From the Land of the Kings

Written by Pierre McLeod (pierre_mackie)

Posted in :EP Kings, Original Content, Reader Submissions on 13 Apr 2012 at 08:00
Tagged with : , , ,

Alan Solomons, Director of EP Rugby announced today that Matt Sexton (Tasman Rugby Academy Manager) will be the new head coach to take the EP Kings and Southern Kings into the next chapter.

Saxton’s role as head coach starts on the 15th of July and stretches until the end of the 2014 season; joining him is another New Zealander Brad Mooar (Head coach at Crusaders u19) who will take up the role as specialist skills coach.

Solomons also added that Sexton possesses certain characteristics that we are looking for in EP Rugby – Integrity, Altruism and Professionalism.

Sexton played his rugby at Crusaders (1996 – 2001), from where he moved to Ulster (2001 – 2004), where he played under Solomons. He also played two games for the Barbarians (2003 and 2004).

As the Kings are gearing up for a (possible) Super Rugby start next year, one can only imagine somewhere someone already knows what’s going down.

Let’s look at their progress the last two years:

2010 21 12 7 2 571 517 54 65 58
2011 21 16 5 0 744 466 278 100 55

In all fairness towards EP Rugby, it’s only been these last two years that they’ve really been building towards something great, if you want to go back further you’ll actually see the enormous improvement they have accomplished, from usually finishing around the bottom of the Vodacom Cup and 1st Division logs, to winning the 1st Division in 2010 and runners up in 2011.

If you look at this year’s Vodacom Cup season so far, Kings 34-24 vs Pampas XV, 40-23 vs Bulldogs, 25-30 vs Western Province and 36-22 vs the Cheetahs, not too bad for a team that’s also been struggling with a couple of injuries among their own stars.

Currently putting them in 3rd position behind the Sharks both on 16 points, but only on points difference, and Western Province leading the South Section on 18 points.

I’m confident that the guys in charge of EP Rugby won’t make the Southern Kings the laughing stock of world rugby when and if they are included into next year’s Super Rugby Competition, let’s give them a fair chance.


  • At the beginning of the season i was very anti the Kings idea, but lets face it, they can’t do worse than the Snoil are doing so far this year. Yes, the Snoil have been ravaged by injury, but that is the nature of the competition…

  • Comment 1, posted at 13.04.12 08:07:28 by The Quirk Reply
    The Quirk
  • @The Quirk (Comment 1) : I still have mixed feelings.

    Would like to see a promotion / relegation game against the Lions.
    If the Kings win then by all means welcome aboard.

    The fallout would be that a lot of Lions players will be looking at other job opportunities and maybe the Sharks can be wide awake for a change and secure Minnie`s services, cause lets face it, we need a fetcher.

    But what happens if the Lions get their injured players back, somehow get their act together and we`re suddenly the bottom placed side? 😯

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.04.12 08:29:48 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • Ok if you look at the opposition the Kings played over the last 2 years, they got hammered by the Pumas in the promotion/relegation match in 2010 and didn’t qualify for the premier division and last year they couldn’t beat the Boland to win the B division, they consist of the 10th, 13th and 14th best teams in the country. If the get to the premier division on their own and be competitive for some years yes they can make noise
    But now it would be weakening SA rugby to include them

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.04.12 08:46:32 by Mutley Reply
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 2) : Even with their injured players back the Snoil still just don’t have the quality to finish above the Sharks (i think). Also the Sharks are quite well placed considering all the home games to come. A promotion relegation game or series is probably the answer. Spot on with Minnie, i think he would be in the bok frame if he wasn’t at the Snoil…

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.04.12 08:46:45 by The Quirk Reply
    The Quirk
  • I have to say that I’ve always been pretty neutral in terms of the Kings, but the more than poisonous dwarf carries on putting them and their projectile vomiting captain, the more anti-Kings I become. Rather have a team of homeless guys in the comp than them at the moment and that’s all because of their PR.

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.04.12 09:02:20 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @The Quirk (Comment 4) : I don’t know, I think Minnie was good last season but so far he hasn’t impressed me so far in 2012.

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.04.12 09:05:31 by Butchie34 Reply
  • As far as I know, no decision has been made as to which team will drop in favour of the Kings. SARU are dead quiet about it because they know they’re going to get dragged into court by the dropped franchise.Maybe they’re hoping the Lions go bankrupt soon!!

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.04.12 09:20:19 by Stu Reply

  • Like most I am not against it in principle, infact I think it would be a good thing BUT when the Kings are good and ready. I really dont see what players they are going to be able to recruit to bolster the franchise. In essence most players are actually moving to Europe not staying in SA.

    Most players play in Europe for money or because they want to play for another country, or fancy a change of environment. So trying to lure them back with cash isnt going to work when you consider the salaries that some of these guys are earning. I heard a rumour about the Kings chasing Jaque Fourie – the guy is earning a truckload – why on earth would he move to the Kings if he just left the Stormers.

    Most of the Lions players will go abroad or too other franchises and I cant see that many going to the Kings. The other issue is the Lions have these players contracted to them and so would be able to stop them playing for the Kings etc.

    But the biggest issue for me, is we are also messing with people’s livelihoods here, whichever team drops down. One team will probably not be able to continue and regardless of whether teams deserve to be there or not, people will get made redundant etc, when surely it would be better to include the Kings when the tournament can expand come 2015.

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.04.12 09:29:49 by Pat Reply

  • @The Quirk (Comment 4) : Promotion relegation series would be the logical answer. For that reason I don’t think it will happen as SARU will decide how it’s done 😐

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.04.12 09:32:50 by StevieS Reply
  • @Mutley (Comment 3) : “they got hammered by the Pumas in the promotion/relegation match in 2010” – really?

    i seem to remember the 1st game in Witbank being a draw and the 2nd one a hard-fought 46 – 28 (halftime 15 – 22) game.

    harldy the butchering you seem to want to portray.

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.04.12 09:56:39 by Megatron Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 10) : 46-28 does seem a bit of a hiding, especially if they were down 15-22 at half-time. It means a 31-6 scoreline in the second half.

    I think the Kings are making progress for sure, but will they be ready for Super Rugby next year?

  • Comment 11, posted at 13.04.12 10:33:09 by StevieS Reply
  • @StevieS (Comment 11) : will they be ready for next year? well how come SARU is STALLING with making a definite call?

    if a call was made on the day heyneke meyer was appointed a LOT of issues would be in place, sourcing sponsors, players, management etc would’ve happened.

    the longer SARU prolongs this issue the more disadvantageous it becomes for the Kings.

    announcement = sponsors = budgets = acquisitions = getting a team together sooner = gelling = better team performance.

  • Comment 12, posted at 13.04.12 11:57:38 by Megatron Reply

  • @StevieS (Comment 11) : the score doesn’t tell the whole story of the match, i was there. the Pumas scored most of their points in the last 10 min of the 2nd half when their better frontrow stocks & back up, annihilated us due to fatigue. otherwise both matches were tight affairs as the draw at THEIR homeground shows.

  • Comment 13, posted at 13.04.12 12:07:44 by Megatron Reply

  • What about including the Kings as a 6th franchise and then a team from each country misses playing each other, ie Sharks miss playing the Kings, likewise in NZ and Aus. Each team could lose a bye and we could start the competition in mid Feb, plus NZ/Aus teams would have to tour SA for 3 weeks making it a lot more fairer.

  • Comment 14, posted at 13.04.12 12:14:58 by Pat Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 13) : the kings lost… that`s how it stands in the record books.

  • Comment 15, posted at 13.04.12 12:17:43 by VanWilder Reply

  • Maybe we can poach Mitchell to replace Plum 😆

  • Comment 16, posted at 13.04.12 14:52:11 by CS Reply

  • @VanWilder (Comment 15) : not disputing that at all.

  • Comment 17, posted at 13.04.12 14:57:24 by Megatron Reply

  • Great article pierre!

    Sadly, lots of agendas at play, so the Kings become the fall guy.

    Most people wanting them to fail want it in order to protect their own teams.

  • Comment 18, posted at 13.04.12 19:42:34 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Pat (Comment 14) : We want the 10 log points from the victories against the Kings.

  • Comment 19, posted at 15.04.12 22:36:53 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 12) : Add to that a support base.

    Who`s gonna support the Kings I wonder?
    Okay PE might be chuffed but will they have supporters scattered throughout the rest of SA like all the other SA teams?
    Add to this the fact that due to the format of the competition now, you actually want your fellow countrymen to fail so you can get the coveted top spot in your conference . . .

  • Comment 20, posted at 16.04.12 08:52:40 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre

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