MINIMAL CHANGES AS KINGS LOOK FOR CONSISTENCY AND MOMENTUM AGAINST ULSTER
Isuzu Southern Kings winger, Josiah Twum-Boafo, will earn his first starting berth for the side when they take on Ulster Rugby in a Guinness PRO14 Round 3 encounter at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday, 12 October.
The 22-year-old speedster made his Guinness PRO14 and Isuzu Southern Kings debut off the bench in the side’s Round 2 match against Munster Rugby last week in Port Elizabeth when he came on in the 63rd minute.
The former Grey High School First XV and Nelson Mandela University player replaces Andell Loubser in the only change from last the backline that did duty last weekend.
“Josiah did well in the warm-up matches and he took his opportunity last weekend when he came onto the field,” Isuzu Southern Kings interim Head Coach, Robbi Kempson, said on Friday.
“Unfortunately long-term injuries have affected some of our other wings like Yaw Penxe, but we certainly have two very good young wings in Josiah and Christopher Hollis, who is unfortunate to lose out on selection this week.
“We are very comfortable with Josiah and are confident that he can make the step up. That is why he is now in the starting XV.”
The Isuzu Southern Kings will have also made a single change in the forwards pack with tighthead prop Rossouw de Klerk, who played off the bench in the opening two matches of the season, rotates with Pieter Scholtz.
Kempson has opted for a 6-2 forwards-backs split on the bench which also includes the return of lock and season captain JC Astle, who was not in the team last week due to illness.
“We want consistency, and we want momentum as well regarding the team that we have selected. I thought the forwards have done exceptionally well, they’ve really put their hands up but have not gotten the rub of the green,” said the interim Head Coach.
“We have gone for a 6-2 split on the bench in view of the fact that JC Astle has come back, but we feel we are covered enough in the backline with regards to what we want there.
“We are expecting a heavy forwards battle, and certainly that is one area we would like to continue growing. I think it has gone well so far and from a team perspective, we feel we can take it even further.”
The Isuzu Southern Kings are expecting a tough battle against the Irish side who suffered a defeat to the Cheetahs last weekend. The side is wary that Ulster will come out firing in the hope of getting back to winning ways.
“That defeat was an anomaly, I don’t think that is the Ulster team we can expect at all,” said Kempson.
“They did very well in their opening fixture which they won comfortably at home. They are a dangerous team with regards to their attack – specifically out wide. So we are expecting a very fast game with the way they want to attack.
“They also have a very astute kicking game, with cross kicks for tries. They are a very dangerous side and I think they were caught unawares by a rampant Cheetahs team. We are wary of the fact that there will be a backlash from them.”
Kick-off for the match is at 16h00.
The Isuzu Southern Kings team to take on Ulster Rugby is:
Juan Schoeman, Alandre van Rooyen, Rossouw de Klerk, Jerry Sexton, Aston Fortuin, Lusanda Badiyana (C), Tienie Burger, Ruaan Lerm.
Stefan Ungerer (V/C), Demetri Catrakilis, Courtney Winnaar, JT Jackson, Tertius Kruger, Josiah Twum-Boafo, Masixole Banda.
Jacques du Toit, Alulutho Tshakweni, Pieter Scholtz, JC Astle, Bobby de Wee, Josh Allderman, Sibusiso Sithole, Elrigh Louw.