KES are red-hot favourites going into their derby match against bitter rivals Jeppe on Saturday.
KES won all three of their matches at the recent Easter Festival that they hosted, beating Marlow (20-19), Rondebosch (24-15) and Hudson Park (36-6). Jeppe, on the other hand, had a torrid time at the St John’s Easter Festival losing to Glenwood (55-11), Maritzburg College (16-5) and a Lions XV (21-16).
Jeppe have battled in recent derby matches and Saturday’s trip to KES will be just as tough.
KES have a dangerous backline that includes exciting inside centre Jaryd Meyer, who has sensational skills and impressive pace. KES scrumhalf Daniel Eyre has also been in sublime form, scoring two decisive tries at the Easter Festival, and he can swing a game in his team’s favour in an instant. However, Jeppe have two hard tackling centres in Nhlahla Tshabalala and Lincoln Koopman, who will ensure that KES don’t have everything their own way.
Among the forwards, Jeppe flank Ricardo Menezes will be looking to spoil the Reds’ day by trying to disrupt the breakdown. While KES were badly exposed in the set pieces by Marlow and Rondebosch, forwards coach Cheese van Tonder will have addressed these issues during the week.
A Jeppe win is highly unlikely, but KES coach Carl Spilhaus is far too astute to underestimate the opposition.
By Gareth Wright