the Boland Kavaliers in third-last spot, seeing as Boland are expected to leave empty-handed against Western Province in Newlands this weekend.
The closest the Kings came to victory this season was ironically against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld, where the Eastern Cape side fell just short in a high-scoring 49-35 defeat; which is where they obtained their solitude season point for scoring four tries.
With regards to recent form, the Kings fall well-short after conceding 124 points in their last two matches since their bye, while in tandem, only scoring seven points. The Kings total points’ difference is also way inferior to the Pumas with -227 to their -151.
In their three home matches this season so far, the Kings have scored a mere total of 23 points, which suggests that home-advantage had not played to their advantage so far either; something that they would want to rectify come Friday.
Kings’ and Pumas’ Currie Cup 2016 average scores respectively:
Kings 15.3 – 48.7
Pumas 20 – 41.6
Recent head-to-head results between the EP Kings and Pumas:
2015: Pumas 20 – 9 Kings
2015: Kings 13 – 15 Pumas
2014: Kings 26 – 25 Pumas
EP Kings match-22 to face the Pumas:
15 Johan Tromp, 14 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Waylon Murray, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 9 Ricky Schroeder (captain), 8 Christiaan de Bruin, 7 Sebastian Ferreira, 6 Brandon Brown, 5 Dylan Pieterse, 4 Tazz Fuzani, 3 Vukile Sofisa, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Barend Potgieter
Substitutes: 16 Warrick Venter, 17 Pieter Stemmet, 18 Etienne Oosthuizen, 19 Luke van der Smit, 20 Cullen Callopy, 21 Vian van der Watt, 22 Lungelo Gosa
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