Kings’ character to shine through

Wed, 08 May 2013 20:55
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Southern Kings captain Luke Watson says the desire and fighting spirit of his team will come to the fore against the Highlanders on Saturday.

Southern Kings captain Luke Watson says the desire and fighting spirit of his team will come to the fore when they take on the Highlanders in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Following their record 10-72 drubbing at the hands of the Waratahs last weekend, the Kings this week made a number of changes to their matchday squad for the weekend’s clash, Watson’s return at No.7 the most significant.

Watson was adamant that the newcomers experienced no self doubt after their heavy defeat and promised his team would deliver a much-improved performance against a Highlanders side coming off a 25-22 win over the Sharks in Dunedin.

“The guys’ commitment has been one of our strongest attributes this year and there’s no doubt within ourselves and within the coaching staff that we will bring that same level of commitment that has consistently been there this Saturday,” Watson said.

“As a team that’s at times the best we can offer. We don’t have the most experience, we don’t have international players from one to 15 but what we do have is 22 guys who wear their heart on their sleeve,” he added.

Kings Director of Rugby Alan Solomons said fatigue contributed to the team’s poor showing against the Waratahs and believes the loss has fired up his charges to restore some lost pride.  

“It’s like everything in life - we’ve put it behind us. You can’t go through life looking backwards so we’ve put it behind us, we have taken out of it lessons that we needed to and we’re looking forward to delivering a good performance this weekend,” said Solomons.

“Having had the game, we’ve got up now. We are going to cross that finish line on Saturday, we know that. The guys have freshened up and they’re determined and I have know doubt we will see a committed performance. There will be no shortage of desire.”

Solomons said the squad would receive a break after the match and would only return to training next Friday, with the Kings having a bye next weekend ahead of back-to-back matches prior to the June Test window.

He admitted that a lack of depth made the nine-week stretch of consecutive matches particularly taxing but said the Kings would be able to cope with the demands of Super Rugby for the remainder of the season.

“We can cope with it. The breaks we’ve now got will enable us to cope with it and the actions we will take during those breaks will see that the players are rested,” he said.

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Sat, 29 July 2017
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Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
Fri, 04 August 2017
Sharks v Griquas 17h00 Durban
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 27 | 13
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
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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