SOUTHERN KINGS VS SCARLETS POST MATCH REPORT
The Southern Kings first foray into Sunday afternoon GUINNESSPRO14 Championship action ended in a narrow defeat for the local franchise when they went down 34-30 to reigning champions, Scarlets, at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
The Kings showed great enterprise to bounce back from an early try by the visitors and went into the halftime break leading 16-10 through scores of their own by Michael Makase and Yaw Penxe. Flyhalf Oliver Zono added two penalties.
After centre Martin Du Toit then also crossed for a try just after halftime to extend the Kings lead to 23-10, the visitors staged a rousing comeback and, despite a late try by replacement Harlon Klaasen, Scarlets were able to hold on for the win.
The result meant two bonus points for the Southern Kings but these were cold comfort to a disappointed Head Coach Deon Davids speaking after the game. “I am obviously disappointed because I really felt we had enough chances to win that one but we let it slip. Once I have had a chance to analyse the video - and in particular that 15 minute spell in the second-half during which we lost the initiative – I will be able to make more sense of it. There is a lot that we did well but right now it just feels like there are small aspects of our play that are costing us heavily,’ he said.
He identified some decision-making under pressure, concentration lapses on defence and “the odd loose pass here and there” as areas that concerned him.
Davids added that he was also concerned about the number of penalties that the Kings are conceding and that, whilst he did feel they were unlucky on occasions, he would be emphasising the need for discipline going forward. “We are not only offering the opposition opportunities to score points but also allowing them to release pressure. I am particularly concerned by how often we are penalised for high-tackles and for not rolling away from a maul quickly enough. These are things we can control and will work on,” he said.
There will not be too much time for the coaching staff to address these issues ahead of the Kings next fixture as they only have two full days of training scheduled before they take on Edinburgh in their next GUINNESSPRO14 fixture on Friday evening.
They also have an injury concern or two to deal with as team doctor Clement Plaatjies reported post match that flyhalf Oliver Zono - on his birthday - had suffered a concussion and would be out of action for a minimum of two weeks as a result. Dr Plaatjies also confirmed that flank Jurie Van Vuuren had broken his nose during the match against Scarlets. He would only be able to advise on the severity if this injury after further examination.
The match against Edinburgh will take place at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday, 1 December and will kick off at 19h15. Gates open at 17:00. Tickets are available online from www.ticketpros.co.za and also from all TicketPro outlets.