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Rugby | Vodacom Super Rugby

Kings need to improve set-piece

The Southern Kings will place a big emphasis on their set-piece play when they arrive in Australia at the weekend to start their three match Vodacom Super Rugby tour.

The Kings leave Port Elizabeth on Saturday and will face the Western Force, the Reds and the Waratahs in successive weeks before heading home to host the Melbourne Rebels at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on 28 April. With Australian rugby at a low ebb at the moment, Kings coach Deon Davids might be hopeful that his team could win a game or two in that sequence to go with their previous away success against the Sunwolves, but he knows where the improvement has to come.

The Kings are in a bye week before their departure, but Davids lamented after his team’s defeat to the Emirates Lions that ended the first phase of the season that the first phase play just wasn’t good enough.

“I am very disappointed as we let ourselves down (against the Lions),” said Davids.

“This game is very simple. You can only win with good possession, and against the Lions we let ourselves down in that regard. The scrums and lineouts let us down.”

Davids said that he had a frank discussion with the forwards after the game and that the message was delivered that the performance just wasn’t good enough.

“We have exciting players who can run with the ball at the back. Quality ball is required. We are taking a good hard look at this, and we’ve had a frank discussion. The players need to take accountability.”

Davids pushed the Sharks in Durban the week before being outplayed by the Lions, so Davids’ disappointment is understandable. The bottom line though is that it is a rare event for his team to produce a full 80 minute performance. In the second half against the Lions, the Kings showed what could be done, but by then it was too late.

“We were a bit sleepy in the first half. We were much better in the second, but against a quality side you end up standing behind the poles if you are not focussed. I felt we were more energised after halftime, and we created a few opportunities and looked good, but maybe were guilty of losing a bit of patience when in the opposition 22.”


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