Kings not fazed by axing

Sun, 09 Jul 2017 09:08

SUPER RUGBY REACTION: The Southern Kings continued making history in their breakthrough Super Rugby season, with a 31-30 victory over the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.

The Kings' recent win was their second victory against a South African Super Rugby side - the other victory was over fellow South African side the Sharks in May 2017.

"It is a fantastic feeling. Just want to congratulate the team for this. The guys worked hard for this" Kings head coach Deon Davids told reporters.

The Kings' had a remarkable 2017 campaign which includes victories over the Waratahs (Sydney), Jaguares (Buenos Aires), Bulls (Pretoria), and Sunwolves (Singapore), while at home at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth they have knocked over the Melbourne Rebels and the Sharks, respectively.

Sadly, their Super Rugby chapter is slowly coming to an end after SARU's announcement on Friday that both the Kings and the Cheetahs have been axed from the 2018 Super Rugby tournament.

Fittingly, the Kings and the Cheetahs will face each other in what looks for now to be both teams final Super Rugby appearance, when the Kings host the Cheetahs at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth next weekend.

"[Being axed from the Super Rugby competition] is a bit of a disappointment. However, we never spoke of that, we entirely focused on the task at hand.

"As players and coaches, we learned a lot. We enjoy being together and the players enjoy the team's culture and looking forward to doing our best next week" he added.  

Davids is adamant that his team will exit Super Rugby as more than just a team, having inspired future generations of rugby players with their teamwork and attitude on and off the field.

"I said to [the players], if you in the situation that we are now, this will be the last Southern Kings team that ever played a Super Rugby game and if people look back at this team, they will look back at the individuals in terms of the skills that they exhibited, the passion, the pride, the heart, the soul that they’ve showcased and the fact that irrespective of what happened in life if your dreams are strong and you put in the proper hard work.

"You do things for the right reasons and you understand that you are here to serve and you are not here on your own, you here to give your all.

"If you can carry those values into a society or into a team and people gain inspiration out of that then that is the legacy that you want to leave," Davids explained.

Captain and flyhalf Lionel Cronje echoed his coach’s sentiments on the passion and team spirit which has become a trademark of the Kings throughout the Super Rugby campaign.

"Like coach [Deon Davids] said it’s just guys that have really embraced the opportunity. We just really wanted to win games, play for each other and be passionate about what we do and enjoy what we do," said Cronje.

The skipper further shared his views on SARU's decision.

"There is no point in worrying about external factors that you have no control over. It is what is is... we can only look forward. We can't be negative about it, we have to be positive about.

"Whatever competition we found ourselves in we just have to do out best," he added.

By Josh Isaacson

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Sun, 18 February 2018
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Ricoh Arena
Dragons v Treviso 15h30 Rodney Parade
Mon, 19 February 2018
NMMU-Madibaz v Wits 14h45 Port Elizabeth
Maties v CUT-Ixias 16h30 Cape Town
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 16h30 Cape Town
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Fri, 23 February 2018
Dragons v Edinburgh 22h00 Rodney Parade
Highlanders v Blues 06h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Reds 08h45 Melbourne
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 19h00 Irish Independent Park
Leinster v Kings 19h35 RDS
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
France v Italy 20h00 Paris
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Chiefs 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Bath v Sale Sharks 12h30 Recreation Ground
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Sunwolves 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 0 0 0 0 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Blues 0 0 0 0 0
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 1 1 0 0 4
Lions 1 1 0 0 4
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 1 0 0 1 0