Kings field B team in interests of “self preservation”

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Cheetahs, EP Kings, Original Content, Super Rugby on 26 Jan 2012 at 07:30
Tagged with : , ,

According to an interview with Rugby365 this morning, Southern Kings head coach Alan Solomons has claimed that the team selection for this weekend’s match against the Cheetahs is all part of a bigger plan.

The Cheetahs have raised concerns about the fact that they’ll be facing a virtual Kings “B-team” on Saturday, comprising mostly Border players, with a few SWD Eagles scattered around, but nary an EP player in sight. Solomons has confirmed that the region needs to manage their resources wisely, since they are scheduled to play against all five Super Rugby sides in the space of just 20 days.

In a move sure to ruffle feathers further, Solomons and his co-coaches have opted to reserve their strongest selection for the matches against the Bulls, Sharks and Stormers, with the Cheetahs and Lions earmarked to receive the B-team treatment. While you have to concede that the former Bok assistant coach has a point that the scheduling of these games is a little silly, one can’t help but feel that he’s completely missing the bigger picture here and stands a very real chance of doing major damage to the already suspect reputation of the Kings brand.

Let’s face it – the rugby establishment at large expects the Kings to win their place at the table by playing good rugby and showing that they can compete with the best. When a side wearing the Kings colours goes out and takes a 70-point drubbing to one of the weaker Super Rugby teams (as I’m sure will happen), it does little to enhance those claims and the excuse of “well, we didn’t field out strongest side” isn’t going to hold much water.

The Kings needs to be putting their best foot forward at EVERY opportunity and I can’t say they’re doing that in this case. These warm-up games ARE their Super Rugby tournament and their big shot to prove that they deserve inclusion. Picking a side like the one that will face the Cheetahs reduces these Kings to the level of court jesters.


  • This is just silly really..

    Any union fielding a B-team in friendlies is just undermining the opposition..

  • Comment 1, posted at 26.01.12 07:37:20 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • might do more damage if they play an A team against the Lions and Cheetahs and get destroyed …

    now at least they have some sort of excuse .

  • Comment 2, posted at 26.01.12 07:40:15 by Zibbie Reply
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  • I would be solidly pissed if I was either the Lions or the Cheetahs, what are they actually getting out of this game?!

  • Comment 3, posted at 26.01.12 07:41:26 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • I was irritated by the Kings team selected yesterday but after reading this article, I can sympathise with them. 5 games against strong oppo in just 20 days is asking too much of a team that don’t look like they’re recruited any talent in the offseason that will give them the kind of boost to at least improve on a 2nd place in the B league.

    Perhaps better co-ordination wud have resolved the issue. Kings B’s to play reserves of SR teams from 2 Unions and A’s to be matched against full strength SR outfits.

  • Comment 4, posted at 26.01.12 08:02:11 by beet Reply
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  • Well, this answers our questions from yesterday. I can sympathise with them, but I have to agree with Rob, they need to field their best and prove they belong in Super Rugby.

  • Comment 5, posted at 26.01.12 08:06:26 by StevieS Reply
  • If the Kings get to play in Superrugby then they will inherit all the players from the franchise that dropped out. There is only enough room for 5 teams so the same players will be used, mostly!

  • Comment 6, posted at 26.01.12 08:13:04 by Rahul Reply

  • I’ve changed my mind. The Cheetahs won’t win with 30+, they will win 80+ easy

  • Comment 7, posted at 26.01.12 08:35:27 by Mutley Reply
  • The Lions should also send a B team down their and the King will also get a whipping

  • Comment 8, posted at 26.01.12 08:36:37 by Mutley Reply
  • I do sympathise as well, 5 games in 20 days is absurd 🙄
    Unfortunately they will have to step up if they want to play with the big boys.

  • Comment 9, posted at 26.01.12 08:38:27 by JarsonX Reply
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  • If the Bulls, Sharks or Stormers send a B team it will be disrespectful to great rugby power of the Kings

  • Comment 10, posted at 26.01.12 08:38:53 by Mutley Reply
  • If a B team whipped them, it would be the end of there Super rugby hopes, wonder what SARU will say tomorrow regarding the Kings

  • Comment 11, posted at 26.01.12 08:41:03 by Mutley Reply
  • @Rahul (Comment 6) : that kinda defies the point of having the kings …

  • Comment 12, posted at 26.01.12 08:42:04 by Zibbie Reply
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  • hahaha gotta love all this “they need to show they deserve” stuff 😀

    Boland played the “Stormers B” sans 9 players that played in the 1st Div final, i don’t recall anyone bitching as to why Boland aren’t fielding their strongest team 🙄

    5 games in 20 days and the only thing some are using to justify their thinly veiled attempts at derision is “the kings need to always put their best foot forward” hehehe laughable.

    i can’t believe it is the same people who always went out of their way to point out that the games that made up the Neo-Series Cup were really useless warm ups now that want the Kings to all of a sudden treat them like reputation builders.

    both kiwi-born johns in-charge of the lions & sharks went to great lengths last year to point out that these WARM-UP games mean nothing, so WHAT HAS CHANGED? is there a different standard of warm up game for the Kings compared to everyone else?


  • Comment 13, posted at 26.01.12 09:12:42 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 13) : Boland actually only had 9 of their 22 players who won the Final last year playing against the Stormers.

    3 are in the Stormers extended squad, 3 are injured and the rest have been bought by other unions.

    I think the point everyone is making is that the Kings won’t be doing themselves any favours if they get thrashed. Having said that, I think the schedule for the Kings could have been managed a bit more cleverly. They could have played on 5 consecutive weekends and fielded their best team. This would have satisfied everyone.

  • Comment 14, posted at 26.01.12 09:29:04 by StevieS Reply
  • @Zibbie (Comment 12) :its just another franchise that wants to make money! All the players from the relegated franchise become free agents, so most will surely end up at the Kings?

  • Comment 15, posted at 26.01.12 09:33:08 by Rahul Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 13) : The man raises some fair points. In the same breath though I think that concerns raised about the damage a 50+ point drubbing could do to the King’s already fragile reputation are legit.

    It’s a catch-22 for the Kings – they need to play the big franchises more often but at the same time 5 matches in 20 days is a tough ask.

  • Comment 16, posted at 26.01.12 09:57:58 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @StevieS (Comment 14) : why should they be seen to be currying favour from anyone with these WARM UP matches?

    the decision whether they will participate in Super Rugby or not does not in any remote way rest on these warm up games, so why bother?

    it is only in some people’s minds that the Kings should “prove” themselves. 😀

  • Comment 17, posted at 26.01.12 10:06:35 by Megatron Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 16) : which sane coach will put his players through that rigorous exercises? 5 games in 20 days hehehe

  • Comment 18, posted at 26.01.12 10:11:03 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 17) : I think people are upset at what they perceive to be the Kings being forced into Super Rugby at the possible expense of their own team.

    There is also the fact that the Kings got so comprehensively beaten by Boland twice last year which makes one wonder what would happen to them in Super Rugby. I know that the EP Kings are not the Southern Kings, but one would realistically expect them to make up the core of the squad.

    I think it is more about people wanting them to prove their ability to compete at that level.

  • Comment 19, posted at 26.01.12 10:24:41 by StevieS Reply
  • @StevieS (Comment 19) : did you watch all 3 of the games we played against Boland last year?

    tell me overall, how many Kings players were yellow carded in all 3 fixtures?

  • Comment 20, posted at 26.01.12 11:16:21 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 20) : I only caught the highlights of the final unfortunately.

  • Comment 21, posted at 26.01.12 12:45:13 by StevieS Reply
  • @Megatron (Comment 20) : how many ?

  • Comment 22, posted at 26.01.12 13:08:46 by bergshark Reply

  • First they want to play all the SA S15 sides then they go and choose a B team ❓ They gonna get moered and deservedly so.

  • Comment 23, posted at 26.01.12 13:41:25 by Viking Reply
  • @Megatron (Comment 20) : ag, that means nothing! you lost on the scoreboard, and that`s all that matters.

    In the end, they can only blame themselves for yellow card.

  • Comment 24, posted at 26.01.12 14:13:28 by VanWilder Reply

  • Not feeling much love for these guys at the moment.

    So is Solomons telling the Border and SWD teams that EP are the senior team and they just make up the 2nd string numbers? Or is this just a poor excuse to cover up the infighting that exists in EP?

  • Comment 25, posted at 26.01.12 14:35:55 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 25) : EP have to make up the core of the sqad. I remember reading that the poor Border players have to work day jobs and catch taxis to practice. Very sad for them, but Border has been mismanaged.

  • Comment 26, posted at 26.01.12 14:55:46 by StevieS Reply
  • Bwhahahahahahahahhaha I love the heading of the preview article on Rugby 365. 😆 😆 😆 😆

    Bulldogs-Eagles v Cheetahs. 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 No mention of the kings. 😆 😆 😆 😆

  • Comment 27, posted at 27.01.12 12:23:02 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©

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