EDITORIAL | Losing Southern Kings must come back fighting
The Isuzu Southern Kings cannot afford another season like the one that ended with a merciless 61-25 thumping at the hands of the Cheetahs on Saturday.
The embarrassment of the Bloemfontein thrashing emphasised the scale of the rebuilding needed to put the Kings back on their feet.
Make no mistake, radical changes will be required if the Kings are to become a creditable force in the Guinness PRO14.
They could win only two of their 21 matches and not surprisingly ended bottom of the Conference B standings.
This is not good enough for a fully fledged professional outfit, who are meant to showcase South African talent on an international stage.
It was another disastrous season where the Kings staggered from one defeat to another.
And, if this is allowed to continue, it could prove to be the death knell for the embattled Port Elizabeth franchise.
PRO14 bosses will demand a better showing from the team, who have added no value to the tournament since their debut season two years ago.
Just three wins in 42 outings, amplifies just how far off the pace the Kings are. But, despite the gloomy picture painted by statistics, the arrival of ambitious new owners could spark the beginning of a new era for the beleaguered side.
There are plans to clear the decks of players deemed to be surplus to requirements and replace them with new talent capable of putting up a better fight in the European-based league.
Irish lock Jerry Sexton and utility back Courtney Winnaar have already been signed, and a flood of new arrivals can be expected in the weeks ahead.
To transform the Kings into a battle-ready outfit, head coach Deon Davids will also need the support of a stronger team of assistants to whip the team into shape.
The riot act also needs to be read to the Kings players to ensure that their woeful disciplinary record improves.
Yellow cards have hampered the Kings throughout the season and a brake needs to be put on irresponsible behaviour which affects potential forward momentum.
It promises to be a busy and eventful off-season!