Kings v Lions

My programme

It would appear that my days of watching live Super Rugby are over 😦

Let me explain.

There are 6 major playing regions here in South Africa but only 5 places available in the Super Rugby competition (in it’s current format.) I’ve explained previously that for as long as there has been Super Rugby my little part of the world has been completely ignored, that was until this year.

Be it politics, compassion or just plain old common sense our rugby hierarchy decided to to give us a chance and entered Eastern Province (under The Southern Kings franchise) in this years competition, at the expense of last year’s lowest ranked S.A. team ( The Lions) with the proviso that the Kings  play the Lions in a home and away relegation / promotion series of matches come the end of the season.

Well, the first of these relegation / promotion matches was played last night, right here at our magnificent new FIFA world cup stadium, and yes, you’ve guessed it, the Kings lost.

Had the Kings won, we had plans for the 2,000km round trip up to Johannesburg to watch the 2nd leg, but we agreed at the end of last night’s game not waste our time, effort and money!

For the record last night’s score was 19 – 26.

We seemed to be on the wrong end of some poor referring decisions, this from one of our leading news publishers …

it also looked as though refereeing mistakes contributed to the Lions’ second try that effectively wrapped up the match in the second half.

… but cowboys don’t cry and to be honest we should be able to overcome these errors but we’re simply not good enough.

I’m told that there were 35,000 of us at last nights game, which once again proves that the public want top flight rugby in these parts, it’s just that the team and management need a tad longer to get their act together, sadly I don’t see that period of grace being extended to us.

So it’s back to the rugby wilderness for this part of the world, hopefully the bureaucrats will have recognised the appetite for  Super Rugby,  the successes and achievements created in such a short space of time, although I’m not holding my breath!

14 thoughts on “Kings v Lions”

  1. Hi Soutie

    Sky TV showed the game at 2.30 am today so I recorded and watched it this morning.

    Hard luck. The way the Kings came at the Lions right from the start and put three points on the board in no time was really impressive. A few unforced errors let the Lions back into the game but I still thought that the Kings were the better team and looked likely to win until that interception try on the stroke of half time. That was a cruel blow just as you were pressing hard and had a chance to score and open up a good lead.

    Their second try clearly came from a forward pass and the commentators were amazed that the Kings did not ask for a review. When they went down to 14 men it looked like you might get more than just the unconverted try but they did defend well.

    It’s going to be a hard mountain for the Kings to climb to beat the Lions at home and at altitude. I hope that Catrakilis will be fit. He is a classy player.

    Good luck for the second leg and at least you’ve got that bonus point

  2. I hope some supporters will make the trip to Johannesburg otherwise your team will feel even worse.

  3. I know this is Rugby League and different, Soutie, but look at the first two scores. Your team had a much more respectable score line.

  4. Morning JM

    Yes, I don’t recall the Lions threatening our 22 never mind our try line during the 1st half, until, of course that intercept try. Of course all is not lost, a win up there by 8 points is all that’s needed but as you say it’s a very big mountain to climb.

    As Dimitri entered that ruck in the 2nd half I shouted “get him out of there!” That’s no place for your ace flyhalf to be and unfortunately I was proved right, in big matches you have to protect what few advantage you have.

    Once again the Kings ran out of gas (and ideas) during the 2nd half, perhaps the absence of regular team captains(s) Luke Watson and Andries Strauss through injury had an effect but it shouldn’t.

    At least I’ll be watching a competitive rugby match next Saturday afternoon (kick off 17:05) unlike Sharks, Stormers, Cheetahs and Bulls supporters who can all have the afternoon off and perhaps mow the lawn 🙂

  5. Hi sheona, there will be pockets of Kings fans up there at Ellis Park, there is a supporters club here who have organised a tour but 14 hours or so (each way) in a coach isn’t my cuppa tea, we were going to drive up and stay with family but as I say have decided to give it a miss.

    We’ve also had some big defeats this season (not that big though) this narrow defeat will be as JM infers a lot larger that it looks once we take the field on Saturday 😦

  6. John Mackie :

    Hi Soutie

    It’s going to be a hard mountain for the Kings to climb to beat the Lions at home and at altitude. I hope that Catrakilis will be fit. He is a classy player.

    I heard yesterday that Katrikilas is out of the return leg 😦

    This from this morning’s local daily read …

    THE embattled Southern Kings have been dealt a severe blow with the news that ace flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis has been ruled out of Saturday’s crucial second-leg Super Rugby promotion-relegation playoff against the Lions in Johannesburg because of a shoulder injury.

    The injury to Catrakilis could not have come at a worse time for the wounded Kings, who are already on the back foot after losing the opening leg 26-19 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday.

    “Demetri has sustained a similar injury to that which lock Steven Sykes had earlier this season. This will see Demetri out for between four and six weeks. That means he will not be up for contention for the second promotion-relegation game,” Kings director of rugby Alan Solomons said.

    Despite this latest setback, a defiant Solomons said his battered team “must and will” recover from their first-leg loss.

    “We can definitely salvage this,” Solomons vowed after the Kings slumped to a narrow defeat. “We have to go to Johannesburg and beat them by more than seven points. That is what it has come down to. We can definitely salvage this.

    “We know we can, and we simply have to go up there and beat them by seven points. That is do-able. There was absolutely nothing in the first leg and it was a game I felt we could and should have won.”

    Looking back at Friday’s narrow defeat, Solomons rued several missed chances that cost his team dearly in a close match.

    “In big games like this, which are like test matches, things turn on little things,” he said.

    “We had opportunities, but we gave them an intercept try which was seven points. Then we missed an easy conversion of the Steven Sykes try, which was a further two points.

    “Centre Ronnie [Cooke] was also pushed out in the left corner and Demetri hit the upright. These are little things between winning and losing and they are the things games turn on.

    “We had chances when we were attacking on their line and knocked the ball on. There were a number of opportunities. Their flyhalf, Elton Jantjies, kicked very well so they took their opportunities. We did not take our opportunities and also presented them with an opportunity with the intercept try.

    “Penalties, breakdowns and errors cost us on the night,” Solomons said.

    Kings skipper Darron Nell gave the Lions credit for the win, but said his team would be working hard on several aspects of the game ahead of the second leg.

    “The Lions did well at the lineouts and set pieces and they drove very well,” Nell said. “I think we could have picked up the tempo of the game at times. There were factors that influenced that, and this week we will work at it and try to pick up the tempo.”

    Lions skipper JC Janse van Rensburg said it was the most physical game his team had played this season.

    “Yes, it was definitely a tough, physical game and we made a lot of mistakes in the first half, but hats off to our team for the guts they showed,” Janse van Rensburg said.

    “We worked hard to attack their defence because we knew it was very good and in the second half it went well. The Lions showed a lot of character and we fought for each other. Now we are looking forward to Ellis Park, which suits our game, and we will have 40 000 fans behind us this time.”

  7. It was announced yesterday that Alan Solomons, the director of rugby at The Kings is off to coach Edinburgh after 4 years here with us. Here’s hoping that he leaves on a winning note 🙂

  8. Big day today, return leg up at Ellis Park, kick off 17:05, do I think we have a chance, of course yes, is it a big chance unfortunately no 😦

  9. What a game! What a day….

    no more from me ’cause I know some here will at some time watch it “live”

    (I’ll wait for the all clear ;))

  10. Hi Soutie.

    Tell the tale as far as I am concerned, What a game indeed!

    I watched it live on my PC on Sky Sports Extra. I really enjoyed the first 30 minutes and the last fifteen minutes were truly thrilling. A great advertisement for South African rugby in the main apart from the referee who did not seem to me to be consistent in his decisions, particularly in relation to the maul.

  11. Good morning John

    Heartbreaking wasn’t it?

    For the record the Kings WON, unfortunately by just 5 points, not enough to overturn the 7 point deficit from the 1st leg, which of course means back to the wastelands of 2nd tier rugby down here until the competition format is changed, possibly 2016.

    It was good while it lasted, possibly the best 6 months of rugby that I’ve ever experienced.

    ‘Till the next time then 😉

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