pierre_mackie

From jesters to Kings


Written by Pierre McLeod (pierre_mackie)

Posted in :EP Kings, Original Content, Super Rugby on 9 May 2017 at 07:59
Tagged with : , , , , ,

The Southern Kings took a lot of flak back in 2016 when they returned to the Super Rugby playing field with an interesting jersey design from kit manufacturer BLK. The Kings revealed an abstract version of a beaded design symbolic to the Eastern Cape.

To say the least, the design did not go down well as many suggested the Kings looked like jesters; professional clowns employed to entertain a king or nobleman in medieval times.

Their campaign ended as many predicted at the bottom of the log with only two wins from fifteen matches. Both against new comers the Sunwolves and the Jaguares at home.

Despite another mass exodus from players as in 2013, the Kings had some continuity going into their 2017 season as they retained the services of head coach Deon Davids, but unfortunately they went through another building phase as they had to say goodbye to the likes of Steven Sykes, Lizo Gqoboka, Edgar Marutlulle, James Hall, Louis Fouche and Shane Gates to only name a few.

The Kings however did manage to keep some exciting youngsters in Malcolm Jaer, CJ Velleman and Chris Cloete. They also signed a few experienced campaigners in Ross Geldenhuys, Louis Schreuder and Lionel Cronje to go along with seasoned Kings player, Schalk Ferreira, who was appointed captain.

The Kings started their 2017 Super Rugby campaign with a loss against the Jaguares 26 – 39, but surprised many as they picked up their first win as early as Round 2 against the Sunwolves, beating them 37 – 23 in Singapore. A confident Kings side returned to the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium to face the Stormers, but conceded 31 points as they lost 10 – 41.

Round 4 saw them put in another solid performance against a struggling Sharks side at Kings Park, as they picked up a losing bonus point after ex PE boy Curwin Bosch secured the win for the Sharks in the seventieth minute, 17 – 19.

The Kings suffered another heavy defeat against fellow South Africans, the Lions, 19 – 42 in Port Elizabeth before heading to Australia to face the Force, Reds and Waratahs.

The tour started off well with another losing bonus point, this time against the side they recorded their maiden Super Rugby win back in 2013, the Force, going down 41 – 46. Next up they gave the Reds a good run for their money in Brisbane. Despite three late tries from the visitors, including a double from Makazole Mapimpi, the game ended 47 – 34 in favour of the Reds.

They often say a tour brings a team together, players have no one else to rely on than one another and that is exactly what happened with the Kings as they picked up their second win and that against the team that gave them their biggest defeat a few seasons ago. The last time the Kings faced the Waratahs was in 2013 when they got thumped 72 – 10 at home, but despite a late score on full time the visitors did enough to get revenge as they picked up another win, 26 – 24.

The Kings returned to the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium not only to record back-to-back victories, but also to keep an unbeaten run against the Rebels as they picked up their biggest win to date, 44 – 3.

The Kings enjoyed a break in Round 11 and will be well rested when they host the Sharks in Port Elizabeth this weekend. The Kings’ medical team is also confident that captain Lionel Cronje will be available for Saturday’s clash after he left the field against the Rebels with a concussion.

With momentum on their side, the Kings will definitely back themselves when they face the Sharks, a team that is still struggling to find their rhythm twelve weeks into the competition.

The Kings are currently fourth in the African 2 Conference, fifth in the South African Group and eleventh overall with fifteen log points. They have scored 254 points and conceded 284. They have also scored the third highest number of tries in the group along with the Jaguares, 33, and conceded the forth highest 37, seven less then second placed Stormers.

I’d hate to jump the gun, but with another six matches remaining, the Kings can easily pick up another win or two as they still await the Brumbies and Cheetahs at home.



54 Comments

  • There is an interesting analysis of the Kings game against the Rebels by Oom Rugby on alloutrugby.com. Clearly the Kings coaching staff are doing very well with what they have, plus the players are buying big time into this strategy.

    We will need to be on top of our game this weekend.

  • Comment 1, posted at 09.05.17 08:08:38 by Bokhoring Reply
    BokhoringAssistant coach
     
  • I hope the Sharks take note of the Kings’ recent performances and show them enough respect. It will not be a walk over and I’m expecting Cloete and Velleman, if he plays, to be severe nuisances at the breakdown.

  • Comment 2, posted at 09.05.17 09:18:55 by StevieS Reply
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  • I really hope that the powers that be find a way to get Eastern Cape rugby a seat at the SR table – such a talent-rich region.

  • Comment 3, posted at 09.05.17 10:03:09 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 3) : I think it may be more likely that they join the NH compeition

  • Comment 4, posted at 09.05.17 10:15:57 by Dunx Reply

    DunxSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Dunx (Comment 4) : I wouldn’t mind watching the Cheetahs and Kings playing against opposition that we’re not used to – I believe it will do tv viewership and game-day support a world of good.

    I’m definitely tired of seeing our lower teams losing to the same opposition every year.

  • Comment 5, posted at 09.05.17 10:26:08 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 5) : I am tired of substandard reffing as well. I see greef has been appointed to TMO for the game of bulls vs highlanders with his deputy the onfield ref.

    But i think it would do our players a world of good to be involved with the north. Maybe it would result in us moving more at a later stage. Imagine if SARU decided on the bottom 2 teams playing in the NH competition and the top 4 at superrugby. With relegation / promotion every year.

  • Comment 6, posted at 09.05.17 10:40:16 by Dunx Reply

    DunxSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Dunx (Comment 4) : Question for me is if a NH body will actually invite our teams to play in one of their competitions?

    If so – it will be very likely under the condition that our teams will be based somewhere in the NH for the duration of this competition.

  • Comment 7, posted at 09.05.17 10:47:04 by Bokhoring Reply

    BokhoringAssistant coach
     
  • Best thing about the Kings this year is that they binned that jersey, the guy who designed it and the guy who approved it should be publicly outed ,shamed and legally restrained from ever having anything to do with designing anything ever again

  • Comment 8, posted at 09.05.17 10:52:17 by The hound Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 7) : Nail on the head there. We need to start out by asking why any one of the premier NH tournaments would want bottom of the log SA teams involved?

    Not claiming it’s not possible but I don’t see a clear motive or business case here.

  • Comment 9, posted at 09.05.17 11:06:01 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 9) : Then continue by asking why the NH teams would want to make a regular trek to P.E. to play in front of 20 people.
    This whole assumption that the NH are salivating at the thought of our participation in their competition is pitiful.

  • Comment 10, posted at 09.05.17 11:12:51 by The hound Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 9) : Personally I would like to see four new professional super rugby franchises created with central contracting (of players and coaching staff) and draft system. The franchises should not be affiliated with any union although they will make use of (and pay for) a unions facilities.

    The unions should continue as before with Currie Cup, U/20, club rugby, etc

  • Comment 11, posted at 09.05.17 11:19:42 by Bokhoring Reply

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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 11) : Why reinvent the wheel play the Currie Cup ,four top teams go through to play Super Rugby,losers don’t .That way you have the four strongest unions playing.
    History should count for nothing, at the end of Super season repeat the process.
    Take the six teams salaries we are now paying and spread them amongst four teams.
    This should make up for the shortfall guys are earning in Japan.
    Also any player playing for one the relegated teams, is entitled to play for the competing team of his choice,
    He returns to his original team for the Currie Cup.

  • Comment 12, posted at 09.05.17 11:35:51 by The hound Reply
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  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/39713384

  • Comment 13, posted at 09.05.17 11:36:17 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • @The hound (Comment 12) : Problem is that teams with a lot of Boks will be penalized, i.e. based on last years Currie Cup results the Cheetahs, Bulls, WP and Lions would have been playing Super Rugby this year. You would also still have amateur coaches like Nolis coaching at this level.

  • Comment 14, posted at 09.05.17 11:40:57 by Bokhoring Reply

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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 14) : Exactly,the best teams should compete and the best team can only be determined in one way and league shoot out on a level playing field, where every team plays every team, home and away.
    The result is judged on a league table top four finishers go through.
    With no cup shoot out where the fourth team can win.

  • Comment 15, posted at 09.05.17 12:20:30 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 15) : My point is simply that the Currie Cup is not a level playing field to determine the best teams.

  • Comment 16, posted at 09.05.17 12:23:13 by Bokhoring Reply

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  • @McLovin (Comment 13) : Thanks for this. Wikipedia in reference to the Anglo-Welsh Cup: “The competition is seen by most clubs as a tournament to experiment with younger and upcoming players”. Seems to be the equivalent to what our Currie Cup has devolved into. Not exactly a premier tournament but hopefully enough cash is involved to keep our cut unions on an upward curve if it all does pan out. What’s your feelings on this?

  • Comment 17, posted at 09.05.17 12:27:18 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 16) : Can’t think of a better way to determine it.
    Past performance and history mean nothing in this context.

  • Comment 18, posted at 09.05.17 12:27:35 by The hound Reply
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  • @McLovin (Comment 13) : Interesting, seems as if something at least is afoot.

  • Comment 19, posted at 09.05.17 12:28:23 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 17) : To be honest, I’m not holding my breath. I watch plenty of NH rugby, but never watched any games from the Anglo-Welsh cup. If it ever happens I reckon it will be a positive.

  • Comment 20, posted at 09.05.17 13:08:53 by McLovin Reply

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  • @McLovin (Comment 20) : Also can’t recall ever watching a Anglo-Welsh cup game but it would be better than the cut franchises simply slugging it out against our smaller unions.

  • Comment 21, posted at 09.05.17 13:25:50 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 21) : Absolutely.

  • Comment 22, posted at 09.05.17 13:38:32 by McLovin Reply

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  • Apparently expecting 20 to 30 thousand spectators in PE on Saturday. Make a nice change for the Sharks to play in front of such a big crowd. :twisted:

  • Comment 23, posted at 09.05.17 14:53:13 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • Personally I’d hold the hosannas for now. A very limited team, just fortunate for them that Aus has gone to shit and the Sunwolves are frankly 3rd rate.

  • Comment 24, posted at 09.05.17 15:03:35 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • @McLovin (Comment 23) : Lovely, the drwaing power of this Sharks team must not be underestimated. :razz:

  • Comment 25, posted at 09.05.17 15:05:25 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 25) : From what I understand the Sharks do have a wide worldwide support base.

  • Comment 26, posted at 09.05.17 15:07:33 by Dunx Reply

    DunxSuper Rugby player
     
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 25) : @Dunx (Comment 26) : Of course. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 27, posted at 09.05.17 15:36:33 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • Maybe the locals sense an upset.

  • Comment 28, posted at 09.05.17 15:38:56 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • @McLovin (Comment 28) : You’ll probably find at least half that crowd will be Sharks supporters…lots of KZN friends in East London and PE…

  • Comment 29, posted at 09.05.17 15:52:00 by pastorshark Reply
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  • A lot of Eastern Cape guys seem to support their local team (Kings and EP) and the Sharks almost equally – is this a spill over from the early days of Super Rugby when the Sharks consiste KZN and the Eastern Cape players?

  • Comment 30, posted at 09.05.17 16:03:56 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 30) : Lack of rugby knowledge? ;-)

  • Comment 31, posted at 09.05.17 16:07:27 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • @McLovin (Comment 31) : Which makes all of them qualified to coach the Stormers? :twisted:

  • Comment 32, posted at 09.05.17 16:12:23 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 32) : Defence coach maybe. :cry:

  • Comment 33, posted at 09.05.17 16:24:06 by McLovin Reply

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  • @vanmartin (Comment 32) : :lol: Touche pussy cat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gm_OcBAYSEQ

  • Comment 34, posted at 09.05.17 16:25:50 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • http://m.sport24.co.za/sport24/Rugby/SuperRugby/pe-expecting-20-000-to-30-000-fans-for-sharks-20170509

    we always play better when up against it, so good

  • Comment 35, posted at 09.05.17 16:36:06 by revolverocelot Reply

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  • Nice article Pierre! Ja Kings for sure stepped up to the challenge but that might just come back to bite them against the Sharks. As we know Sharks have a real habit of losing form against “weaker/bottom” teams but with the form shown by Kings I do think Sharks will be going all out as apposed to the lackluster performance in Durban!

  • Comment 36, posted at 09.05.17 16:54:45 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 36) : I have a few concernes going into these next three games before the international break (kings in pe, sunwolves in Singapore, and stormers at the shark tank)

    I love lambie but you can see the difference between his attacking ability with ball in hand and curwin’s, that can be tributed not, lack if match fitness, and coming back from injury, then again we didnt see a lot of him on saturday and I feel that sort of ability should be enough to get us by the sunwolves, but kings will be tough. and stormers even tougher. but his just got back I feel he will improve with proper management in game time and training during the week.

    lambie is still more likely excel defensively, but bosch as not been the turnstile predicted at all, due to good decision making, solid technique, excellent help from team mates and clever defensive structures.

    Rhyno smith has been a revelation at FB since he won his place, remember he wasnt even on the bench at the start of the season, he was thought of as a possible option behinds bosch, april, the frog, and mvovo, right now his the best FB we have with consistently high quality performances on defence and attack. My concern is do we have a system in place to prevent him from being run over like the stormers backline player this past weekend ? I know he hasnt been exposed in sr yet, but I did see it happen against the lions on the friday of our final cc premier dev game late last year at ellis park when we started well and then fell apart.

    I am not saying drop him, but I am saying I hope we have a system in place that reduces the likelihood of that happening again (nothing is certain, it is a sport after all). Its worth remembering that he was playing wing on that day against the lions not FB. and we do have big wings around him like van wyk, mvovo, nkosi, so a system where everyone works symbolically is ideal as no single player has no weaknesses.

    concerns over.

    we will probibly see keegs in the mix in one of these last three games, which is good, but I would keep ginger as captain. as much as I love keegs.

    also interesting: wp seem to be going through a FH injury crisis, they may have to pick between Lyde or Thomson against us in durban.
    both good players but I think they would really rather rob jnr, coleman, or jan luc have been fit. I wonder whats going down next weekend between them and the blues, two flawed teams.

    the development and performance of j ward has been encouraging. his played really well when knowing his going to start these last two games. he bring something different to andre the giant and yet still does his thing at a high level.

    the cameo performances from deysel of the bench have caught the eye also, good defensive positioning and technique, and breaks the line atleast once on attack. the idea was alway that our inside centre back ups should provide different skills to andre the giant and it seems to be working out that way.

  • Comment 37, posted at 09.05.17 18:13:23 by revolverocelot Reply

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  • @revolverocelot (Comment 37) : Good grief man. After that dissertation my phone has no more pixels left!

  • Comment 38, posted at 09.05.17 19:08:10 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @coolfusion (Comment 38) : I wish thesis was as easy to write ;)

  • Comment 39, posted at 09.05.17 20:11:02 by revolverocelot Reply

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  • I see that EO has signed with Lyon, is there any truth on this?

  • Comment 40, posted at 09.05.17 20:48:13 by HB Reply
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  • @revolverocelot (Comment 37) : remember April is also still there. He looked full of running on Saturday eve if it was against the Griffons. But yes it’s going to be a hard three weeks but then again Sharks seems to love the pressure!

  • Comment 41, posted at 09.05.17 20:55:29 by JD Reply
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  • @HB (Comment 40) : You hold your mouth boyeeee.

    That had better be a false rumour.

    The form 4 lock in SA, another gem discovered by JW.

  • Comment 42, posted at 09.05.17 21:02:03 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 42) : I sincerely hope that it is just a rumor,

    he has been incredible for us, although he struggles with discipline issues, he can work on those

  • Comment 43, posted at 09.05.17 21:18:58 by HB Reply
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    HBAssistant coach
     
  • @JD (Comment 41) : would def put him on the bench this week to cover both FH and FB, but unless smith goes down with a injury during the game I would rather use april as a sub for lambie who will likely start at fh.

    im not against the idea of starting april and bringing lambie off the bench again. as april has only been out two weeks with a hamstring tweak where as lambie has been out 8 weeks with a hair line fracture of a bone in the lower back, must have had sciatica. might be best to bring lambie off the bench again. but hey, I trust our medical dept to do whats best for the players health long term as apposed to what the coaching staff would like.

  • Comment 44, posted at 09.05.17 22:13:01 by revolverocelot Reply

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  • @HB (Comment 43) : Agreed

  • Comment 45, posted at 09.05.17 22:14:23 by revolverocelot Reply

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  • Reading the article I realize how much hype is being spun around some mediocre achievements by the kings.

  • Comment 46, posted at 10.05.17 06:47:36 by coolfusion Reply

    coolfusionSuper Rugby player
     
  • @coolfusion (Comment 46) : It makes me think that even if we only get the basics right we will still beat them.

  • Comment 47, posted at 10.05.17 06:50:22 by coolfusion Reply

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  • Any news on Ettas moving to France? News24 has it as confirmed

  • Comment 48, posted at 10.05.17 07:34:50 by Bokhoring Reply

    BokhoringAssistant coach
     
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 42) : Well it seems to be in the media that Ooshuizen has signed a 3 year contract at the conclusion of the SR. It is sad because he is 1 massive workhorse. And after the Cheetahs game when the fans weren’t interested in him I wouldn’t be surprised if that was assisted his motivation as well.

  • Comment 49, posted at 10.05.17 07:40:38 by Dunx Reply

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  • @Bokhoring (Comment 48) : Did I not confirm that story two months ago?

  • Comment 50, posted at 10.05.17 08:21:29 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 50) : I recall Lourens and Reinach being confirmed departures – no confirmation about Ettas?

  • Comment 51, posted at 10.05.17 08:28:58 by Bokhoring Reply

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  • @robdylan (Comment 50) : Dont recall that.

  • Comment 52, posted at 10.05.17 13:26:32 by Dunx Reply

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  • @revolverocelot (Comment 44) : personally I’d start April with Pat on the bench.

  • Comment 53, posted at 10.05.17 13:40:13 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 53) : I wouldn’t be against that…

  • Comment 54, posted at 10.05.17 15:38:10 by pastorshark Reply
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