Southern Kings: A delightful surprise

Expecting the worse I was reluctant to the point of rather snooze off in front of the TV when the Kings/Force match started at 6h00 this morning in New Zealand. 

The first 10 minutes was not encouraging at all with the Kings hardly seeing the ball. On the brink of switching the TV off, the Kings scored -the first try of the match. Intrigued, I started to watch with more interest; what a delight it turned out to be. 

Superbru points in the back of my mind, I was not concerned about them losing. So I kept on watching, not because they were edging ahead and eventually winning, but because of the delightful rugby they dished-up. 

The defence was good, the set piece solid (mostly), the line-out better than the Stormers on the weekend and the ball handling in the backline refreshing and full of variation. There was some enchanting inter passing between forwards and backs, good hands, nice light touches and good decision making when they carried the ball and on defence. Some exciting new talent on display as well on the wing with Sergeal Petersen and Demetri Catrakilis had an impressive game on No10. Seems that we have a wing here that could be a Springbok in the making and Catrakilis impressed as a flyhalf that can dictate and play the running game.   

The commitment of the pack and their structures at the breakdown and set piece was promising considering that it’s a first outing. 

The Force probably underestimated them and is certainly not the biggest challenge the Kings are going to face this year but it’s not the victory that had me sitting up while watching this bunch. It is the enchanting style of play; the variation on attack; the light touches; the way they attack space; the offload in the tackles; the general ball handling; the structures at the breakdowns; the organised and committed defence and that one pushover scrum on the attack that had me on the front of my seat. 

What a delight to see a SA team that did not bore us to the bone with a kickathon kick and charge alla Bulls or flap, flap recycle ad infinito alla Lions or stampkar smash it up and flat line defend for 80 minutes alla Stormers or leak tries while running around like headless chuck alla Cheetahs. 

Its early days but if these guys produce some more of this they’ll have my support that’s for sure.

10 thoughts on “Southern Kings: A delightful surprise

  1. Look bud, the Kings were playing the Force – a pretty shitty rugby team. They wouldn’t even win the Currie B Section.

    I called the Kings to win – wait till they start playing pressure-cooker rugby. All that “delightful rugby they dished-up (sic)” will disintegrate faster than you can say Nelson Mandela Bay

    • You’re not catching my drift, bru. I am not saying the Kings are world beaters or the best in the competition. I was pleasantly surprised by them and liked the fact that they brought something different to the table as a SA franchise.

      In terms of the Force being a shitty team. Here is something to chew on. Bulls record against them is 6 games played, 3 wins and 3 lost. The Force like an arm wrestle and if that style makes them shitty team then maybe you should re-consider your appreciation of SA teams that play in a similar way. Reason why the Kings won this match is because they didn’t allowed themselves to be dragged into an arm wrestle. Having beaten the Bulls three times means their (The Force) set piece is not so shabby so the Kings looks like they would at least hold their won against some of the better team with regard to set piece. If they do that and hold onto their ball better than they did in the first half they might actually surprise some teams.

      It is early days and they will probably disintegrate but I expected worse so I was pleased. If that sentiment annoys you consider taking a chill pill.

  2. Jumping on the kings bandwagon?

    If their is a team worse than the kings it is the Force. Lets see how they do in their next game against real opposition, the force has 3 players of real quality after that they have a bunch of varsity players.

    They lost more than 13 players to other unions this year and they wont be competitive, not even the aussies back them and that tells a big story!

    • Not jumping on any bandwagon. I was/and still is as infuriated as the next SA rugby fan about how the Kings got S15 status.

      I started watching the game against the Force with much prejudice but was pleasantly surprised by the Kings. The SA main franchises are steeped in tradition (in how you should play the game) and seems to be unwilling to move on and try something different. Players want to play a certain style and a coach that wants to do something different often find himself being questioned and ganged-up-against by senior players. From that perspective the Kings approach was refreshing.

      Time wil tell about the kings but win or loose I’ll support them if they continue playing like they did against the Force.

        • I just think we should not forget that this was the Kings first match and that there are no easy matches in the S15.

          No name players or not they (the Force) are a professional rugby team with a professional coach and back-up crew.

          • That’s what we believed of the Lions as well McLook. Doesn’t mean they are any good just because they somehow ended up in the Super Comp.

        • Agree guntz. Also the Fore have lost stalwarts in Pocock, Sharpe and even had O’Connor as recently at 2 seasons back stage. If you want to consider just the impact of Sharpe in that side, think of the impact Juan Smith has on the Cheetahs side. Just their presence boosts the team performance by 100%.

          Personally the only player I rate in the Force side is Mafi. Cummings and Mathewson are really worthless at the moment.

          Having said that, I do think the Kings performance when looking at skills, ball distribution and tactics did well, but their main drive was sheer passion and that is guaranteed to be watered down by 50% at least when they have their next game.

          • Well at least the Force has a better track record than the Lions. Lions lost their last two matches against the Force.

            Yes, first match passion was undoubtedly a big motivation and is due to water down as the the season progress.

            All I am saying I was expecting a total disaster and are pleased it was not one. It might still end-up to be a disaster when they face better teams. Guntz is therefore correct lets see the win within perspective, off who they played.

            But lets also give these guys -who just want a change in the big time- the credit they deserve after fronting up against a team who have been around for awhile. Fronting-up against a team who have won the Bulls three times and who have ended for the last two seasons at least above the team who the Kings replaced (the Lions).

            I am totally realsitic about this victory and do have my fears that it might be their only one this season but did like the way they played.

          • Ja look, I agree, it was a pleasant surprise to see the way in which the guys played, as I was also expected a bit of a whipping from the Force.

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