Kings eyeing play-offs

Sun, 02 Jun 2013 13:08
Large vergallo kicks630 Large stormers v kings

While the Kings may be out of the running for the Super Rugby play-offs, they still have an upcoming knock-out fixture to consider.

While the Kings may be out of the running for the Super Rugby play-offs, they still have an upcoming knock-out fixture to consider.

Although the Eastern Cape franchise have put up a good show in their debut season, it seems inevitable that they will finish the competition as the bottom-placed South African team.

This will mean a home and away promotion/relegation play-off with the Lions, and Kings Director of Rugby Alan Solomons is intent on having his first-choice side available.

They were missing captain Luke Watson, flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis and lock Steven Sykes in their loss to the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday, but Solomons is confident that all three players will be back in action by the time the all-important playoffs come around.

"We have had a contingency plan in place right from the beginning because this was always a possibility.

"What we have now got to consider, we have got a break and then there are three matches and then a bye before the promotion/relegation.

"We have planned for that and hopefully Sykesy [Steven Sykes] will be back when we return and obviously Luke [Watson] will be back and we will have Demetri [Catrakilis] back as well.

"So we will be at full strength and then we will have a review of the plan we have got and we will take our decisions accordingly, obviously that is critical for us," he said.

Solomons said that he was happy with his team's showing at a rain-soaked Newlands, as they made the Stormers work hard for their victory.

"We all think that it was a really good performance. Obviously conditions were difficult for both sides but there was very little in that game.

"I think there was absolutely nothing in it, if you consider at the end we had a chance perhaps to score which we didn't but it was a try apiece and really the kicking made the difference," he said.

Kings head coach Matt Sexton said that despite showing plenty of grit on defence his team had lt themselves down in the set-pieces.

"I thought they defended especially well, our defensive coach has got that system going really well and he was pretty pleased.

"Probably a little bit disappointed in the set-piece, we gave away opportunities where we had ball and that transferred to territory and invariably it was points.

"We were really pleased with the way they fronted up and played with courage," he said.

By Michael de Vries

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