Pieterse looks on the bright side

Fri, 02 Sep 2016 12:55
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Eastern Province Kings head coach Barend Pieterse believes their tough schedule this week will put them in good stead going forward as a team.

The match against the Free State Cheetahs on Saturday will be the Kings' third in eight days. The team from Port Elizabeth had to play a catch-up match against Griquas on Wednesday, which they lost 24-47 in Kimberley.

Pieterse has been shuffling his players around since last Saturday's defeat to Western Province and despite the challenge, he and the team have remained positive.  

"Three games in eight days always meant that this would be a squad exercise with two teams rotating, but it has also been an opportunity for the players - some of those who appeared against Griquas have earned another chance," said Pieterse. 

"This might have been all doom and gloom as a challenge but it has been far from that. The players' attitude has been magnificent – no negativity at all – and it has actually been good to be on the road as a squad. 

"The players for tomorrow's [Saturday] match drove up to Bloem on Wednesday and as the majority of them are young and making their way they have really enjoyed the experience."

The EP Kings are still without a win in this year's Currie Cup Premier Division and are currently sitting at the bottom of the standings after four rounds.

However, Pieterse believes his team has shown signs of improvement.

"We have been making progress and there are certain areas where we are improving every week and there are certain areas where we still need to work on. 

"What is costing us most of the time is the little lapses in concentration that get converted into points against.

"It'll be a nice challenge to go back to my old province [Free State] and face some of the people who coached me. The Cheetahs are doing well so it'll be another great opportunity for our players," he added.

@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 30 September 2016
Golden Lions v Sharks 15h00 Johannesburg
EP Kings v Pumas 16h00 Nelspruit
Western Province v Boland 17h10 Cape Town
Dragons v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Rodney Parade
Connacht v Edinburgh 18h35 Sportsground
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 Franklin's Gardens
Bristol v Saracens 18h45 Ashton Gate
Sat, 01 October 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Griquas 12h00 Bloemfontein
Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers 13h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Munster v Zebre 16h00 Thomond Park
Ulster v Ospreys 17h30 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Leinster 18h35 BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park
Cardiff Blues v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Stadio Monigo
Sun, 02 October 2016
Argentina v New Zealand 22h10 Ascoli Piceno
Wasps v Harlequins 13h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Sixways
Tue, 04 October 2016
Edinburgh v Ulster 19h35 BT Murrayfield
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 7 7 0 0 34
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Sharks 7 5 0 2 25
Western Province 7 4 0 3 23
Golden Lions 7 4 0 3 22
Griquas 7 4 0 3 20
Boland 7 2 0 5 9
Pumas 7 0 0 7 5
EP Kings 7 0 0 7 1