Kings want to do more than tackle

Wed, 13 Mar 2013 05:51
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Kings boss Alan Solomons told Jan de Koning that his team wants to do a lot more than just defend - which they are doing with great gusto.

Kings Director of Rugby Alan Solomons was stating the obvious when he said his team played "with a great deal of heart" against the Sharks last Saturday.

Following their 22-10 win over the Western Force in their Super Rugby debut, the 12-21 loss to the Sharks further enhanced the reputation of the Eastern Cape side as a legitimate Super Rugby outfit.

However, Solomons would like to see his team do more than just tackle with gusto.

They must play with the ball in hand a lot more and he is hoping that trend can start against the defending champion Chiefs in Port Elizabeth on Friday.

In their opening match, against the Force, the Kings made and astonishing 194 tackles to the Force's 108. The Kings missed just 15 tackles to the 26 missed by the Force, as the Eastern Cape men secured a 22-10 win.

Last week against 2012's beaten finalists, the Sharks, the Kings made 165 tackles and missed 15. The Sharks made 87 tackles and missed nine - a 21-12 win for the team from Durban.

"Our defence was tremendous," Solomons told this website in an interview during the build-up to Friday's encounter with Chiefs.

"With two minutes to go we were trailing [the Sharks] by 12-18, we got a penalty, kicked it to the corner and there was an opportunity of an upset."

That showed the heart with which they played and their commitment on defence - to have kept last year's beaten finalists tryless.

In fact the only the Brumbies have conceded fewer tries than the Kings, who saw the Force cross their tryline twice.

However, Solomons is the first to admit that they can't keep relying on defence and have had too little possession, particularly in the first half last week.

"We need to get our hands on the ball and keep possession," the Kings mentor said.

"It was a fantastic performance, it showed tremendous character and it was a monumental defensive effort.

"You must remember, these guys [the Sharks] played in the Super Rugby Final last year and we were playing in the Final of Division One [second tier domestic competition in South Africa]."

Asked how he plans to change that statistic and avoid his team becoming a defensive unit, Solomons said they need to start cutting down on their high error count.

They conceded 17 turnovers against the Force and 16 against the Sharks.

"What we have to learn in this competition is that if you make a mistake, then you end up defending for phase, after phase, after phase.

"It is important that we cut down our error rate.

"We have constantly built our set piece, which is a good platform from which to play.

"So the key is that we cut down the errors and develop the ability to retain the ball through phases - that is very important."

By Jan de Koning

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Blues 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
Fri, 05 May 2017
Hurricanes v Stormers 07h35 Westpac Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 57 | 14
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 9 6 0 3 28
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 9 6 0 3 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10