Kings backing themselves

Fri, 12 Apr 2013 08:25
Large bandise maku media Large steven sykes kings training Large matt sexton media2 Large bandise maku line out Large andries strauss and steven

The Kings will not fall into the complacency trap when they face the Rebels on Saturday, but they are backing themselves to win.

The Southern Kings will not fall into the complacency trap when they face the Rebels in Melbourne on Saturday, but they are backing themselves to win.

Speaking to this website ahead of their final Australasian tour match, before returning home for an encounter with the Bulls, Kings coach Matt Sexton said although the players are battered and bruised, they are "mentally fresh" after last week's amazing draw with the then table-topping Brumbies.

"The tour has been pretty tough," he said, adding: "We are now in our second week in Australia and the guys are in the right time zone.

"We also have a longer week to build into it [the game]. That is a positive from a physical preparation. Everyone is certainly very positive."

Asked about the expectations that they should be able to record their second tournament win against an erratic Rebels outfit, Sexton said that while they believe in their own ability, they will not underestimate the men from Melbourne.

"Every team in this competition has the ability to win games," he told this website, adding: They [the Rebels] have had a lot of pressure on them [after five defeats] and they had a good win last weekend [over the Force].

"They will want to come home [to Melbourne] and have a good performance in front of their home crowd. We are going to have a very tough game at the weekend, but the guys are ready for that.

"We are certainly not complacent after the performance we had last weekend. We won't be underestimating teams, you do that at your own peril.

"The Rebels have some good players and some world class internationals right across the board.

"We'll give it a good crack, but we are not underestimating them."

He admitted that having had a draw against the Brumbies has certainly given them some confidence.

"We did take a bit of a hiding in week one [of the tour] against the Crusaders and we were better the next week [against the Hurricanes]. We needed to make sure we performed well against that Brumbies side and we did that.

"We will go into this game with a better level of confidence and hope to do well."

Asked about their tactics, given that they are seen as a defensive-orientated outfit, Sexton said they are constantly looking to improve all aspects of their game and avoid becoming predictable.

"Our attack has been evolving and we certainly had a very good defensive performance at the weekend," he said, adding: "That was pretty evident from what you saw [166 tackles and a 90 percent success rate].

"The one area we weren't particularly pleased with was our ability to kick.

"We want to make sure we tidy that area up and have good structure to be down the right end of the park - that's one area we've worked on this week."

The Kings mentor said they have also worked hard on their set-piece play, as their pack are by-and-large inexperienced in Super Rugby.

"A lot of guys haven't played a lot of footy at this level," Sexton said.

"Technically we've worked very hard on our game. We are aspiring to be a very good set piece team - we are at about 80 percent in our line-outs and scrums and we want to work on putting more pressure on the opposition ball.

"That has been a focus for us, the set pieces."

It means two of the most senior players - lock Steven Sykes and hooker Bandise Maku - will be vital cogs in the set-up.

"They are critical for us," he said, adding: "They know what it requires [to be successful in Super Rugby].

"We have young guys that are getting opportunities and they are pretty keen and that goes a long way."

By Jan de Koning

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 21h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 4 3 0 1 15
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Crusaders 4 2 0 2 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 4 1 1 4 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4