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Southern Kings v Bulls Super Rugby Preview

The Southern Kings celebrate victory over the Rebels in Melbourne

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Article Published: Thursday 18 April 2013|

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The Southern Kings will get to experience the effects of the Super Rugby travel factor first hand when they host the Bulls at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

The Kings only returned to Port Elizabeth late on Sunday evening after their four-match Australasian tour, which finished with a draw against the Brumbies in Canberra before they beat the Rebels in Melbourne.

A sold out Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium will await the Kings on Saturday, with their regular captain and most experienced player, Luke Watson, also back after missing the tour because of injury.

Returning from tour is not always easy. Last year, South Africa’s two most successful Super Rugby teams, the Bulls and The Sharks, both experienced this first hand by losing at home upon their arrival back from Australasia.

In 2011, only the Bulls managed to win their first post-tour home match, with The Sharks, Stormers and Cheetahs all losing their and the MTN Lions getting a draw.

The Kings know they will have to be at their best to beat the three-time champions in PE and thereby recording their first victory over a fellow South African side.

"This should be a hotly contested game and I am really looking forward to it," said Watson, who will be playing in his 84th Super Rugby match, which includes 20 appearances for The Sharks and 62 for the Stormers, whom he also captained.

The Bulls will be hoping to build on their win over the Cheetahs last weekend - their first in more than a month.

"We had to work very hard for the win against the Cheetahs and we want that momentum carried over into the Kings match," said Bulls coach Frans Ludeke.

"I am pleased with the way the combinations worked on the night and decided to stick with that. We will need to be very structured and cohesive against the Kings, who will be fired up and spurred on by a sell-out crowd. To have an unchanged team will hopefully offset those early challenges."

Bulls captain Pierre Spies said: "We had to dig deep and needed all 22 in the squad to beat the Cheetahs, something that will work in our favour when facing the Kings for the first time. We need to focus on our own game and not allow the crowd to get into the match, so need to have a strong start and keep up the effort."

The Bulls announced a late change to their team. Dewald Potgieter was forced to withdraw with a knee injury. Arno Botha will start against the Kings, with Jacques Potgieter coming onto the bench.

The Bookies have given the Kings an 11 point start for this Match - with an offer of a FREE $150 BET. The Bulls will not have the travel factor to deal with and they should be intimidated by the home crowd. The Bulls should win by 8.

This Match will be shown on TV in NZ, Aus, SA and in the UK on Sky Sports 2 on the Red button

Average score: N/A

Last five results
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Kings overall record against the Bulls
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Match No.: 61.Kings v Bulls
Date : Saturday 20 April
Venue : Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kick Off local: 19:10
Referee: Francisco Pastrana
Assistant Ref 1:Ben Crouse
Assistant Ref 2:Christie du Preez
TMO : Johann Meuwesen

Teams

Southern Kings

George Whitehead, Ronnie Cooke, Waylon Murray, Andries Strauss, Sergeal Petersen, Demetri Catrakilis, Shaun Venter, Schalk Ferreira, Bandise Maku, Kevin Buys, Cornell du Preez, Steven Sykes, David Bulbring, Wimpie van der Walt, Luke Watson (captain).

Replacements: Hannes Franklin, Grant Kemp, Rynier Barnardo, Jacques Engelbrecht, Nicolas Vergallo, Marcello Sampson, Siviwe Soyizwapi.

Bulls

Jurgen Visser , Akona Ndungane , JJ Engelbrecht , Jan Sefontein , Lionel Mapoe , Morne Steyn , Jano Vermaak , Pierre Spies (c), Arno Botha , Deon Stegmann Juandre Kruger Flip van der Merwe , Frik Kirsten , Chiliboy Ralepelle , Morne Mellett.

Replacements: Callie Visagie , Werner Kruger, Paul Willemse, Jacques Potgieter , Rudy Paige , Louis Fouche , Bjorn Basson.

 
 
 
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