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    Chance for Kings to back up

    2017-04-25 18:27

    Gavin Rich - SuperSport.com

    Melbourne - Victorious Southern Kings skipper Lionel Cronje didn’t waste any time in showing off how much the confidence of his team has grown following the win over the Waratahs last weekend, with the flyhalf stating it as fact that Sydney would not be the last success for his men in Vodacom Super Rugby.

    “I thought we had opportunities in previous games that let it slip for us and we could have won more than we have,” said Cronje.

    “It has been an emotional three weeks for us. We had to learn on tour that they were dropping the number of teams in Super Rugby next year, and that doesn’t put pressure on players and coaches but also on our families. We have three months left in this competition and we knew we needed to show the character of the great men in this team, our ability to stand up in adversity.

    “We have been improving week in and week out and I can tell you that this will not be our last win. We have plenty more games left in this competition, and we will win a few of those. I can tell you that.”

    An opportunity to show that intent and add substance to it comes in the form of a home match against the Melbourne Rebels this coming weekend. It will be the Kings’ fourth game in successive weeks against Australian opposition, and they would love to score the win that would enable them to break even with a 50 percent success rate against teams from Down Under before taking on the Brumbies later in the competition.

    The Rebels have played above themselves over the past few weekends, with a win against the Brumbies being followed by the draw with the Sharks in Durban in a game that was not dissimilar to the Kings’ narrow loss at Kings Park two months ago. However, they would long ago have been targeted by the Kings for a possible win, and the 26-24 triumph in Sydney should give the Kings a great chance to do something they have rarely managed in Super Rugby – back up from one week to the next.

    They will have been buoyed by the medical assessments carried out after they arrived home from their three week tour. According to team doctor Konrad von Hagen, there are no new medical concerns for a squad that did lose a few players during the tour.

    According to coach Deon Davids, who has done an excellent job of developing the Kings’ attacking brand of rugby this season, the approach for the Rebels match will be the same as it has been all season – they will focus on themselves and what they can control rather than worry too much about the opposition.

    “From the start our approach has been on focusing on stuff we can control, and I think that has paid off for us,” said Davids.

    “You must remember that unlike other franchises, we do not have a Currie Cup squad that we can use to build up to the competition with. Our development has to happen during the tournament. It is while Super Rugby is on that we come together and start to gel as a team, and start to put our systems in place.

    “We were disappointed with our last two results before the Waratahs game as we played good rugby in both the games in Australia but let ourselves down by making mistakes that let our opponents in. We need to keep working on that and improving on that.”

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    Saturday, 17 February 2018
    • Stormers v Jaguares, Cape Town 15:05
    • Lions v Sharks, Emirates Airlines Park 17:15
    Friday, 23 February 2018
    • Highlanders v Blues, 08:35
    • Rebels v Reds, AAMI Park 10:45
    Saturday, 24 February 2018
    • Sunwolves v Brumbies, Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium 06:15
    • Crusaders v Chiefs, 08:35
    • Waratahs v Stormers, Allianz Stadium 10:45
    • Lions v Jaguares, Emirates Airlines Park 15:05
    • Bulls v Hurricanes, Loftus Versfeld 17:15

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