Pro 14: Gwent Dragons v Southern Kings Preview

We preview the Pro 14 clash between the Gwent Dragons and the Southern Kings set to take place at Rodney Parade on Saturday 30 September. 

Conference B’s two strugglers clash at Rodney Parade on Saturday; both looking for wins to kickstart their campaigns. As it stands, the Dragons have a sole victory to their name (a 21 – 8 win over Connacht a fortnight ago) while the Kings are yet to get off the mark in their inaugural Pro14 season.

Gwent Dragons vs Southern Kings |  Saturday 30 September | Rodney Parade | 20:35

To Win Match
Gwent 1/25 | Draw 35/1 | Kings 17/2

While the Welshmen did well to score three-tries against a stoic Ulster defence last weekend, their own let them down as they leaked eight in an eventual 25-52 loss. That result in Belfast marked their third loss in four-games since the 2017-18 edition of the Pro14 kicked-off, and coach Bernard Jackman will certainly do well to lead his side to an improved finish following their disappointing season last time out (where they finished 11th out of 12).

Nevertheless, the Dragons should have enough firepower (pun very much intended) to see off the Kings this weekend. Home ground advantage never hurt anyone, while the inexperience of their opposition will work in the hosts’ favour. Their shoddy defence may mean that it’s a lot tighter a contest than many anticipate, but they should still come out trumps.

Deon Davids’ Southern Kings outfit let a golden opportunity slip last week when they failed to put away Zebre in Port Elizabeth. A first win was very much there for the taking, but a lack of cohesion and aptitude on defence meant that they once again let themselves down. That said, they did come up against a very determined and enthusiastic Italian side and, of course, this Kings team is still very much a work in progress.

They may not get as clear-cut a chance at securing a win for a while yet, despite the fact that Gwent are considered “easy targets” by the competition’s big boys. The Kings will need to vary their attack and continually ask questions of their opposition’s “D” if they are to have any shot at glory, while their defence needs to hold up a hell of a lot better than it has so far this campaign.

Verdict: Dragons
The Dragons should come up with the goods this weekend in Gwent, and put the Kings to the sword. The game may lack a certain degree of quality, but that certainly won’t dampen the spirits of the Welshmen, who should claim a second win in 2017-18.

Written by Shaun Goosen for

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