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Lions v Kings Promotion - Relegation Preview

George Whitehead takes over from the injured Demetri Catrakilis

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Article Published: Thursday 1 August 2013

The Lions are one step away from regaining their status as a Super Rugby team but still need to beat the Southern Kings on Saturday to confirm it.

The Lions won the first Promotion - Relegation match in Port Elizabeth 19-26 so they have four points and the Kings have one point.

The Lions therefore need to win this weekend or if they lose they need to ensure that the loss is by less than seven points as the results will be combined to determine a winner and a draw will mean the Kings will remain in Super Rugby.

The Kings will however be up against it as they will be without several of their key players and they will be away from home and playing in front of the biggest gathering of Super Rugby fans ever as the Lions have sold out their 60 000 seater Ellis Park Stadium.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann has made just two forced changes to his side which beat the Kings last weekend.

In the backline, Deon Helberg replaces the injured Deon van Rensburg on the wing, while Ross Cronje will start at scrumhalf in place of the injured Vian van der Watt.

The Kings also had to make some changes in the backline, most notably at flyhalf, where George Whitehead takes over from the injured Demetri Catrakilis. Scott van Breda comes in on the wing and will be entrusted with the goal-kicking duties.

As a result of these changes, Marcello Sampson drops out of the squad, while Shane Gates will sit on the bench alongside Wesley Dunlop, with Waylon Murray promoted to the starting team at inside centre.

The Kings have now played the Lions twice and lost both times. The average score when the Lions have played the Kings is Lions 34 Southern Kings 25.

While the Kings have had success against other nations and even drew in Canberra with Super Rugby finalists the Brumbies they have yet to beat a South African team.

There is a sense that the Kings have already conceded that they have blown it in Super Rugby for next year as the Director of Rugby Alan Solomons has announced his depature and hardly a day goes by without a story of another player leaving.

The Lions played with more passion last weekend and looked the hungrier side. The Lions are also not as tired as the Kings are after a long season.

The Bookies have given the Kings a 9 point start for this Match - with an offer of a FREE $150 BET. The Lions look to have this match won so we are going to predict a Lions victory this weekend. The Lions should win by 11 or more.

This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 4HD on the red button.

Average score: Lions 34 Southern Kings 25

Last two results
27 Jul 2013 Lions 26 Southern Kings 19 Port Elizabeth
9 Feb 2013 Lions 41 Southern Kings 31 Johannesburg

Lions overall record against the Kings
Played 2 ,Wins, 2, Losses,0 ,Draws 0

Promotion - Relegation match No.2
: Lions vs Kings
Date : Saturday 3 August
Venue : Ellis Park Johannesburg
Kick Off local: 17:00
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant Ref 1:Jason Jaftha,
Assistant Ref 2: Marius Jonker
TMO : Shaun Veldsman



Ruan Combrink, Deon Helberg, Stokkies Hanekom, Dylan des Fountain, Antony Volmink, Elton Jantjies, Ross Cronje, Warren Whiteley, Derick Minnie, Jaco Kriel, Franco van der Merwe, Hendrik Roodt, Julian Redelinghuys, Martin Bezuidenhout, JC Janse van Rensburg (captain).

Replacements: Robbie Coetzee, Martin Dreyer, Willie Britz, Warwick Tecklenburg, Guy Cronje, Marnitz Boshoff, Chryzander Botha.

Southern Kings

SP Marais, Hadleigh Parkes, Ronnie Cooke, Waylon Murray, Scott van Breda, George Whitehead, Shaun Venter, Jacques Engelbrecht, Wimpie van der Walt, Cornell du Preez, Darron Nell (captain), David Bulbring, Kevin Buys, Bandise Maku, Schalk Ferreira

Replacements: Charl du Plessis, Hannes Franklin, Steven Sykes, Devin Oosthuizen, Nicolas Vergallo, Wesley Dunlop, Shane Gates.

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