Cronje explains key decision to turn down points

    2017-05-22 14:05

    Cape Town - At the end of the Kings' 19-10 loss to the Brumbies in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, the possession stats told a story. 

    The Brumbies had enjoyed 65% of the ball, meaning the Kings had to rely on a spirited defensive effort to stay in the game for as long as they did. 

    With hardly any ball in attacking areas, points were also incredibly hard to come by for the hosts. 

    Yet, somehow, they had manufactured a 10-5 lead with just 25 minutes to play. 

    It was at that stage that the kings were awarded a penalty right in front of the posts. 

    Lionel Cronje could have knocked it over and given his side an eight-point lead going into the last quarter, but he turned down the points and opted for a scrum not once, but twice. 

    It was certainly a brave decision, but in the end it proved to be the wrong one as the Kings lost the ball and went on two concede two tries to lose the game. 

    Speaking after the game, Cronje explained his decision. 

    "It was 10-5 at that stage and 60 or 65 minutes into the game with few opportunities heading into their 22," Cronje said.

    "With our scrum dominant, there was definitely an opportunity there to cross the white line and get a try. The execution of our plan and being clinical probably wasn’t up to our standard."

    Coach Deon Davids also defended Cronje. 

    "At that point we thought that we had an opportunity to be in their half and try to stay there and convert it into an opportunity to score," he said.

    "Always in hindsight you would reconsider, but I back the decisions that were made there. If we got a different result you would have agreed that it was the right decision."

    Execution was a problem the Kings faced throughout the day, Cronje says. 

    "I think we created enough opportunities and we didn’t execute well. I think we weren’t clinical enough and that’s pretty disappointing in terms of the standard we set ourselves," said Cronje. 

    The Kings take on the Lions in Johannesburg this weekend. 

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