HERALD LIVE: Upset Kings coach berates team
Davids has firm discussion after big loss
Disappointed Southern Kings coach Deon Davids has shown his players a red card, saying they let themselves down when they crashed to a 42-19 Super Rugby defeat against the Lions.
A clearly upset Davids said he had held a firm discussion with his team after a defeat which saw the Lions run in six tries at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Kings loose forward Andisa Ntsila gave the home crowd of 4 733 early hope when he sprinted over the tryline after charging down a Lions clearance in the first minute.
But the lead was short-lived and the Lions turned up the heat, scoring five first-half tries to virtually take the game beyond the Kings’ reach.
The result means the Kings are still searching for an elusive first win over South African opposition in Super Rugby.
“As I am sitting here I am very disappointed with the performance of the team today. I just think that we let ourselves down,” Davids said.
“The game is very simple. You can only win games when you have good possession and I think our scrums and lineouts let us down throughout the game.
“We were a bit asleep in the first half, but we improved in the second half with a much better performance.
“If you play against quality sides like this [and] you are not focused and get things right
from the start, you will stand behind the poles. That is what happened to us in the first half.
“We looked more energised with the minimum possession in the second half and we looked quite good with ball in hand.
“But then again we lost some patience in the opposition 22 by not holding on to the ball for long phases until the opportunity arises.
“We forced play with ill decisions with our kicks and that is something we need to improve on.
“We have got exciting backs to run the ball with, but if you don’t get quality ball from your set pieces you are always going to struggle.
“The Kings must take a hard look at this. We have had a firm discussion about this now and we need to take accountability to ensure we get better outcomes from our set pieces,” Davids said.
New Kings captain Lionel Cronje said he would try to look at the positives after his team’s fourth defeat in the competition.
“I think we came out and played positive rugby in the second half. At 35-12 down at half time we knew we needed to score two tries to get ourselves back in the game,” he said,
“We scored a good attacking try after half time. If we had scored another try we would have been back in it.
“I’m going to look at the positives. I think we held the ball really well in the second half – we can improve and grow from that.
“I think the team got a lot of energy from the little of ball we got. And getting the ball wide energised us and gave us a lot of metres on the outside,” Cronje said.
After his opening try, the energetic Ntsila then sparked the Kings’ second five-pointer when he broke free down the touchline before passing to flying wing Yaw Penxe who scored on debut after 18 minutes.
Kings fullback Malcolm Jaer brought smiles to the faces of home supporters when he sliced through the Lions defence to score his team’s third five pointer after 43 minutes. The scorers: Southern Kings 19: Tries: Andisa Ntsila, Yaw Penxe, Malcolm Jaer. Conversions: Lionel Cronje (2) Lions 42: Tries: Madosh Tambwe (2), Malcolm Marx, Elton Jantjies, Jaco Kriel, Harold Vorster. Conversions: Jantjies (5), Andries Coetzee