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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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19