THE EP Kings will not be taking their foot off the accelerator tonight even though their final league Currie Cup First Division rugby match against the Leopards in Potchefstroom is only of academic interest.
Thanks to their thrilling 26-26 draw against the Pumas last Friday, the Kings cannot be overtaken at the top of the log even if they lose to the Leopards.
"We would like to finish the round robin on a good note, because there has been a lot of hard work and effort by everyone in this campaign," EP rugby director Alan Solomons said.
Friday's draw also handed the unbeaten Kings a home semifinal against the team finishing fourth on the final league table in the first division playoffs.
The Kings have also qualified for a money-spinning promotion match against the team finishing bottom of the Currie Cup Premier Division at the end of the season.
"We will not change the formula we have had over the course of the campaign for tonight's game," EP head coach Matt Sexton said.
"In this game different guys have the opportunity to continue the good work. The Leopards will be motivated to do well and get higher up on the log tonight," he said.
The Kings can expect a fierce onslaught on their unbeaten record in Potchefstroom from a Leopards team who will be keen to improve their position on the log ahead of the playoffs.
The Leopards are third on the latest log with 43 points from 13 matches while the Kings have 58 points from the same number of matches.
"Because of our draw against the Pumas we do not need any favours from the other teams," stand-in skipper Tiger Mangweni said. "We did it for ourselves and now we are where we wanted to be from the beginning of the season. Now it is up to us."
With the Kings opting to use their rotational policy against the Leopards, only four players who started against the Pumas last week make today's line-up.
Solomons said: "After the Leopards game we go into the real business end of the season with playoff and promotion/relegation matches and the more fit and available players we can have for these games the better."
Michael Killian, Marcello Sampson, Siyanda Grey, Tiger Mangweni (capt), Norman Nelson, Wesley Dunlop, Scott Mathie, Jaco Engels, Bobby Dyer, Andre Schlechter, Wimpie van der Walt, Wayne van Heerden, Rynier Bernardo, Mpho Mbiyozo (v-capt), Devin Oosthuizen. Replacements: Frank Herne, Lizo Gqoboko, Darron Nell, Boetie Brits, Falie Oelschig, George Whitehead, Wayne Stevens.
Other fixtures today: Boland Cavaliers v Bulldogs (Wellington), Pumas v Griffons (Nelspruit) and Eagles v Falcons (George).