By: George Byron
TO give themselves the best chance of beating the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday, the Southern Kings have decided to do their pre-match preparation up north this week.
After their arrival back in Johannesburg from Argentina yesterday, the Kings have decided against flying home to Port Elizabeth.
Instead, they will set up camp at Sun City to prepare for what is expected to be a massive Super Rugby showdown at Loftus Versfeld.
After beating the Jaguares, the Kings are determined to end the season with a bang in their final outings against the Bulls and Cheetahs.
“We are going to prepare up there and will ask some more players to join us from Port Elizabeth for training,” Kings head coach Deon Davids said.
“We will go full-out for the last games to get good results. That is our main focus.”
Confidence is high in the Kings camp after their 31-30 win over the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.
It was a stunning turnaround for the revitalised Kings, who received a 73-27 hiding when they played at the Estadio Jose Amalfitani last year.
Kings speedster Makazole Mapimpi crossed the whitewash twice while Luzuko Vulindlu and Wandile Mjekevu also scored tries. Cool-headed captain Lionel Cronje contributed 11 points with the boot.
It was the fourth win in six matches for the Kings, who could be booted out of Super Rugby at the end of the season when the competition is cut from 18 teams to 15.
Thanks to their five victories this season, the Kings now boast a healthy tally of 23 points from 13 games.
The Kings could be without lock Wilhelm van der Sluys for the Bulls clash after he sustained a concussion against the Jaguares.
It is expected that Giant Mtyanda, who replaced Van der Sluys in Buenos Aires, will pack down against the Bulls.
Apart from Van der Sluys, Kings team doctor Konrad von Hagen said, there were no other injuries in the team.
“Van der Sluys has been showing great progress since the match. He will follow the usual concussion protocol and we will take it day by day.
“We are pleased not to have any other injury concerns.
“The rest of the squad is doing well and we had a good trip [back] from Argentina,” Von Hagen said.
Last week, Warrick Gelant scored a hat-trick of tries as the Bulls claimed a deserved 30-17 win over the Sharks in an entertaining clash in Durban.
It was a big win for the Bulls as it was their first away victory of the season and only their fourth from 13 Super Rugby matches this season.
Bulls skipper and hooker Adriaan Strauss said: “We wore our hearts on our sleeves” after the threetime champions ended a run of six consecutive away losses this season.
“There were mistakes from us, but they resulted from over-eagerness, more than anything else.
“Our younger players did extremely well and showed passion.”