Picture: THINKSTOCK
Picture: THINKSTOCK

The PRO14 enters its next phase when the Southern Kings and Cheetahs host home games for the first time this weekend.

Although they will never admit it‚ organisers must be hoping that at least one of the teams secure a win after a dismal start to the new adventure.

Two weeks into the contest it looks more like a misadventure, with the Kings and Cheetahs losing four out of four and being outscored by 182 points to 57.

The Cheetahs face Italian stragglers Zebre and should fancy this as a must-win game‚ but the Europeans have shown more of an appetite for defending than the South Africans.

The Kings will not find life much easier after their opening matches against the Scarlets and Connacht when they take on another Irish team, Leinster, in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

The former double European champions are one of six undefeated teams after two rounds and are likely to stretch their winning streak to three games this weekend.

But the Kings can take some comfort knowing that it is not a full-strength Leinster that will run out at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium at the weekend.

Coach Leo Cullen was unable to select several key players for the two-match tour‚ which includes a clash against the Cheetahs next weekend.

It has certainly taken some firepower out of the Leinster squad and presents the Kings with an outside chance.

But Deon Davids’s team are still thin on paper as he tries to build a squad and a style that will bring success in the long run.

Davids‚ in a rallying cry to fans in the Eastern Cape‚ has urged them to come out and support his side to give them an advantage against some tough opposition. "There is no doubt‚ as we saw earlier this year‚ that our team plays at its best when they have local support‚" he said.

"We are grateful to those who came out in numbers this year and I am confident that they will come back for more when we play against all these world stars in the PRO14.

‘The Kings want to do well in this competition and we will need the support of all our fans. There are many world stars in action and every team will bring their own brand of play and skills set."

TimesLIVE

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