Richards Bay & Royal AM out to fight for survival

football01 March 2024 14:45| © Backpage TXT
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Nkosikhona Ndaba © Backpage Pix

In an attempt to claw their way out of the PSL Relegation Play-off position, Richards Bay FC will take on Royal AM in their latest DStv Premiership encounter this weekend with the tie set to take place at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday night.

Kick-off is at 8:00pm CAT (SA, GMT+2)


With Richards Bay sitting in 15th position on the table, the Natal Rich Boyz have battled to gain positive traction in their last five league fixtures. Richards Bay could only record one victory during this period, which came in a 3-1 win over SuperSport United on the 30th of December 2023.

Other than their win against Matsatsantsa, Richards Bay suffered three defeats, one of which was against Royal AM at the Harry Gwala Stadium on the 10th of December 2023.

A brace by Mxolisi Macuphu, including a solitary strike by Thabo Matlaba saw Thwihli Thwahla run out as 3-2 victors the last time the two teams met.

Royal AM are without a win in each of their last three league fixtures and have accumulated just 19 points from 16 league games this season.

Ironically, Thwihli Thwahla last tasted victory against their upcoming opponents, while recording a 2-1 win against Cape Town Spurs in the Mother City in the fixture prior. Royal’s inconsistent run of form sees them occupy 14th position with 13 games left to play.


“The primary responsibility I have now is to try and make sure that I save the team,” Richards Bay coach Vusumuzi Vilakazi said regarding his team’s league form.

“That’s the main thing I need to see happening in my football career at this moment. Going forward, obviously I’m still a young coach, there’s still a young coach.

“I’m not gonna say I am in a hurry, I want to win the Nedbank Cup, I want to win the league. What is important is to save the team at this particular time, that’s where my focus is.”

“We’re out of the Nedbank Cup now, so we need to focus on the league and try to improve our position on the log,” Royal AM coach John Maduka said ahead of this weekend’s clash.

“For us to do that, we need to take it one game at a time, and play each game as if it’s a final.

“We do expect a tough game against Richards Bay because they’re also fighting for their lives to try and come out of the situation that they’re in


Richards Bay FC: Somali Ntsundwana – The powerful attacker has an ever-present figure for Richards Bay this season, whether it be as a starter or from the bench. Should Ntsundwana be used as an impact player, which has been the case on a couple of occasions this season, the attacker could cause damage with his direct runs into the 18-yard-area.

Royal AM: Mxolisi Macuphu – The Richards Bay defence have been well acquainted with the Royal AM striker this season, after scoring a brace against the Natal Rich Boyz last time out. Macuphu will no doubt be licking his lips at the prospect of scoring against a leaky Richards Bay defence.


All league results:

2022/23 Royal 0-1 Bay Magubane

2022/23 Bay 0-0 Royal

2023/24 Royal 3-2 Bay