Team ready to come back stronger after Brumbies break winning streak
Wily Southern Kings head coach Deon Davids said his team must work harder at keeping one step ahead of the opposition after they were beaten 19-10 by the Brumbies.
Almost 17 000 fans turned up at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium to see whether the Kings could score a record-breaking fourth consecutive Super Rugby win.
But they were left disappointed after the Kings were tripped up by a street-wise Australian outfit, who outscored the home team by three tries to one.
In their previous games, the Kings had scored stunning wins over the Waratahs, Melbourne Rebels and Sharks.
“If you start winning games the other teams analyse you smarter, so you have to work harder to stay that one step ahead,” Davids said.
“That will be our challenge going into the next few games where we will face tough opposition. There are great opportunities that lie ahead of the Kings.
“I think, as a team, we can only get better in terms of how we execute. There will be excellent experiences that the team will gather from these challenges.
“Congratulations to the Brumbies, and I think they played some smart rugby.
“Obviously we feel disappointed about the loss and we feel we had ample opportunities to win the game, but we did not use them.
“I think the Brumbies played tactically very well and they played almost 80% of the game in our half.
“We also made it difficult for ourselves at the breakdown to keep our continuity and they slowed us down [as] they were clever in keeping the ball in their hands and not giving it back to us.
“So, if you look at that, there are ample opportunities for us to learn from that. The Kings are a young side with talented individuals, but they were put under pressure tonight.
“It was a learning experience for them and we set ourselves very high standards.
“We are going to sit down and really assess the challenges we faced against the Brumbies and how we can improve.”
Brumbies fullback Tom Banks, who scored his first Super Rugby try, was delighted with his team’s showing after he had been shown a yellow card early on in the contest.
“I was pretty disappointed with the yellow card, I think it put the team in a tough position,” Banks said.
“I thought it was harsh but the referee makes the call.
“I was more disappointed to let the guys down, but I knew what I had to do and I wanted to make a difference when I came back on.
“Getting the try was pretty good, but I’m just happy we managed to close the game out.
“It’s an unreal feeling – to have a string of losses and then get a win in South Africa is really enjoyable,” Banks said.
“During those losses, we really tried not to lose the belief that we are one of the best teams and we have been trying to show that in the way we play.
“We’ve got to reset now, enjoy the victory, but we can’t fall into the trap of losing a few in a row.”
The Brumbies delivered a dominant second-half performance.
Despite the Kings’ pressure, it was the Brumbies who scored first in the second period when wing Aidan Toua grabbed a kick ahead to dive over and lock the scores at 10-10.
The Brumbies were now in full flight and fullback Banks was over for his team’s third try after 70 minutes to give the Brumbies a nine-point lead after Wharenui Hawera converted.
The scorers: Southern Kings 10: Tries: Penalty Try (worth 7 points). Penalty: Lionel Cronje Brumbies 19: Tries: Josh Mann-Rea, Aidan Toua, Tom Banks. Conversions: Wharenui Hawera (2).