The Cell C Sharks suffered an agonizing loss against the Kings in their Vodacom Super Rugby clash in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, with the Kings claiming their first ever victory over a South African
It was a high-paced, quality contest between two very evenly-matched teams, with the result going down to the wire and the Kings securing victory only late in a game that could have gone either way.
Head coach Robert du Preez admitted that he wasn’t very pleased with the outcome of the game, although he felt that the Kings deserved praise for their performance.
“Very disappointing for us,” he admitted succinctly after the match, won 35-32 by the Kings.
“But we can’t have any complaints,” he said “we were outscored four tries to two so I think that sums it up.”
He refused to make excuses for the loss of our flyhalf and captain, Patrick Lambie who had to be replaced in the 32nd minute of the game following a clash of heads with his fullback.
“Pat’s injury is quite a setback for the team, but we have capable players to have fixed that issue.”
He felt that the Kings’ run of good form of late was worthy of praise and good for South African rugby.
“It’s fantastic for the Kings, they’ve been playing good rugby all season that’s great and that’s what we need in South Africa, to have teams performing well against a team like the Cell C Sharks. I thought they played really well.”
He pin-pointed two factors that counted most towards the result, identifying the Kings’ desire and his own team’s exiting from their 22 as important focal points that led to the Kings victory, their third in a row.
They have now won against the Sharks and Rebels at home in PE, together with a hugely impressive victory over the Waratahs in Sydney in the first of the win treble.
“I think the Kings played with passion and the fact that we couldn’t exit – at the end of the day, that’s what cost us the game.”
Du Preez also identified the scrums as a problem area for his side, although he didn’t feel that the Kings did anything unexpectedly at the set-piece. He had warned that they would be competitive in every facet of the game, there was much hype surrounding the derby clash leading into it and the Kings delivered to their fans who came out in their numbers in a remarkable show of support for rugby in the region.
“I wouldn’t say I was surprised, but they did really well at scrum-time, especially when we had one guy in the bin.”
The Cell C Sharks play their second consecutive away game this weekend when they travel to Singapore to take on the Sunwolves at the National Stadium, Singapore on Saturday.