An new wave of optimism is sweeping through the Southern Kings camp ahead of their Super Rugby campaign.
The Kings kick off against a tough Argentine Jaguares team on Saturday in a match that will test their newlyfound aspirations.
Last year the Kings could win only two of the 15 matches they played, but hopes are high that they will perform better this year.
Much of the hope is based on the solid programme of pre-season training the team has enjoyed.
Last season the Kings were hastily assembled and a lack of conditioning severely hampered their campaign.
The team ran out of gas after 60 minutes in most matches and this resulted in some heavy defeats.
But warm-up victories over the Border Bulldogs and the SWD Eagles have added to the feel-good factor radiating from the Kings camp.
Kings head coach Deon Davids, however, has warned his team will need to find more rhythm in their play if they are to succeed in Super Rugby this season.
He said his team had made too many simple errors against the Eagles and this needed to be fixed ahead of the Jaguares showdown.
Davids, a tough taskmaster, has told his players they need to step up and give only of their very best if they want to own a jersey in the Kings’ starting line-up.
The optimism of the coaching staff has permeated down to the players and they also looking forward to a productive season.
Flying wing Siyanda Grey, a member of the Kings’ 2013 Super Rugby squad, says the side are already on the right track.
He says the Kings have set themselves the goal of winning their home matches in what is bound to be a gruelling season.
With talk that Sanzaar may slash the 18-team tournament to 16 sides next year, the Kings need to show they belong in the top flight.
Last year’s home matches were poorly attended and the Kings know they will have to up their game to bring the missing fans back.
With that in mind, the Kings will want to turn Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium into an intimidating fortress for visiting teams.
A win over the Jaguares on Saturday would be the first step to achieving that goal.