On the back of the disheartening news that Super Rugby will be reverting to a 15 team format in 2018 and that the Southern Kings could be in the firing line the Kings acquitted themselves well in their match against the Western Force who are currently second on the Australian Log. (See: Whichever way you look at it chances for the Southern Kings are slim)
The first half saw 22 points scored by both teams in contrast to 65 points scored by both in the second half.
In the only match played on Sunday, the Southern Kings were beaten 46-41 by the Force in a highly entertaining match in Perth. Both teams scored six tries, including a penalty try for the Force, while Malcolm Jaer grabbed a hat-trick for the Eastern Cape side.
Commenting on the game Southern Kings Coach, Deon Davids said that he felt that the Kings had ample opportunities in the first half but didn’t make good decisions and the small mistakes made cost the team in the end. Davids was much more upbeat about the second half saying that the Kings had scored some brilliant tries but lack of concentration let the Kings slip to play outside their game plan.
Asked about the latest developments around Super Rugby, Southern Kings Coach, Deon Davids said the the team had a policy of controlling what they can control and had taken note of the speculation around the composition of Super Rugby and were prepared to deal with whatever the outcome would be for the Southern Kings.
“I think the future of SA Rugby lies in the Eastern Cape. There are some good schools, the academy has produced some excellent players in the past few years and the Eastern Cape has produced some excellent Springboks,” said Davids.
“If we get proper systems and proper financial support it will help a lot to build sustainability,” continued Davids.
Asked if Rugby would suffer should the Kings lose their Super Rugby status, Davids said; “It will be a setback for the region and I believe from a school perspective we will lose a lot of players but obviously they will play rugby in other regions of South Africa.”
Asked how he feels about the impending change, Southern Kings Captain, Lionel Cronje said; “I was born in the Eastern Cape and attended Queens College and for me as a youngster there was never a professional side in the Eastern Cape. I think we all know that if the opportunity is there to go out and support professional players and to have heroes to look up to it motivates you to be able to chase dreams to have ambitions to teach them that there is a career that they can follow. There are some players that come from disadvantaged areas in the Eastern Cape as well that get great opportunities to go places in life and rugby provides them with a platform where they can grow themselves and support their families. We got some of those guys in our team as well that have taken the opportunity that Rugby has provided them with so it is of utmost importance to have rugby within the Eastern Cape.”
Back to the game Cronje said that the Kings failed to control the game when they were ahead which was probably their greatest failing saying that they needed to stay focused and keep control.
Asked to pinpoint areas of concern Cronje cited that defense and kicking needed some more attention.
Western Force 46, Southern Kings 41
- Western Force 46 (15) – Tries: Jono Lance, Alex Newsome (2), Dane Haylett-Petty, Ben McCalman; Penalty try; Conversions: Jono Lance (3), Ian Pryor; Penalties: Lance (2).
- Southern Kings 41 (7) – Tries: Justin Forwood, Yaw Pexe, Malcolm Jaer (3), Makazole Mapimpi; Conversions: Lionel Cronje (4); Penalty: Pieter-Steyn de Wet.
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