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Super Rugby 2017: Kings v Stormers Preview
The Kings and Stormers will lock horns in a local derby this Saturday.
The Kings will be looking to build on from their victory over the Sunwolves when they take on the Stormers this Sunday. The visitors managed to see off a spirited Jaguares outfit last week which saw them maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
Kings v Stormers | March 11 March | Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium | 15:05
To Win (80 Mins)
Kings 17/2 | Draw 33/1 | Stormers 1/50
Kings (+20.5) 9/10 | Stormers (-20.5) 9/10
The Kings have not really been that bad in the opening two rounds of Super Rugby action. Their first game against the Jaguares showed a marked improvement in the side’s intensity from last year, and last weekend’s 37-23 away win in Singapore (albeit over the poorest side in the tournament, the Sunwolves) was massive for the franchise. The Sunwolves win was the Kings’ first overseas since 2014, and will do wonders for the confidence of Deon Davids’ side.
While last weekend’s win contained all of pride, passion and intensity, they will need all of this and a whole lot more if they are to take down the high-riding Stormers. Davids will be pleased with the progress of (amongst others) young flanker CJ Velleman, who looks to be a cut above the rest in PE, although it does seem rather inevitable that the youngster will seek greener pastures next season should his stocks continue to rise at such a rapid rate.
Nevertheless, Davids will push Velleman and his teammates on to stay in the game for as long as possible and potentially rattle their Cape opponents. Defence and fitness will be the key for them his weekend, though the losses of Louis Schreuder and Mzwanele Zito will certainly have been a massive blow to the side’s chances. Although anything is possible on the day, they should struggle at home this weekend.
Well, after the first two rounds of Super Rugby action I've certainly had to eat my words, after Robbie Fleck's Stormers have managed to play with a newfound swagger on attack, to complement their already solid "D". I certainly didn't think that Fleck had the coaching ability nor talent at his disposal to play the brand of running rugby that has set their campaign alight so far. Hats off to you then, Mr Fleck!
Although they may again be rewarded for their strategy against the Kings this Saturday, Fleck's side will know that bigger challenges lie in wait. The Bulls, Jaguares and Kings are one thing, but the might of the NZ franchises are another entirely. Practising their new game against the weaker competition sides may just be what is needed to perfect it (albeit temporarily), ahead of the arrival of the Chiefs in April. Only time will tell. In the interim, however, the Stormers should blow the Kings away this weekend.
Verdict: Stormers (-20.5) 9/10
The Kings are a gutsy side. But the way the Stormers are playing will be too much for them. Back the Capetonians to clear the handicap!