The old Eastern Cape derby is set to take off this weekend when the EP Kings take on Border Bulldogs in East London on Friday evening. The matches between these two rivalries have intensified over the years and Friday evening will be no exception.
Luke Watson who had a stellar performance against the Valke last week stated that last week the Valke were quick to capitalize on the EP Kings’ mistakes and it was not until halftime and after a good ‘talking-to’ from the coaches, that they (team) started implementing their game plan. Watson went on to add “We’re a team and irrespective of whether individuals shine, we still need to execute and perform as a unit”.
The team sees a few changes to the line-up that took to the field against the Valke. But even with these whole list changes the coaching staff was adamant that it was for the good of the team. Players have been given a break so as to keep them fresh for the rest of the competition. Alan Solomons (Director of Coaching) added: “we had a plan at the beginning of the season that we would need to focus on the squad as a whole. It’s of vital importance that we ensure that the whole squad performs and gets used to how our system works. We have not deviated from this path and it’s served us well thus far.”
Border have had to make several changes to their team during the season but EP Kings coach Matt Sexton warned against taking them ‘lightly’. “We’ve taken a look at the composition of their team and how they’ve performed up front. They’re certainly able to stand up to anyone in the competition. It’s a long competition and it’s difficult to play the same guys: week in, week out. We’ve been very fortunate to have made use of the squad during the competition.”
Michael Killian who has been out of action returns to the starting birth of fullback and SP Marias who has played in all the EP Kings Currie Cup 1st Division games gets a break and will not feature at all against Border. Norman Nelson who had to be pulled out of the game with only minutes left to the EP Kings-Valke match last week is still not ready to take to the field and Jongi Nowke who had a solid defence match will be hoping for more attacking opportunities this week as he retains his place in the starting line-up against Border.
Clint Newland also gets back to the game after being out for last week’s match along with Tiger Mangweni, who resumes his vice-captaincy role in the midfield.
EP Kings Team 15. Michael Killian 14. Paul Perez 13. Wayne Stevens 12. Tiger Mangweni (vc) 11. Jongi Nokwe 10. Wesley Dunlop 9. Scott Mathie 8. Luke Watson (c) 7. Wimpie van der Walt 6. Devin Oosthuizen 5. Rynier Bernado 4. Darron Nell 3. Clint Newland 2. Hannes Franklin 1. Schalk Ferreira
16. Frank Herne 17. Charl du Plessis 18. Wayne van Heerden 19. Mpho Mbiyozo 20. Danie Faasen 21. Falie Oelschig 22. Siyanda Grey