Schedule logjam to test Kings' depth

Sun, 21 Aug 2016 21:20
Large ep kings player on knees 800

REACTION: Eastern Province Kings coach Barend Pieterse believes that his team's depth will be put to the test in the next two weeks.

The Kings managed to get a losing bonus point after scoring five tries in their 35-49 defeat against the Bulls in Pretoria last Friday.

Pieterse said that the Kings' player resources will be tested in the coming weeks - with the team facing the challenge of potentially playing three games in seven days, starting with a clash against Western Province in Cape Town this coming Saturday.

"I think for us next week is vital," the Kings' coach said.

"We have a tough two weeks lying ahead.

"There is a chance that we might be playing three games in seven days, because of the first game that we lost," he added.

The Kings' opening round match - initially scheduled for August 5 -has been pencilled in for Wednesday, August 31, when they are set to face Griquas in Kimberley.

That is sandwiched between the encounter with WP in Cape Town this coming Saturday, August 27, and a trip to Bloemfontein on Saturday, September 3, when they face the Free State Cheetahs.

"We will have to go see where we can rest one or two players, because you can't expect all of this group to play three games in seven days," said Pieterse.

Pieterse added that the Kings will select players from the Eastern Province academy and development teams if they are required to do so.

"We still have a few good players back in Port Elizabeth," he said.

"At the moment depth is going to be a problem especially playing three games in seven days.

"However, there is always something we can do and unfortunately, we can't do anything about the games we play [three games in eight days] but there is something we can do to make sure we have enough players."

The Kings are a team that has been affected by off-field issues involving the finances of the professional arm of the Eastern Province Rugby Union, EP Rugby (Pty) Ltd.

Their participation in this year's Currie Cup tournament was only confirmed a day before the start of the tournament.

They are still settling on their game plan and combinations after the majority of their Super Rugby players signed on for other teams  at the end of the Super Rugby season.

However, they will be pleased with their efforts especially the way in which they ran at the Bulls last Friday.

The Kings currently find themselves sitting in eighth place on the Currie Cup table with one point from two games - which includes defeats against the Bulls and the Boland Cavaliers.

By Josh Isaacson
@isaacson_j
@rugby365com

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 23 September 2017
Sharks v Blue Bulls 13h00 Durban
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Saracens v Sale Sharks 14h00 Allianz Park
Bath v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Recreation Ground
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 14h15 Sportsground
Western Province v Griquas 15h15 Newlands
Kings v Zebre 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Scarlets v Edinburgh 18h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 24 September 2017
London Irish v Northampton Saints 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Wasps 14h00 Sandy Park
Fri, 29 September 2017
Sharks v Golden Lions 17h00 Durban
Newcastle Falcons v London Irish 18h35 Kingston Park
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 18h35 Sixways
Sale Sharks v Gloucester 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Glasgow Warriors v Treviso 19h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Leinster v Edinburgh 19h35 RDS Arena
Scarlets v Connacht 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 9 8 0 1 39
Free State Cheetahs 9 6 0 3 30
Golden Lions 9 4 0 5 25
Pumas 10 4 0 6 24
Western Province 8 4 0 4 22
Blue Bulls 8 3 0 5 20
Griquas 9 2 0 7 16