This match will be the last time that the Southern Kings and the Cheetahs play Super 18 Rugby as it has been confirmed that they will not be in Super Rugby next season.
While the Southern Kings have been dropped from Super rugby their season has not been too bad.
The Kings have 27 points which are just seven behind the top Australian team and they have won six matches which are the same number that the Brumbies have won.
Both teams should be formally announced as part of the Pro12, or whichever new expanded Celtic-Italian league, for the 2017/18 northern hemisphere season.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: BEEP! BEEP! We are underway in the final Super Rugby clash between these two teams. Referee Shuhei Kubo is in charge in Port Elizabeth.
4.00: The Cheetahs win the penalty and kick to touch inside the Kings’ 22. Clayton Blommetjies kicks the ball away, the Kings take the ball up and Louis Schreuder clears.
5.00: Chris Cloete gives away the penalty; this time, the Cheetahs will look to take the points.
6.00: PENALTY! Fred Zeilinga takes his season tally to 105 points with the penalty goal: 0-3
10.00: The penalties are flying thick and fast in PE. Both sides still searching for territory and possession.
14.00: there is a Test match feel to this game; the intensity is furious and the tackling ferocious.
16.00: Raymond Rhule makes a burst down the touchline, goes 30 metres before throwing a forward pass.
18.00: Lionel Cronje stabs a kick for his outside backs to chase, but the ball runs into touch. The Kings kick to touch, instead of taking the points.
19.00: There is a break in play while both teams take some water and get seen to by the medics. The Cheetahs will need to keep the Kings out, from five metres. The Kings go blind, but we need a TMO to check for a foot in touch by Makazole Mapimpi.
20.00: TRY Makazole Mapimpi! I’m not sure how the TMO can justify awarding the try, and in doing so, over-ruling the ref. But, it is Shaun Veldsman, which means anything goes: 5-3
21.00: Cronje adds the touchline conversion: 7-3
24.00: The visitors earn a penalty for a Kings’ player holding on. Cloete cleans out Francois Venter, legally, but the flanker is down, holding his shoulder.
25.00: The Kings pull down the driving maul, concede another penalty and the cheetahs go again.
27.00: William Small-Smith is tackled into touch. Cloete goes off the field, his shoulder is not right. The Kings, with a solid lineout, gather the ball and Cronje clears.
29.00: It’s end-to-end between these two. Both sides are running from everywhere and offloading, throwing wild passes. Luzuko Vulindlu knocks on, but football tackles Small-Smith with a scissors’ tackle. The wing is not impressed. Tian Meyer is leaving the field with an injury.
31.00: The Cheetahs have the scrum, near the touchline, on the Kings’ 22. The home team get a free-kick and go quickly. They are playing with reckless abandon, and it’s glorious. Eventually, Oupa Mohoje is penalised for a high tackle on Mzamo Majola. The TMO is being consulted for dangerous play, but the tackle looks accidental, rather than malicious.
32.00: No yellow for Mohoje.
34.00: The Kings are awarded another penalty; they kick to the corner.
35.00: Another collapsed maul by the visitors and the ref talks to Venter about the ill-discipline. Cronje kicks to the corner: we go again.
36.00: TRY Wandile Mjekevu! The pressure tells. After another rolling maul, the winger, on the angle and close range, darts through two defenders to score: 12-3
37.00: Cronje can’t add the extras after slipping: 12-3
39.00: It’s all the Kings at the end of the first-half. They are pulling the Cheetahs all over the park. Somehow, the Cheetahs win the ball back and start a late counter-attack.
39.43: The Cheetahs go through multiple phases, but lose the ball forward in the tackle. There is still time for the Kings to get a scrum. The scrum is in between the Kings’ 10-metres and the halfway line.
42.00: Cronje kicks the penalty into touch.
The half-time score was Southern Kings 12 Cheetahs 3
41.00: BEEP! BEEP! We are back underway in Port Elizabeth for the second-half. Lionel Cronje does a Dillyn Leyds and throws an audacious no-look backhand pass to Wandile Mjekevu on the touchline: insane! However, the wing can’t gather.
44.00: TRY Lubabalo Mtyanda! Sensational! Francois Venter loses the ball at the breakdown, deep inside the Kings’ 22. The home team go down the field, throwing passes out the back door to support runners, keeping the play alive. Klaasen makes the final pass, after a burst to the Cheetahs’ 22 and lays the try on a plate for the lock: 17-3
45.00: Cronje can’t add the extras: 17-3
48.00: Mistakes are creeping into the Cheetahs’ play; this time, a penalty is not kicked into touch, allowing another deep counter-attack by the home side. Ultimately, the visitors win the ball back and kick to the Kings’ 22.
50.00: A knock on leads to a scrum for the Cheetahs, just outside the opposition’s 22.
51.00: Swart makes a break into the 22, going through several defenders, but the ball is lost in the following play. However, the Cheetahs get the penalty for collapsing the scrum. The Cheetahs, surprisingly, opt for a shot at goal.
52.00: PENALTY! Zeilinga makes no mistake: 17-6
57.00: The referee has to call the two captains together to tell them to cut out the niggle and cynical play. The Kings change their entire front row.
59.00: The Kings are camped on the Cheetahs’ try-line, they win the turnover, but lose the ball forwards. Mapimpi, shepherding the rolling ball, picks it up and is tackled into the sidelines. We are checking for foul play by a Kings’ player.
60.00: It’s just a penalty against Thembelani Bholi for a late, high tackle; it does look reckless, but no card.
61.00: Joseph Dweba throws a skew throw, gifting possession back to the Kings.
62.00: The Cheetahs are penalised for hands in the ruck. It is right in front of the poles and about 25 metres out.
63.00: PENALTY! Cronje extends his team’s lead: 20-6
65.00: The Cheetahs win another penalty after some sustained pressure inside the Kings’ 22. They kick to touch and will look to their lineout drive. The Kings cannot pull this down, or there will be a yellow, for sure.
67.00: The Kings give away another penalty; Egon Seconds warns Cronje for multiple infringements.
68.00: TRY, NO TRY Clinton Swart? The Cheetahs go wide, Venter to Venter, to Marais to Swart. It’s not conclusive, so Shaun Veldsman, guess who awards the try to the visitors: 20-11
69.00: MISS! Neil Marais can’t add the conversion: 20-11
70.00: TRY Raymond Rhule! Francois Venter breaks the Kings’ line, charges into the 22 and, after a switch with Rhule, passes inside to the winger, who runs away for the second try in two minutes: 20-16
71.00: Neil Marais adds the extras: 20-18
74.00: It has been all Cheetahs in the last 10 minutes. They are on the attack, again, inside the Kings’ 22. The Kings are penalised for offsides; it is right in front of the home team’s posts. Marais will kick at goal.
75.00: PENALTY! It’s good by the standoff: 20-21
76.00: The Cheetahs botch the restart, gifting the Kings possession. The dew is making the field slippery, so handling errors are starting to mount. Add to this, the tiring players and mistakes will happen.
78.00: Nerves are fraying in PE. The Cheetahs have the ball and will look to run down the clock.
79.00: The Kings have the ball, and are awarded a penalty on their 10-metres line. They have lost four lineouts on their own throw, so this is not a given.
80.00: Oh dear! They botch another one. Last play and the visitors have the ball – Marais kicks the ball into touch and ends the final Super Rugby match for both sides in the tournament.
The final score is Southern Kings 20 (12) Cheetahs 21 (3)
Tries – Mapimpi, Mjekevu, Mtyanda
Pen – Cronje
Con – Cronje
Tries – Swart, Rhule
Pen – Zeilinga (2), N. Marais (2)
Referee: Egon Seconds
Assistant Ref 1: AJ Jacobs
Assistant Ref 2: Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO: Shaun Veldsman
15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 Wandile Mjekevu, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Lionel Cronje (captain), 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Mzamo Majola.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19 Irne Herbst, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Masixole Banda, 22 Rudi van Rooyen, 23 Waylon Murray.
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Uzair Cassiem, 5 Daniel Hugo, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Johannes Coetzee, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Reinach Venter, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Armandt Koster, 20 Junior Pokomela, 21 Chris Dry, 22 Ruan van Rensburg, 23 Niel Marais