Ambition the jewel in Kings’ crown

George Byron

SOUTHERN Kings backline coach Carlos Spencer, regarded as one of the most exciting flyhalfs of all time, wants his team to show plenty of ambition when they face the Cheetahs in a Super Rugby friendly at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 5pm).

Former All Black star “King Carlos” Spencer, who was brought to the Kings to add fresh impetus to the back division, will have a chance to run the rule over his players against what is expected to be a full strength Cheetahs outfit.

“We have to have structure and stick to that structure. But within it I would like the players to be ambitious,” Spencer said.

“If that means having a go from their own 22, I have not got a problem with that, but we do have a structure.

“The game is all about momentum and if we can create momentum with ball in hand then I am happy. I am a running coach, not a kicking coach in terms of game plan so if we can run ourselves out of trouble I am happy with that,” Spencer, who played 35 games for the All Blacks, said.

“We have to have drivers in place that can control that kind of game. We will do a lot of work with nine and 10 in terms of controlling the game if that is the style we want to play.

“So although it is great to be ambitious, we must know when to kick and when to run. We have to get the balance right – that is what we will be working on in the next three games.”

After Saturday’s clash against the Cheetahs the Kings face the Lions on February 1 and Stormers on February 7.

One of the players who will enjoy the chance to run at the Free Staters is teen wing Sergeal Petersen, who has been included in the starting lineup after missing several games last season because of injury.

Kings caretaker coach and former Springbok prop Robbi Kempson has chosen a team with a blend of youth and experience for what promises to be a testing, physical encounter.

Against the Cheetahs the Kings will feature a young front row comprising props BG Uys and Pieter Stemmet and hooker Dane van der Westhuyzen.

They will face a challenging afternoon against Trevor Nyakane, Adriaan Strauss and Coenie Oosthuizen.

Former Leopards scrumhalf Jaco Grobler gets an early chance to impress in a Kings jersey and he will be planning to forge a good partnership with flyhalf George Whitehead.

“The Cheetahs will pick their strongest side against us so we have to start with the big guns and blood the youngsters during the second half,” Kempson said.

Tickets for Saturday have been priced at R50 and are available through Computicket, any Shoprite or Checkers outlet and the stadium ticket office.