We were fast asleep
The Southern Kings let themselves down with a poor performance and too many unforced errors in their 18-48 Super Rugby loss to the Bulls at the weekend.
Kings Director of Rugby Alan Solomons said that - apart for the mauling and some tactical kicking - the Kings had failed to perform in their second clash against the Bulls this season.
"I think we didn't perform well on the day and that ran throughout the game; it wasn't a good performance," he said.
"We weren't accurate and error rate was far too high. We made a lot of unforced errors and gave away too many penalties. We didn't scrum well and our lineout didn't operate effectively.
"It was an error ridden performance and effectively we weren't up to our usual standards," he said.
Solomons said the game had effectively been lost between the 30th and 33rd minute, when the Bulls scored three successive tries.
"Fundamentally the game was won between the 30th and the 33rd minute with three soft tries. The first try, when they took the quick line-out, we weren't at the races, we were fast asleep. The other two just came from system errors on defence," he said.
Solomons said he was also not happy with the erratic nature of the tackling and the players ability to stop the Bulls momentum.
"On a positive note we did very well to score just before half time and then we got the first points just after halftime, getting the score to 32 – 18, it was just silly mistakes that let us down," he said.
Solomons said from an injury perspective the team had come through relatively unscathed from the encounter, although there were a few concerns over Kevin Buys.
"Buys came off the field as he took a knock to his back, but we're optimistic that he will be alright. We will have to wait and see, but he is feeling much better this [Sunday] morning," he said.
Kings' coach Matt Sexton was also critical of his side's performance, citing poor defence and a lack of composure during set-piece play as the reason for the heavy loss, which guarantees his side face the Lions in a promotion/playoff fixture for finishing last in the South African conference.
"The effort's always there, I thought the execution was the issue and across the board, if we looked at every aspect, we didn't really perform," he said.
"Lots of mistakes from set-pieces, uncharacteristic defensive stuff and dropped ball, so I was pretty disappointed.
"We respect our opponents, but not having played for a month could have been a factor, but certainly it wasn't the main one."