Kings having a 'close look' at Sharks

Thu, 07 Mar 2013 21:38
Large andries strauss and steven Large alan solomons  hand on head Large kings team huddle Large darron nell kings points Large steven sykes and darron nel

With the euphoria of their debut win having been exchanged for reality, the Kings are  now plotting the downfall of a much bigger fish.

With the euphoria of their debut win against the Western Force having been exchanged for reality, the Southern Kings are  now plotting the downfall of a much bigger fish.

After their impressive 22-10 win over the Force in Week Two, the Kings had a bye last week - time to reflect and let emotions settle.

On Saturday they welcome one of the tournament's top teams, the Sharks - beaten finalists in 2012 and a side loaded with international stars.

The visitors will field a starting XV with 10 Springboks and another three internationals on the bench.

In stark contrast the Kings have just two Boks in the starting XV, a player who once sat on the Bok bench without being used and a third Bok - their captain Luke Watson - on the bench and currently under an injury cloud.

The irony is that most of the Kings with Bok connections - Andries Strauss, Steven Sykes (an unused replacement in 2009)  and Luke Watson - formerly played for the Sharks.

But the Kings know all about being underdogs and are ready to take on the challenge again.

"It was a massive game and a big occasion," Director of Rugby Alan Solomons told this website, when asked about their debut a fortnight ago.

"The bye probably came at a fairly opportune moment," he said, adding: "We were able to prepare well and we were afforded the chance to wait an extra couple of days for guys to recover from the bumps and bruises.

"We have certainly been able to plan in the intervening period pretty well."

In the build-up to the encounter with the Force it was mostly about the emotion of the occasion.

Now it is about rugby for the Kings.

"We've always been aware that we are in a very potent competition," the Kings boss said.

"The opening game was important for a variety of reasons.

"However, the Sharks were beaten finalists last year - they are obviously a top-flight outfit with a number of international players.

"We know it is going to be a very, very tough game for us."

Solomons admitted they could change their approach for the Sharks, given that heart and defence were key characteristics of their win over the Force.

"One has a close look at how you want to approach a particular game," he said, adding: "The Sharks are a powerful, very physical outfit."

He was well aware that his team will have to make a huge step up in terms of physicality.

"The Force showed, against the Bulls, that they can compete and were perhaps unfortunate not to come away with a little more than they did [from Pretoria].

"Certainly the Sharks are one of the leading teams in the competition and I would say it is definitely going to be a step up physically."

By Jan de Koning

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 19 November 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins 14h00 Sandy Park
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
London Irish v Bath 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Fri, 24 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Ulster v Treviso 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 18h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Leinster v Dragons 18h35 RDS Stadium
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 18h45 Kingston Park
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 18h45 Welford Road
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 25 November 2017
Bath v Harlequins 11h15 Recreation Ground
Italy v South Africa 13h00 Rome
Scotland v Australia 14h30 Cardiff
England v Samoa 15h00 Twickenham
Wales v New Zealand 17h15 Cardiff
Ireland v Argentina 17h30 Aviva Stadium
Cheetahs v Edinburgh 17h30 Bloemfontein
France v Japan 19h00 Paris
Sun, 26 November 2017
Kings v Scarlets 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Zebre v Munster 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28