Match Preview: Isuzu Southern Kings

Match Preview: Isuzu Southern Kings

Glasgow Warriors return to Guinness PRO14 action at Scotstoun this Friday, as the Isuzu Southern Kings arrive in Glasgow for the first time since 2017.

After defeat
to the Dragons in Newport last Saturday, Dave Rennie and his squad will be
hoping to get back to winning ways against their South African opponents under
the Friday night lights in Glasgow’s west end.

The men from
Port Elizabeth will provide a stern test for the Glasgow defence, having scored
at least two tries in each of their matches so far this season despite being
winless to start the campaign.

The former
Super Rugby outfit have consistently caused problems for their opponents in the
Guinness PRO14, so it could be a thrilling encounter at Scotstoun on Friday

Here’s how the
Kings are shaping up ahead of the encounter:

form guide

Kempson’s men currently sit bottom of Conference B, with two points from their
opening four games of the 2019/20 campaign.

The Kings
came agonisingly close to an opening round win against the Cardiff Blues,
however – a late Harri Millard try ultimately tipped the balance in favour of
the Welshmen, as the Blues emerged victorious 31-27 at the Nelson Mandela Bay

A similarly
battling performance once again yielded only defeat in round two, as Munster’s
impressive defence kept their hosts at bay in a 31-20 triumph in Port

men were then blitzed by a determined Ulster side in round three, before
narrowly losing out in a thrilling match in Treviso last weekend – a late
fightback came up just short as Benetton claimed a 36-30 win in the Italian


Amongst a
high turnover players, perhaps the most significant departure for Kings fans
was that of hooker Mike Willemse, who said his goodbyes to South Africa and
made the switch to Edinburgh at the end of the 2018/19 season.

departing was highly-rated flanker Andisa Ntsila, who signed for Super Rugby
side the Sharks after concluding the campaign, whilst Dries van Schalkwyk also
departed the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Behind the
scrum, Tristan Blewett moved west to sign for Major League Rugby outfit NOLA
Gold in the USA, with Rudi van Rooyen going in the opposite direction by
joining Lokomotiv in Russia.


Kempson and
his coaching staff have once again recruited shrewdly following their summer
departures, most notably with the capture of fly-half Demitri Catrakilis from

Jacques du
Toit made the switch from fellow Guinness PRO14 outfit the Toyota Cheetahs to
fill the void left by Willemse at hooker, with Juan Schoeman joining from the
Sharks to further bolster the front-row options.

Jerry Sexton
– brother of Ireland fly-half Johnny – was signed from Jersey Reds, whilst the
return of Lusanda Badiyana to the setup proved a timely boost ahead of the new

Ones to

Capable of
playing on the wing and at fly-half, it’s at his usual position of full-back
that Masixole Banda can create havoc for any defence. Standing at just 5’5”,
the 31-year-old is lightning quick off the mark and can beat any defender in
the competition with his footwork if given just an inch of space.

Now in his
second spell with the Kings, Catrakilis brings experience and a steady hand to
the number ten jersey. In addition to Harlequins, the fly-half can also boast
experience with the Stormers and Montpellier, with his accuracy from the
kicking tee a major asset for Kempson’s side.

Bobby de Wee
is fast becoming one of the most highly-rated players in the Kings setup, with
his ability to slot in at second-row or on the flank a useful dynamic to the
South African side’s pack. A try-scorer against Benetton, de Wee’s carrying and
lineout nous will make him one for the Glasgow forwards to keep a close eye on
this Friday.


The Warrior
Nation will require no reminding when asked about the most recent meeting
between their side and the Kings, as the South Africans stunned the Warriors
with a 38-28 victory in Port Elizabeth last September.

first-half tries sent the home side into the half-time break with a 24-0
advantage, and despite recording four tries of their own after the break –
including a brace for DTH van der Merwe that took him past 50 tries for the
club – it was the Kings who emerged with all five points.

That meeting
was only the second between the two sides, with the first having gone in the
Warriors favour back in October 2017.

Turner grabbed two of Glasgow’s seven tries in a 43-13 win over the Kings at
Scotstoun, in a match that also saw Stafford McDowall make his competitive
debut for the club.


Joy Neville
will take charge of her first match at Scotstoun on Friday night, as the Irishwoman
referees her fifth Guinness PRO14 fixture.

Keith Allen
and John Carvill will be her assistants under the floodlights, with Leo Colgan in
the broadcast van as the TMO.


Tickets are
still available for Friday’s match, which kicks off at 7.35pm at Scotstoun –
secure your seat at Scotstoun here.

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