The Cheetahs will look to follow up their Pro14 win over the Cardiff Blues when they welcome Munster to Bloemfontein, while the Kings will take on Leinster in Port Elizabeth, writes DYLAN JACK.
KINGS vs LEINSTER, Sunday, 3pm
The Kings missed a massive opportunity to steal a potential five points at home in their loss to the Scarlets last weekend. The hosts led 34-22 in the second half, but faded over the last quarter to allow a largely second-string Scarlets side to come away with a comeback win.
Their mission to climb off the bottom of Conference B just got tougher as they next host leaders and defending champions Leinster at the Madibaz Stadium.
The Kings will have to improve their discipline if they are to stand any chance of an upset, as they have already seen 10 yellow cards and one red.
Last season’s clashes between the two sides were about as one-sided as one would expect as Leinster sealed a comfortable 31-10 bonus-point victory in Port Elizabeth before thrashing the Kings 64-7 in February.
While Leinster are missing 11 regulars such as Devin Toner, Rhys Ruddock and Garry Ringrose to the Ireland squad, they still have the likes of centurion prop Michael Bent, fullback Dave Kearney and scrumhalf Jamison Gibson-Park to call on.
The hosts have selected Stefan Ungerer for his Pro14 debut, while star flank CJ Velleman is back from yet another injury via the bench. They will, however, be without Bjorn Basson due to personal reasons.
Kings – 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Michael Makase, 13 Harlon Klaasen, 12 Tertius Kruger, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Martin du Toit, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Martinus Burger, 6 Stephan de Wit, 5 JC Astle (c), 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 Justin Forwood, 2 Alandre van Rooyen, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Subs: 16 Tango Balekile, 17 Lupumlo Mguca, 18 Nicolaas Oosthuizen, 19 Andries van Schalkwyk, 20 CJ Velleman, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Berton Klaasen, 22 Meli Rokoua.
Leinster – 15 Dave Kearney, 14 Adam Byrne, 13 Rory O’Loughlin, 12 Conor O’Brien, 11 Joe Tomane; 10 Noel Reid, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Max Deegan, 7 Dan Leavy, 6 Josh Murphy, 5 Scott Fardy (c), 4 Ross Molony, 3 Michael Bent, 2 James Tracy, 1 Ed Byrne.
Subs: 16 Bryan Byrne, 17 Peter Dooley, 18 Vakh Abdaladze, 19 Mick Kearney, 20 Caelan Doris, 21 Hugh O’Sullivan, 22 Ciarán Frawley, 23 Tom Daly.
CHEETAHS vs MUNSTER, Sunday, 5pm
The Cheetahs come into the match after finally kickstarting their campaign by beating the Blues in Bloemfontein, their most solid outing of the season. While that would have taken the proverbial monkey off their backs, they face far more determined opponents in Munster.
The Irish side, in coach Johann van Graan’s first full season, have not had an ideal start either, winning just half of their games before last weekend’s impressive victory against Conference A leaders, the Glasgow Warriors.
That would have boosted Munster’s confidence and, with a few familiar faces in tow, they will look to bag back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
Munster hammered the Cheetahs 38-0 in the first round in Limerick, but the home side did manage to push Munster close in Bloemfontein last season, going down by just two points.
The Cheetahs can look to the competition’s top try-scorer Rabz Maxwane for some X factor, but it will be their defence and forward grunt that determines whether they deserve to stay in the contest.
However, with Saffas in Chris Cloete and Arno Botha both looking to seal a place in the Munster starting lineup, the Cheetahs could well slump to their sixth defeat of the season.
Cheetahs – 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Nico Lee, 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Shaun Venter (c), 8 Aidon Davis, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 JP du Preez, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche.
Subs: 16 Reinach Venter, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Erich de Jager, 19 Sinthu Manjezi/Justin Basson, 20 Daniel Maartens, 21 Abongile Nonkontwana, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Louis Fouche.
Munster – 15 Mike Haley; 14 Shane Daly, 13 Sammy Arnold, 12 Tyler Bleyendaal (c), 11 Alex Wootton; 10 Bill Johnston, 9 Alby Mathewson, Arno Botha, 7 Chris Cloete, 6 Fineen Wycherley, 5 Darren O’Shea, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Kevin O’Byrne, 1 James Cronin.
Subs: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 Jeremy Loughman, 18 John Ryan, 19 Sean O’Connor, 20 Gavin Coombes, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Rory Scannell.