Solomons: Kings are smarter
Port Elizabeth – It has been three difficult weeks, but the Eastern Province Kings certainly learned a lot from the brief period that they played as the Southern Kings.
That was the view of Kings coach Alan Solomons in the wake of the friendly matches against the Bulls, Cheetahs and Lions.
“The results were not what we wanted in each instance, but we now have more knowledge,” he said.
“We have gained knowledge of the players in our squad, knowledge of aspects of our game that we have to improve and knowledge of our weaknesses.”
With a number of new players in his squad, Solomons never expected his team to do everything right.
“We have to be realistic. It can still take a few games in the Vodacom Cup before the Kings combine well as a team. The three games were tough because it was so early in the season.
“There was little time to train ahead of our first game after our conditioning programme. But these kinds of matches are important, also for the Kings as franchise. We need the exposure.”
Solomons believes that the franchise will gather steam over time and the preparation for next season will be approached differently.
SA Rugby’s full support for the franchise means that they can prepare better for games.
Nico Serfontein, coach of the Lions team that played against the Kings on Friday, told the EP folk: “You can have a super team on paper, but people need to be patient. It takes time to establish a team.”
The Kings next play a President’s Team at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on 4 June. They leave for Romania a week later to play in the Nations Cup.
By then players from South Western Districts and Border may have made the side.
However, all three sides first have the opportunity to make their mark in the Vodacom Cup in two weeks’ time. The Kings start against Namibia.