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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Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 8 8 0 0 39
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Western Province 8 5 0 3 27
Golden Lions 8 5 0 3 26
Sharks 8 5 0 3 25
Griquas 8 4 0 4 21
Boland 8 2 0 6 11
Pumas 8 1 0 7 10
EP Kings 8 0 0 8 1