On Saturday 29 April, the Southern Kings romped home to an emphatic 44-3 victory over the Melbourne Rebels in what was an exiting and clinical performance from the home side. This was the Kings’ first consecutive victory in the Super Rugby competition.
The Kings led by eight points at half time after two penalties from captain Lionel Cronje and an unconverted try from Wandile Mjekevu brought the Kings to 11-3 over the visiting Rebels. The Kings turned on the class in the second half, however, as they managed to score five unanswered tries, of which four were converted. The second half try scorers included Martin Bezuidenhout, Tyler Paul, Pieter-Steyn de Wet, Makazole Mapimpi and Masixole Banda.
The Rebels’ head coach, Tony McGahan, was understandably disappointed in his sides’ performance, however congratulated the Kings on their emphatic win, emphasizing their quality on the counter-attack. “They defended really well, their spirit grew as the game went on as the scoreboard reflected there,” McGahan said of the Kings’ performance, adding, “they fully deserved the result”.
The Kings’ head coach, Deon Davids was happy with his side’s performance, stating, “We’ve been very close in other games, we graphed out one against the Waratahs, and got a lot of belief from that, but this one I think in the second half they [the Kings]really played to their potential and they showed what they can do so they really deserve it”.
“Everyone will look at the scoreboard and say that with ball in hand we were tremendous, but I think defensively we were also very good, especially in the first half and also for long periods in the second half,” Davids said, suggesting that the Kings showed that they have gotten closer to the finished product.
Kings’ captain, Lionel Cronje, praised his team’s efforts on both attack and defence. “I think the biggest reward tonight was our defence along with our attack complimented each other well. It’s good that we can finally put a full game together I think for the first time today”.
Despite the emphatic win, Davids isolated the penalty count that the Kings racked up as a problem. “Our discipline was really not good. That is one thing of the game that we can take and say that we have to revisit that and concede less penalties”.
The Kings will now enjoy a bye week before they take on the Sharks at home in the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium on Saturday 13 May. Davids welcomes the bye week, stating that the players will enjoy a complete break from rugby before preparations for the Sharks clash begin next week.
The Kings hope that even more supporters will come out to support the Port Elizabeth side after this emphatic win.