Home team focus on neutralising visitors’ forward dominance
The Sharks will try to dominate his side with their heavier pack when the teams clash at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday, Southern Kings backline coach Vuyo Zangqa said.
Zangqa, a former Blitzboks Sevens star, has been one of the architects of the Kings’ attacking style of play that has yielded 33 sparkling tries in nine Super Rugby outings.
When the teams clashed in Durban earlier in the season, the Sharks emerged narrow 19-17 winners, and Zangqa says vital lessons were learnt.
“They will bring what they brought in Durban in terms of physicality,” Zangqa said.
“The Sharks know their forwards are much heavier than our forwards, and they will try and play a very forward-dominant game.
“But if we can disrupt them in terms of that plan, and get the ball to our backs as much as we can, we will definitely outscore them this weekend.”
Zangqa is confident his team’s tally of tries will grow against the Sharks.
“Hopefully, the players will be confident in bringing out their firepower on Saturday. It is against the Sharks and we have never beaten a South African side.
“We have the firepower to carry the team over the line against the Sharks and we have the fastest back three.
“Even with players not in the match day 23 for the past few weekends, like Malcolm Jaer and Alshaun Boack, we still have the best outside back group within the unions.
“It is all about performance on the field and if the boys bring it on the field we know we will be able to score those tries.”
Zangqa said hard-running centres Berton Klaasen and Luzuko Vulindlu were vital assets in the Kings’ armoury.
“Berton started playing at No 13 for us from the start of the season and it is not his natural position. I think the tour of Australia was brilliant for him in terms of the performances that he put in,” Zangqa said.
“He is settling in nicely at No 13 and it is good for us to have those options. One thing inside centre Luzuko Vulindlu brings to the team is calmness in terms of talking.
“He talks a lot to the players and he talks to flyhalf Lionel Cronje and also the inside and outside players. There is a lot more calmness around Luzuko the moment he opens his mouth.
“We want to take that and use that as a strength and at the moment he is proving to be great in that position. “The Kings have scored a lot of tries from defensive areas that we force onto the other teams.
“For us, it is all about how we can make those turnovers and make the other team pay because it is unorganised defence. Our defence is actually giving us the tries at the moment.
“With the kind of quality we have, they are actually scoring quite nice tries in terms of creating those opportunities for themselves.”
Zangqa said captain and flyhalf Cronje and scrumhalf Louis Schreuder had given the team selfconfidence and direction. “It is amazing how they have settled in at this union.
“Lionel and Louis played together at the Stormers. The amount of caps they have behind them is massive so they have sort of taken the role of leadership within the group.
“When Lionel came off against the Rebels, Louis was the immediate vice-captain.
“With those two halfbacks, we have a perfect combination and the boys are enjoying their rugby. That makes our job as coaches much easier,” Zangqa said.
The Kings will name their team to face the Sharks tomorrow.