Ricochet News

VIDEO: Southern Kings wary of Brumbies’ defensive attributes

BY MARC JACOBSON - MAY 19, 2017
VIDEO: Southern Kings wary of Brumbies’ defensive attributes

The high-flying and spirited Southern Kings will have another mammoth task on their hands when they face the ACT Brumbies in their Super Rugby encounter at the NMB Stadium on Saturday (kick-off at 19:30).

The Brumbies have yet to play in front of the Port Elizabeth faithful at the NMB Stadium, with their first and only clash with the Kings being in 2013, when the two sides succumbed to a 28-28 draw in Canberra.

The stakes, however, for this weekend’s match-up will be far greater, with the Brumbies seeking continuity in waving Australia’s flag in their conference-leading aspirations, while the Kings, a team picked off from the bottom of SARU’s shoe for South Africa’s rugby make-up, have made stellar statements in recent weeks with three wins now on the trot.

Included in this, was their historical 26-24 win over 2014 Super Rugby Champions, Waratahs, in Sydney, followed by a 44-3 drubbing over the Melbourne Rebels and another historical first win over a fellow SA opposition, the Cell C Sharks last week – toppling them 35-32.

The Kings outscored their Durban opponents four tries to two last week, and are currently third of the six SA teams in their try-scoring tally for the season so far, with 37 tries to date.

In the recent aforementioned three success stories, the Kings have scored a total 14 tries to their conceded six, and while their attack to defence ratio has been a positive outlook, Coach Deon Davids acknowledges that the Brumbies’ defence will be a tough task to overcome.

“We have been looking at our executions and where the opportunities will be to score against the Brumbies and we have to work very hard to get over the advantage line, to maintain momentum and to hold onto the ball,” Davids said after the Kings’ training session at the NMMU Main Field Oval on Thursday morning.

“They [Brumbies] have a lot of experience and a lot of strong, physical players in their midst, and they have dangerous attackers as well,” Davids added.

The Brumbies are currently third-ranked in the competition on their tackle-completion rate with a completion of 86.6%, so Davids’ is mindful of the barricades they are up against, and while the Kings were up in celebrations after their exemplary win against the Sharks last week, the coach has not deemed the post up-hype to have flattened his charges this week.

“We have had a good week, but we lost some continuity with some of our players out with injury, but I’m happy for the guys that get the opportunity to step in and they are quite eager to grab this chance and it is up to them to show if they can step up,” Davids said.

Throughout the week, flank Chris Cloete (concussion), fullback Masixole Banda (hamstring) and a late withdrawal, Wilhelm van der Sluys (groin), were all ruled out of this weekend’s clash due to injuries.  

“Cloete’s performances speak for themselves – he is a quality player. It will be difficult to get the exact same performance from any other player, but different players bring different attributes. In this case, Stefan Willemse, combining with Andy (Andisa Ntsila) will bring something different,” Davids commented.

 “Van der Sluys has been a key man for us in the line-out. We have used Tyler Paul there before and also Giant (Lubabalo Mtyanda) is an experienced guy. I don’t think there will be too many distractions; I think they can pull it off.”

Southern Kings’ outside centre, Berton Klaasen, who has been at the pinnacle for the side’s attacking flair this season, also took a moment to comment on their backline’s prowess shown of late.

“The type of rugby and the brand that we have shown this year has something special and with running rugby and keeping continuity, we are trying to show our talent,” Klaasen said.

“It’s all about team effort, it starts from the attacking line, and in saying so, we do also pride ourselves on defence. Backline Coach, Dave Williams, is definitely also the brains behind everything, and we do put in a lot of extra work with him.”

Klaasen also expressed how important this weekend’s clash will be in terms of carrying confidence over into their next three consecutive away matches against the Lions, Jaguares and Bulls respectively.

“Our aim for this week, and every week after, is to stick to the basics and take every week as it comes, but it’s definitely important to win this one to get some momentum for the following away games,” he said.

The match will be preceded by a curtain-raiser between the Eastern Province Kings and Boland Cavaliers, who will be taking each other on in a SuperSport Rugby Challenge clash. While earlier in the day there will be seven Meyer Sauerman Tournament Under-16 and Under-18 matches ahead of selection the Eastern Province Grant Khomo and Craven Weeks’ teams.

Gates will open from 11h00 for the B and C fields’ Meyer Sauerman matches, with the rest of the gates opening at 16h00 ahead of the 16h45 start of the curtain-raiser.

Tickets for the Family Festival of Rugbystart at R20 for a limited number of tickets on a designated area on the East Stand, with the rest of the tickets selling from R60. Tickets are available online on www.ticketpros.co.za and all TicketPro-linked outlets.

The Southern Kings’ match-23 to face the Brumbies:

15. Chrysander Botha

14. Alshaun Bock

13. Berton Klaasen

12. Luzuko Vulindlu

11. Makazole Mapimpi

10. Lionel Cronje ©

9. Louis Schreuder

8. Andisa Ntsila

7. Tyler Paul

6. Stefan Willemse

5. Lubabalo Mtyanda

4. Irne Herbst

3. Ross Geldenhuys

2. Martin Bezuidenhout

1. Schalk van der Merwe

Replacements

16. Kurt Haupt

17. Chris Heiberg

18. Dayan van der Westhuizen

19. Mzwanele Zito

20. Thembelani Bholi

21. Johan Steyn

22. Pieter-Steyn de Wet

23. Nicolaas Hanekom

Watch for snippets of what Coach Deon Davids and Southern Kings' centre, Berton Klaasen, had to say ahead of their clash against the Brumbies