Southern Kings out to show redemption


Many pundits questioned the inclusion of a sixth South African team in the extended 18-team competition after the Southern Kings suffered a 73-26 drumming against co-newcomers, Argentina’s Jaguares.  

Kings centre and former Muir College student, Shane Gates, feels that these accusations are a bit unfair to say the least, as all sides -  including sides of quality, suffer great losses at some point or another if their gameplay is not in-swing come game day.

This was evident on numerous occasions in this year’s Super Rugby format so far. New Zealand’s Hurricanes were hammered 52-10 in week one, yet redeemed themselves and are now one of the highest placed teams on the overall standings. The Lions suffered a 50-17 loss to that same Hurricanes outfit over the weekend, after the Johannesburg side were deemed by critics as South Africa’s top side.

Irreversibly, in round nine the same Jaguares lost to Japan’s Sunwolves 36-28 after the Japanese side were given a 92-17 thumping by the Cheetahs a week before.

“I also think it will definitely not be the last time that a team gets heavily beaten in Super Rugby,” added Gates to Netwerk24 at the team announcement ahead of their clash with the Blues at the NMB Stadium, Port Elizabeth, this Saturday.

“We obviously take heart from their performance. I remember in 2013 we lost by more than 70 points to the Waratahs and a week later we beat the Highlanders,” he said.

Meanwhile, the team announcement saw three changes to the Kings’ starting line-up. A hand-injury forces prop, Schalk Ferreira, to be replaced by Sithembiso Sithole. Predicted rain and windy weather conditions on Saturday leant in for James Hall to move in at scrumhalf and Jurgen Visser at fullback for opted tactical switches.



15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Lukhanyo Am, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Luzuko Vulindlu, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 James Hall, 8 Cyril-John Velleman, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 John-Charles Astle, 4 Steven Sykes (captain), 3 Tom Botha, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Sithembiso Sithole

Substitutes: 16 Martin Ferreira, 17 Justin Ackerman, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Schalk Oelofse, 20 Stefan Willemse, 21 Ntando Kebe, 22 Louis Fouche, 23 Leighton Ekstee


15 Lolagi Visinia, 14 Melani Nanai, 13 George Moala, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Tanerau Latimer, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Josh Bekhuis, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Sam Prattley

Substitutes: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Hoani Matenga, 20 Kara Pryor, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Matt McGahan, 23 Male Sa’u