Kings for a day

Sun, 24 Feb 2013 18:27
Large andriesstraussforce Large maybru logo630 Large ergeal petersen kings run Large shaunventerforce Large demetricatrakiliskingsplace kick Large kings v force Large kings v force2 Large alan solomons kings presser

The Southern Kings can continue their Super Rugby stint with pride and confidence after their gutsy maiden victory at the weekend.

The Southern Kings can continue their Super Rugby stint with pride and confidence after their gutsy maiden victory at the weekend.

Despite playing at home, the debutants had looked destined for defeat. Their on-field pre-season preparations - the high error rate and lack of synergy in addition to the mediocre results - pointed to a baptism of fire at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

The Western Force aren’t exactly title contenders. Heck, they’re not even play-off hopefuls, and are likely to finish the season in the bottom three as they have done consistently since 2010.

However, the Perth side’s reputation shouldn’t detract from what the Kings achieved on Saturday. Love them or hate them, but you have to respect the fact that the polarising newcomers did what no other debutant franchise could.

None of the three teams who have been added to the Super Rugby fray since 2006 were able to win their debut fixtures. Like the Kings, the Cheetahs, Force and Melbourne Rebels all had home ground advantage, yet went down to the Bulls (30-18), Brumbies (25-10) and Waratahs (43-0) respectively.

Those teams, did however, bounce back from their disappointing debut defeats to a certain degree. Although both Australian franchises ended their inaugural Super Rugby campaigns as wooden spoonists, they achieved some credible results along the way.

The Force were the least successful, securing just the one win - over fellow newcomers the Cheetahs (16-14) - but they also managed admirable draws with the Crusaders (23-all) and Lions (34-all).

The Rebels registered three wins in their debut season in 2011, beating the Brumbies (25-24), Hurricanes (42-25) and Force (26-25), while the Cheetahs claimed a record five victories over the Sharks (27-26), Hurricanes (27-25), Stormers (31-25), Reds (10-6) and Lions (28-23) and a 10th-place finish.

The Kings’ position in this hierarchy remains to be seen, although despite their dream start, they will probably be on par with the Force rather than the Rebels and Cheetahs in terms of overall wins.      

Yes, they are going to struggle and sure they are in for a rough ride, but one has to believe Saturday’s triumph was a sweet payoff for all involved, particularly for a rugby virtuoso like Alan Solomons, who’s dedicated himself to the resurrection of Eastern Province rugby since 2009.

Even if just for a day, the Kings had their moment in the sun. The historic occasion will live on in Eastern Province rugby folklore forever, irrespective of whether or not the Kings go on to finish the season at the bottom of the log.

By Quintin van Jaarsveld

MailBru: Drop us an email to rugby@sportsmedia365.com with your comment on this column and your reply could get published on rugby365 and win you a MayBru hamper!

MayBru - Seriously South African  

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 06 May 2016
Crusaders v Reds 07h35 Christchurch
Brumbies v Bulls 09h40 Canberra
Griffons v Eagles 15h00 Welkom
EP Kings v Blue Bulls 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Sat, 07 May 2016
Sunwolves v Force 05h15 Tokyo
Chiefs v Highlanders 07h35 Hamilton
Waratahs v Cheetahs 09h40 Sydney
Leopards v Boland 12h30 Potchefstroom
Griquas v Border 13h00 Kimberley
Sharks v Hurricanes 13h00 Durban
Pumas v Namibia 13h00 Mpumalanga
Golden Lions v Free State Cheetahs 13h00 Randburg
Wasps v London Irish 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 14h30 Sixways
Bath v Leicester Tigers 14h30 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Northampton Saints 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 Twickenham
Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks 14h30 Kingston Park
Zebre v Dragons 15h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Munster v Scarlets 15h00 Thomond Park
Ospreys v Ulster 15h00 Liberty Stadium
Connacht v Glasgow Warriors 15h00 Sportsground
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 15h00 BT Murrayfield
Leinster v Treviso 15h00 RDS
Kings v Blues 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Western Province 15h30 Durban
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 9 5 0 4 23
Brumbies 9 5 0 4 21
Waratahs 8 4 0 4 21
Reds 9 2 1 6 12
Force 9 1 0 8 6
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 9 8 0 1 37
Crusaders 8 7 0 1 32
Hurricanes 9 6 0 3 31
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Blues 8 4 1 3 20
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 9 6 0 3 29
Bulls 8 6 1 1 28
Cheetahs 9 2 0 7 12
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 9 6 0 3 27
Sharks 9 4 1 4 23
Jaguares 8 1 0 7 7
Kings 7 1 0 6 4