Friday 23 February 2018

Home comforts will help new arrivals to settle

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Ronan Loughney

While it was no shock that neither of the South African teams picked up wins in their two rounds of games in Europe, I was a little surprised to see that the Kings or Cheetahs haven't shown real strength in the set-piece, where the South African game is traditionally strong.

Both teams have lost players since their Super Rugby exit and also have Currie Cup responsibilities, but I still expected more parity in the scrum, line-out and at maul time. I expect this will come when they settle into the competition.

This weekend it will be interesting to see how Cheetahs go against Zebre in Bloemfontein.

This is their first real opportunity for a win in the new competition, and with free entry offered for their first home PRO14 game, they are sure to have a good crowd behind them.

They had a tough evening against Munster last weekend, but with the advantage of altitude they will fancy their chances of getting a win under their belt.

Michael Bradley's Zebre put in a decent performance against Ospreys in week one and then fell to a substantial defeat against Scarlets last week.

Kings have a nasty first home match against Leinster, who seem to be the dominant force so far, but they will also be eyeing up Zebre in their second home game next week.

Irish Independent

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