Kings again a Super 15 doubt

2011-11-16 07:37

Cape Town - The Southern Kings' participation in the Super Rugby tournament from 2013 onwards could again be under threat.

Die Burger newspaper reports that several rugby officials feel the Kings' automatic inclusion in the 2013 tournament is not in the best interests of South African rugby.

This issue was brought up at a recent Presidents forum of the South African Rugby Union (SARU) and could be discussed further in the first week of December.

The EP Kings' inability to win the Currie Cup First Division this year and their apparent lack of transformation leave questions over their Super Rugby inclusion.

They even fielded two New Zealanders - Ross Kennedy and Clint Newland - in this year's Currie Cup First Division, where they were hammered 43-12 by the Boland Cavaliers in the final.

EP's loss in the "B"-section final means they are effectively the 10th best union in the country. Border and SWD - who are the Southern Kings' other representatives - finished last and second last respectively in the First Division, which makes them the two weakest provincial teams in South Africa.

SANZAR announced earlier this year that an extension of the Super Rugby tournament is not open for discussion, which means the Kings would have to replace one of the current Super Rugby teams. This would be problematic for SARU if a team made up of the 10th, 13th and 14th best side's in the country represents South Africa in the Southern Hemisphere's premier tournament.

South Africa has an obligation towards SANZAR to play its best teams in Super Rugby, which makes the Kings' inclusion hard to justify.

A solution could be to give the Kings franchise the opportuniy to qualify for the tournament on merit. However, how that would happen is still unsure.

"The other team that is effected by the Kings' inclusion also has to be looked after. The decision has to be in the best interests of South African rugby," Die Burger was told.


  • peter.britz1 - 2011-11-16 07:58

    The problem is the concept of "transformation" The Kings were "guarenteed a spot in the Super 15. Hence, they didn't have to go out and perform, and deserve the spot. it's the same "transformation"that Mbalula is punting in rugby and cricket! I said before the Rugby World Cup, when Mbalula was saying "Moer them Bokke",that it was the calm before the storm. Soon as the euphoria of the WC is over, we will again be under the "transformation cosh" The Kings are simply not good enough. In the old days when Natal played B Section Currie Cup, they had to earn promotion, and now they are one of the stronger rugby Unions in SA. EP used to be a proud and strong rugby Union. Why did it go downstairs after 1994. The whites certainly couldn't have screwed it up? There is only one sure guarentee in sport. Perfomance. Perform, and sponsors are interested. Sponsors and the rest of the world have no interest in Mbalula's proclaimed and grandoise schemes of social engineering. They don't care about demographics, they care about a winning image, because that attracts fans, and generates funds! They don't teach cadres like Mbalula economics it seems!

      Marius - 2011-11-16 10:19

      Only one mistake in your comment. Natal never earned promotion from the B-Section at the time. They were given it through a change in the competition with the change that the 6 "Test" unions will play in the A-section. Only once they got there were they able to attract bigger sponsors to help them buy almost half the Transvaal side for the next season. Today rugby is all about who has the most money and can afford the biggest squads. If you never play against the big unions and therefore has almost no TV exposure, no company will ever sponsor that team., because they will get zero exposure for there investment.

      jase880 - 2011-11-16 10:38

      @Marius - by that token, however, Natal still had a huge fan base that used to go to games even when they were in the B League - I know because I used to go to all those games when I was growing up. It justified a lot of money being put in. Maybe PE will be the same but I doubt it - there isn't a huge turnout for games there. And to top it off, despite the fact that PE is a much bigger city than Kimberly, Nelspruit or Potch...the unions for those towns manage to get much better players and are much better teams than EP. EP thinks it should be handed to them on a platter thanks to Mr. Cheeky Watson. Forget it - they need to earn it all the way.

      Hector - 2011-11-16 14:55

      One point to remember: Natal never earned promotion they were voted back into the A section by the rugby board as they constantly lost to NOFS in playoffs. Natal then transformed themselves into the successful union they are today. I don't think the Kings will be able to do the same. their idea seems to be that they replace the team that performed worst in the last S15- this will be the Lions, the current CC champs, so that idea flies out the window. They've got to earn the position and by being second in the B section they haven't.

      Zion - 2011-11-16 17:54

      Hector,Your are very right indeed. Simply exchanging a weak team for a perceived better team in the Super 15 series is the perfect recipe for disaster.Were EP to replace say the Lions then it would be a boon for the other 14 because EP would guarantee the others of a win every time they played and serve as the ideal milchcow. EP does currently not have the depth or experience to simply walk into the S15 series and expect to progress anywhere. Sponsors do not like losers.

  • Sean - 2011-11-16 08:11

    Sad thing is , the more they try and force transformation , the weaker the quality of play gets !

  • Wikus - 2011-11-16 08:12

    Oh my bleeding heart..... that's what the sober rugby-public has been saying ever since Cheeky Watson started making his absurd noises.... Keo must be gutted haha!

      Wikus - 2011-11-16 08:17

      And Hoskins must be taken to task for promising the Kings' S15 inclusion and once again telling them to stuff off. The Kings dont belong in the S15 and they dont belong in the Currie Cup.... Hoskins talks out of two mouths.

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2011-11-17 08:13

      Is that a Blue Bulls jersey I see? A little concerned?? gone are your glory days Look what happened in the Currie Cup Lets see what happens in say 3 years, I fancy EP's chances to be up there by then. Then the Bulls supporters will be a lot less vocal. Money talks these days and there seems to be quite a bit in the PE region on offer to get our rugby where it should be. Hopefully it will keep our talent local and make the playground allot more even

  • Dustin - 2011-11-16 08:32

    nobody watches losers... The performance of the lions before last season showed us this, doesn't matter who you are if you win games nobody cares about you...Screw 'em...

  • Stuart - 2011-11-16 08:49

    @peter, Natal never won promotion to the big league, SARU changed the structure, to accommodate them, now look at what top rugby can do if you are give the access to top rugby and big sponsors. Big league and sponsors will allow them to attract the players.

      Kosie - 2011-11-16 08:59

      at which teams cost. I say if they want to be there they must first play all the S15 SA teams and see how they compare. i'd put my money on everygame at least 70-8 for S15 teams.

  • Dakey - 2011-11-16 09:02

    The problem with South African rugby and Kings rugby in particular is that every locally produced player gets poached by larger provinces such as the Sharks, WP and the Bulls. I'm not saying there wasn't ever mismanagement of funds in the past, but SARU needs to implement measures to prevent the wealthy teams from merely buying players from other provinces. I'm not a fan of Watson, but Port Elizabeth has the rugby public to support a Super 15 team and the stadium to match. Yes they lost to Boland, but they were missing eight key players on they day! They had a perfect record prior to these matches, so there is no evidence to suggest they aren't close to the 6th/7th best team in the country. The US have long understood the importance of a draft system to allow weaker teams a chance to complete. This occurs for NBA,NFL,NHL and MLB. The same should apply to SA rugby.

      peter.britz1 - 2011-11-16 10:07

      They lost by a similiar margin prior to the final too. How many players were missing then?

      Dakey - 2011-11-18 14:34

      That match was played also at Boland with a 6 point difference at the 67th minute until a yellow card to the Kings. The Kings has actually beaten Boland in Port Elizabeth. Regardless, my argument is not based on the Kings performance as once the Kings are in the super 15, past results hardly matter. Long terms no team will succeed if they are handicapped by richer pockets. You see this in the English Premier League where teams like Chelsea and Man City are purchased. A possible solution is a salary cap, which will at least mean that good players from smaller provinces aren't purchased only to sit as replacements for the top players.

  • Gordon - 2011-11-16 09:34

    @Kosie, not true at all hey, they beat the living daylight out of the bulls!!!

  • Marius - 2011-11-16 10:31

    The big unions will do everything to keep the Kings out of the S15, because it will ensure that they can still poach the wealth of young talent from the area. You can fill up a full squad of 30 players from guys that played their schools rugby in the EP, Border and SWD regions who are currently playing for the Sharks, Bulls, Stormers, Lions and Cheetahs.

      peter.britz1 - 2011-11-16 11:27

      If that was the case the EP would be a winner at Craven Week not so?

      Dakey - 2011-11-18 14:48

      @Peter.britz1 Are you actually denying that bigger provinces poach players from smaller provinces? Heck, school players get poached in matric over here! As for craven week, a lot of winners (Freestate) play together at Grey Bloem already. It is hardly going to be a competition putting 15 guys together, all trying to show off their individual tallent to scouts, instead of just winning. Have a look at how many of these players are actually local. Note, the Bull haven't bothered to include where they matriculated.

      Dakey - 2011-11-18 14:49

      PS, Look up both Potgieter loosies...

  • duane.vanvuuren - 2011-11-16 11:08

    They can't even win the Currie Cup...FIRST DIVISION (a second tier competition to that of the Currie Cup Premier Division). How do they expect to be competitive at Super Rugby level? There will be T20 cricket scores against them on a weekly basis! Dislike the comment if you like, but it's the gospel truth!

  • Francois - 2011-11-16 12:28

    En die mense in die Baai is rugby hier n kompeterende span kan wees sal dit die enigste World Cup sokker stadium wees wat winsgewend sal wees. Komaan OP kry jul glorie terug toe julle nog die groot spanne laat bloedsweet het in die Baai; die hele spul; vandag verskuil as plaasdiere; dieretuin diere en die wat jy in akwaruims kry!!!!!

  • coolshoesouthafrica - 2011-11-16 15:02

    As a Kings Supporter I agree that the Kings need prove themselves before joining the big league. They have a good squad which should improve over the next year with the monies that has been promised. Let them qualify for the Currie Cup and first. Cheeky is doing massive things for the region and we PE folk are behind him PE needs a rugby team, it can only benefit SA Rugby in the long term. I also think that the Kings will be a better side than Boland, Leopards and the Pumas come the end of next Season. The Pumas had a great Currie Cup, although is was against understrength teams and EP have shown that they can beat them in PE I am not sure what happend in the 2 games vs Boland, was there nothing to play for? Still no reason to play how they did and end the season in such a bad way. Rugby is all about mometum and Eastern Province have what is takes, baby steps EP RUGBY ON THE RISE

      duane.vanvuuren - 2011-11-16 15:53

      I agree with you, mate. They'll get there, eventually. Just look at the comeback the Lions made. But right now? They're (E.P.) just gonna have to wait...

  • Michael - 2011-11-16 16:26

    Ep didnt even try transform and dont seem like doing it in the near future.. Which was their only argument for their free ticket into arguably the worlds premier 'domestic' competition. They bought a truckload of older players from mostly freestate and the bulls and a few younger uni players from other provinces and like the article says, 2 new zealanders. I must add that most of these players were bought with the 6mil they get a year from saru as a 'use this to keep the egg off our faces' handout. The 6mil is more thsn griquas have for their player contracts a year and id love to see them try compete with those fellows from kimberly..

  • Kenjaymay - 2011-11-16 23:24

    Hey you guys from the other franchises!...... You must be s#itting in your best pants right now because all of a sardine the Mighty Lions are no longer the worst franchise out there!.....So who will drop out???? Go Lions! Go Lions!

      Michael - 2011-11-17 06:14

      Dont kid urself kenjay, theyre still our worst super rugby outfit. Though i like their style of play, one swallow doesn't make a summer. But they would comfortably put 60+ past the mighty kings

  • coolshoesouthafrica - 2011-11-17 08:00

    One thing everybody needs to realise that the Southern Kings are made of 3 regions. EP, SWD and Border. The EP Kings are made up of EP Players and by playing as the Southern Kings I am sure the squad will become allot stronger. I understand that if they were in the Super 15 right now it would be cricket scores.Not like the Newlands test bust rather like something in the sub continent. The people behind EP Rugby are not that stupid that they would expect this squad to play against the big boys. I dont think their plans have worked out as they hoped for but their are big plans in order and PE will have a team that deserves a place in the top 5 in a few years to come. There are many SA supporters out there who seem lke they dont want this to happen? Cant think of a reason why. Give them a chance to prove themselves and try be positive.PE now has the Sevens and look how they supported the Boks vs the AB's a few months back. I respect some of the comments I see but allot are over the top. Only time will tell but I am 100% positive that this will happen sooner rather than later EP RUGBY ON THE RISE

      Wikus - 2011-11-17 08:50

      Sure there's space for EP to develop but surely you can't give them a S15 spot or even a Currie Cup spot on the basis of this year's (or the previous years' performance). That's the reason why there is a qualifying system. Just because we feel sorry for the poor blighters doesn't mean they deserve a spot. And yes this is n blue bulls jersey and yes they sucked this season. But I guess you have to take pleasure in my team's very poor performance since you can't take pleasure in your own team's success. :-) But once again, Hoskins is at fault for promising he is not prepared to honor and PE is once again feeling left out in the cold.

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