EDITORIAL | Kings need to make radical changes
The magnitude of the problems facing the owners of the Isuzu Southern Kings were laid bare when the team slumped to their 17th defeat of the Guinness PRO14 season against the Ospreys on Friday.
In 20 matches the Kings have only been able to win twice and drawn once in what has been another challenging season for the struggling Port Elizabeth franchise. In their debut season in 2017/18, the Kings could win only one of the 21 matches they played as they struggled to come to terms with the challenges of playing in Europe.
The overall statistics show the Kings have the woeful record of only three wins in 41 matches during their two seasons of PRO14 rugby.
Not surprisingly questions are being asked in Europe about what value the Kings bring to the tournament.
Unless big strides are made on the playing field next season, more questions will be asked about whether they are worthy of playing in the European league.
After so many defeats it is not surprising that the Kings only draw small crowds of die-hard supporters to their home matches.
There were only 1,792 fans at the Madibaz Stadium on Friday for the Kings’ final home game of the season against the Ospreys when they crashed to a 43-7 defeat.
In November last year, the Kings went into the PRO14 record books for the wrong reason.
Their attendance of only 1,142 fans for their match against champions Leinster at the Madibaz Stadium at the start of season was the smallest in the league’s history.
Kings chairman Loyiso Dotwana has admitted that the Kings are on a tightrope with the PRO14 league.
He has promised to respond to those challenges in a positive way and that good players will be recruited to improve the quality of the side.
Dotwana also wants the Kings to win more than 50% of their matches next season, and he says this goal speaks to the ambition of the new owners.
Clearly radical changes are needed if the Kings are to be resurrected.