Coetzee offers tonic to Kings

    2013-01-17 15:35
    Allister Coetzee (Gallo Images)

    Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

    Hermanus - While some cynics see the Kings as potential “one-season wonders” in Super Rugby, the coach of South Africa’s most consistent franchise in recent seasons isn’t prepared to join the naysayers.

    Stormers mastermind Allister Coetzee would probably admit to a little bias and affection toward the Kings - as long as they don’t impede his own outfit’s ambitions - as he is a proud Eastern Cape product, having been born in Grahamstown and once a SARU scrumhalf legend of the region.

    But he told Sport24 at a media briefing from the Stormers’ pre-season camp here on Wednesday that he believes they can be sufficiently competitive.

    Enter the Sport24 SuperBru Super Rugby challenge!

    “Obviously I don’t know exactly what is happening in the camp there, but I can tell you how excited the people are in the Eastern Cape to have good first-class rugby, Super Rugby, back in Port Elizabeth.

    “It’s a wonderful city and (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium) is a great place ... you’ve seen when the Boks play there, or even when we do (the Stormers beat the Kings 38-13 in a pre-season friendly last year), how excited the people get and how well-supported the venue is.

    “From that perspective alone, it will be great to play them ... and I think most sides will find it tough playing them there.

    “With that squad that Alan (Solomons, their director of rugby) is building, they will definitely be highly competitive.”

    The Kings recently unveiled a provisional squad, which included many gnarly South African campaigners who are no strangers to Super Rugby from prior franchises.

    These include centres Waylon Murray and Andries Strauss, wing Michael Killian, lock Steven Sykes, loosehead prop Jaco Engels, hooker Bandise Maku and loose forward and captain Luke Watson.

    They will also benefit from the services of Nicolas Vergallo, the highly-rated, much-capped Argentina scrumhalf.

    Coetzee’s Stormers team, the defending SA conference champions, first meet the Kings at a fairly advanced stage of the competition, in round 16, when the Newlands all-Cape derby is staged.

    The Port Elizabeth follow-up is on July 6, and in round 19. 

    Early Kings matches:

    February 23: v Force (H)
    March 2: bye
    March 9: v Sharks (H)
    March 15: v Chiefs (H)

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    Comments have been closed for this article.
    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    No results are available


    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Which South African franchise stands the best chance of winning this year's Super Rugby title?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.