WESTERN Province coach Allister Coetzee has warned that new boys the EP Kings are not a team that will be turned over easily at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in the Currie Cup this season.
Coetzee was speaking after his team registered a 35-16 win in their opening game of the Premier Division season in Port Elizabeth.
“Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is definitely not an easy place to come to and I was really nervous coming here,” Coetzee said.
“I must say this Kings team is not a side that will be turned over easily.
“A lot of teams will come down here and if they don’t work hard for a win they will be beaten.
“The Kings are a good side.
“I am sure their coach, Carlos Spencer, will work on a few tactical things to get it right.
“The Kings will be a force going forward in the competition.” Coetzee said his team had been fortunate the Kings did not capitalise fully on all the chances that came their way.
“The Kings had opportunities which they should have capitalised on and they had some good line breaks.
“If there had been continuity on that we could have been in trouble.
“Maybe there has to be a better balance to play in the right areas and then put the pressure on with ball in hand rather than trying to run out of your own half and trying to score 60 to 70m tries.
“I know the Kings will fix it and get it right and once a team has a good platform they can build on that and just get better from there.
“These guys have worked really hard to prepare for this one, but yet again the focus was on us and not about what the Kings would do.
“Our only problem was discipline and when we kept ball in hand we got the rewards for that.
“We played with 14 men for 30 minutes and that is not heard of and in terms of discipline is not acceptable.
“The players know about it and we spoke about it at half time and it is something we have to fix.
“We never underestimated the Kings mauling and they showed it again against us.
“I was disappointed with our mauling defence and the Kings formation must be credited in the way they mauled and also at scrum time they were good.
“We have to work hard at scrum time in future and at stopping mauls defensively.”
Meanwhile, the Kings forwards devoted time to their lineout throwing skills yesterday as they prepared for their visit to Johannesburg to face the Lions on Saturday.
Players who sat out training yesterday were hooker Edgar Marutlulle (knock to the knee), scrumhalf Tobie Botes (wrist injury) and skipper Luke Watson (recovering from bumps and bruises).
During training there was a collision between the scrumhalfs Jaco Grobler and Kevin Luiters.
Luiters had to leave the field for medical attention.
None of the injuries are serious and all the players are expected to be in contention for the Lions clash. – George Byron