To say it was a miserable start for the the South Africa two teams in this year’s PRO14 is an understatement and a huge disappointment at the moment.
Neither the Cheetahs nor the Kings have even come close to winning a match yet.
The Cheetahs sits with 3 losses from 3 games with only 1 log point. The Kings have also 3 losses from 3 games with 2 log points.
The Cheetahs have a -98 points difference at the moment and the Kings -42.
Does not matter how you colour this in, it does not look good for our rugby neither our participation in the competition.
This week the Cheetahs are again playing at home when they host Ulster on Friday who beaten the Kings last week in PE and the Kings will face Glasgow who humiliated the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
Here is the current Log standing so far after 3 rounds of matches
Cheetahs v Ulster (Friday 19:00 live on SS1)
It has almost become a must win game for the Cheetahs on Friday as they face Ulster in their forth round in this years PRO14.
With zero wins from three coach Franco Smith must be a worried man. Even the Free State playing in the Currie Cup has not registered a win and they are playing their last Currie Cup match this weekend as well.
The Cheetahs had a much better off season and preparation time this year but it seems that that made it worse.
Smith made a few changes with Ox Nche and Charles Marais switch places at loosehead prop, with Nche coming into the starting line-up and Marais providing cover on the bench.
Neill Jordaan replaces Aidon Davis at number eight, with Stephan Malan amongst the replacements. Malan will be making his PRO14 debut when he comes onto the field.
Elsewhere, Justin Basson returns to the bench, replacing Dennis Visser, while Louis Fouche could make his PRO14 debut if he gets the nod.
Ulster who got a good win last week against the Kings have made a few changes with Eric O’Sullivan and Angus Kernohan who are set to make their first starts after producing impressive performances off the bench in recent weeks, including in Sunday’s 28-7 win versus Southern Kings.
The other newcomers to the team include tighthead prop Wiehahn Herbst, blindside flanker Matthew Rea, scrum-half Dave Shanahan and full-back Will Addison, a late withdrawal from the team to face the Kings due to illness.
O’Sullivan and Herbst will pack down in the front-row alongside skipper Rob Herring, while Alan O’Connor and Kieran Treadwell are retained in the second-row.
The selection of Rea sees a slight re-shuffle in the back-row, with Marcell Coetzee moving to number eight, while Sean Reidy stays in the number seven jersey.
Shanahan comes in at scrum-half for John Cooney, who sustained a head injury in the win last week, and he will partner fly-half Billy Burns.
Henry Speight shifts from the wing to centre to play alongside Stuart McCloskey, so Kernohan, who scored his first senior try last week, gets an opportunity from the start. Addison and Craig Gilroy complete the starting side.
This should be a game where the Cheetahs are favourites going into the match at home but nothing they have shown us so far indicate a win for them.
Lets hope they can turn things around.
Cheetahs: 15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Nico Lee, 11 Rabz Maxwane, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Tian Meyer (c), 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 JP du Preez, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Jospeh Dweba, 1 Ox Nche
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Günther Janse van Vuuren, 19 Justin Basson, 20 Stephan Malan, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Louis Fouche, 23 Ryno Eksteen
Ulster: 15 Will Addison, 14 Craig Gilroy, 13 Henry Speight, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Angus Kernohan, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Dave Shanahan, 8 Marcell Coetzee, 7 Sean Reidy, 6 Matt Rea, 5 Kieran Treadwell, 4 Alan O’Connor, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Rob Herring (c), 1 Eric O’Sullivan
Replacements: 16 John Andrew, 17 Andrew Warwick, 18 Tom O’Toole, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Nick Timoney, 21 Jonny Stewart, 22 Angus Curtis, 23 Darren Cave
Kings v Glasgow (Saturday 15:00 live on SS1)
The Kings have shown something while on tour in their first two matches but was totally outplayed by Ulster last week at home. Sometimes it feels with the Kings that you go on step forward and then two steps back never really making progress.
Glasgow ran away with the Cheetahs in the second half and they will be a huge challenge for the Kings this weekend. Glasgow like to use the ball having made 180 passes last weekend against the Cheetahs.
They force 155 tackles on the Cheetahs which shows how they love to give the ball some air.
The Kings will have to cut down on mistakes if they want to stand any chance to beat Glasgow. They missed 37 tackle last weekend and conceded 22 penalties which is just not good enough at this level.
They were force to make 195 tackles which show how little ball they had to play with. If you make that amount of tackles you should not miss 37 of them.
This is going to be another huge ask for the Kings at home against one of the form teams this far in the competition.
Other matches this weekend:
Cardiff Blues v Munster
Connacht v Scarlets
Dragons v Zrbre
Leinster v Edinburgh
Ospreys v Benetton