13 September 2017

South Africa: Kings, Cheetahs to Share Knowledge in Pro14

After the toughest of starts to life in the PRO14, the Cheetahs and the Kings are likely to turn to each other for help as the season progresses.

Having been thrown into the tournament at late notice, both South African franchises have struggled to adjust to the demands of European competition.

The Kings were hammered 57-10 by the Scarlets in the opening weekend before they went down 32-10 against Connacht in week two. The Cheetahs, meanwhile, lost against Ulster (42-19) and Munster (51-18).

Both sides are on home soil this weekend, though, and the Cheetahs in particular will be eyeing their first win of the competition when they host Italy's Zebre on Saturday night.

The Kings have a tougher fixture when they host Leinster.

We may only be two rounds in, but already the Conference standings do not make for good reading from a South African perspective with both sides rock bottom on their respective tables.

The only way is up from here, and Cheetahs coach Rory Duncan confirmed to Sport24 this week that he was expecting to have communication with the Kings in the future to discuss how they can help each other get to grips with northern hemisphere rugby.

"The first two weeks came pretty quickly," he said.

"There will certainly be, in the future, chats between us to discuss what we pick up on the various teams that we play against and we'll obviously try and help each other out with the experience that we gain."

While the Kings are dealing with an entirely new squad after their Super Rugby exodus, the Cheetahs have selected 28 players from their Currie Cup set-up to make up their PRO14 squad.

It has left the Currie Cup team struggling and they have gone from being top of the log before the Currie Cup started to nine points behind the Sharks after losses to the Durbanites and Western Province.

"Having taken 28 players out of Currie Cup contention, it was always going to be a tough challenge for the guys back home," Duncan said.

"We obviously played with a younger side and a lot of guys who don't necessarily have the experience."

Source: Sport24

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