Kings: Given time, we can emulate Lions
Johannesburg - Kings coach Deon Davids and veteran Ross Geldenhuys both believe that, with time, the Port Elizabeth-based franchise can evolve into a side that rivals the Lions in terms of their playing style.
The sides met in Johannesburg on Saturday and, despite Lions hooker Ross Cronje being red-carded in the 30th minute, the hosts cruised to a convincing 54-10 victory.
The gulf in class was evident throughout the match as the Kings, even with an extra man, struggled to keep up.
But, speaking after the match, both Davids and Geldenhuys were adamant that the Kings played a similar style of rugby to the Lions and that they could close the gap significantly if they were given the opportunity to gel.
"We play a pretty similar style," Geldenhuys, skipper on the day, told media.
"This team has only been put together in December where other guys, if you take the Lions for example, they've been together for a few years.
"They all know the structures and the game-plan where we have to adapt to every game and tweak and change, which we have done. It started working the further on in the season we got."
Geldenhuys said the Kings could "definitely" play the same style of rugby as the Lions over time.
"If we can keep continuity from one competition to another competition over years and you play towards the strength of the Southern Kings, which is to build pressure with ball in hand and have exciting backs, then we can build a similar brand," he said.
Still, there is no denying that the Lions are streaks ahead currently.
"They are a really well-oiled machine. They've got a good scrum, maul and exciting backs," added Geldenhuys.
"As you saw tonight, they got a few 80 meter tries. I thought our defence was good from 60m out, but the last 20m we struggled. They've got some flash backs but it's a disappointing performance from us."
Davids said his side simply never got going and that he could see from the start that they were lacking intensity.
"I think they were just the better team today," said the coach.
"It was a bad day at the office. It was not out best performance. Things just didn't workout for us from the start and it was just a chain reaction."