Fired-up Kings ‘to put things right’

THE Southern Kings are anxious to “put things right” with their passionate supporters when they clash with the Waratahs at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium today (kick-off 5:05pm).

A fired-up Kings director of rugby Alan Solomons said his players were determined to deliver a good performance after they were blanked 34-0 by the Bulls in their previous home game.

A sellout 45 000 crowd watched the Bulls game and some fans left the Bay stadium disgruntled after their team failed to register a point.

“The guys are looking forward to playing at home and putting things right with our supporters,” Solomons said.

His team had prepared a strategy for the showdown which he hoped would be successful and help his team earn vital log points.

“We have given our supporters a lot to be proud of by winning two matches and drawing a game in our first season of Super Rugby.”

Waratahs assistant coach Alan Gaffney says his players know they have a battle on their hands as they take on the Kings on their home patch.

“We have got to approach this game as a battle, but that’s no different to what we’ve been doing. The attitude in the squad is great; we don’t treat any game as easier than the next game – you can’t in this competition.

“Over the years there have been too many examples of what can happen if you don’t pay everyone the respect they deserve. We won’t make that mistake this weekend.”

After slumping to consecutive defeats against the Bulls and Cheetahs after returning from their Australasian tour, the pressure is on the Kings to get back on the winning track.

The team were given a big shot in the arm when it was announced that star wing Sergeal Petersen had recovered from a groin strain and was fit to take his place in the team, and Luke Watson, who has shaved off his trademark beard and will start from the bench, was looking sharp in training.

Kings skipper Andries Strauss has warned his team that it is vital they do not fall into the trap of throwing the ball around “willy nilly” against the inventive Australians.

Dynamic former rugby league player Israel Folau is one of the players the Kings will have to neutralise, and Strauss said the team had plans to contain him.

More than 30 000 fans are expected to watch the Kings take on an exciting Waratahs side who play an adventurous brand of rugby.

This is a version of an article that appeared in the print edition of the Weekend Post on Saturday, May 4, 2013.

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