Kings in good shape ahead of Zebre clash
INJURY UPDATE: The Kings have escaped unscathed from their brutal 10-31 loss to Leinster in Port Elizabeth at the weekend.
The Kings dominated possession and field position for long periods of the first half, however, some solid Leinster defence saw the visitors able to go into the break leading by 7-3.
As the second half progressed the experience of Leinster just surfaced. The visitors scored four tries to one in the second half and secured their third win in three matches.
Captain Michael Willemse lauded his troops for their first-half performance but expressed disappointment that the team were not yet able to maintain that level for a full 80 minutes.
"We'll keep getting fitter and stronger and begin to get to know each other better too," Willemse said.
During the match, the skipper struggled with a niggle to his left hand, however, he underwent a scan on Monday which confirmed it is only soft-tissue damage.
Lock Dries van Schalkwyk is also nursing a soft-tissue injury to his left ankle, which initially sustained in the match against Connacht but has flared up again against Leinster.
Both players are expected to recover in time for this weekend’s encounter with Zebre.
Plaatjies also confirmed that props Entienne Swanepoel and Rossouw De Klerk would be available for selection too. The pair had sat out for the match against Leinster after both suffered head injuries against Connacht and then subsequently failing their mandatory head injury assessments.
Scrum Rudi van Rooyen and lock Jurie van Vuuren were absent from the Kings training session on Monday.
Van Rooyen is suffering from neck spasms and lock Van Vuuren, is being treated with antibiotics for a minor leg infection.
Flyhalf Kurt Coleman was also cleared by Plaatjies who reported that a troublesome quad muscle was simply “tight” and had responded well to treatment.
"Minor bumps and bruises but nothing that should result in any of our players being unavailable for this weekend’s match against Zebre," That was the official verdict from Southern Kings team doctor Clement Plaatjies
Next up for the Kings are Italian side Zebre on September 23.
Zebre suffered a 39-54 defeat to Cheetahs in Bloemfontein at the weekend and this fixture could be an opportunity for coach Deon Davids' troops to turn around their fortunes with their first Pro14 win.