Kempson must handle the heat

Isuzu Southern Kings interim head coach Robbi Kempson
Isuzu Southern Kings interim head coach Robbi Kempson
Image: GALLO

As a sports coach there is bound to be frustration when your team loses week in and week out.

Some coaches have even been known to develop ulcers, while others have suffered from stress.

We realise that coaching a professional rugby side in SA is not for the faint-hearted, especially when it is the likes of the Kings, who have suffered a plethora of defeats in PRO14 rugby.

But Southern Kings coach Robbi Kempson’

s recent rants about referees and opposition players are starting to sound a bit like a broken record.

The Kings suffered their ninth defeat in 10 outings this season when they lost to the Cheetahs for the second time in seven days at the weekend.

Kempson was less than amused that his team were blanked by seven tries to nil in that 45-0 defeat on Saturday and, not for the first time, fired a salvo at the officials in charge.

A week earlier he labelled Cheetahs loose forward Sintu Manjezi’s behaviour as “disgusting”.

While the frustration and mounting pressure is understood, Kempson will be well-advised to look at his own team's problems rather than blaming opposition players and referees.

Of course his job would be made easier if the owners of “The Greatest Rugby Company in the Whole Wide World” would inject some of the funds fans were expecting them to when they took over the reins.

For the record, the Kings have now played 52 matches in two-and-a-half seasons of PRO14 rugby and have only managed to win a miserable four games.

It’s a jarring stat and the sad reality is there are zero signs of it getting any better.

There was much optimism when a business consortium bought the Kings that they would turn matters around.  

But, in fact, it has gone backwards.

Some supporters are sarcastically saying their company title must be one of the biggest misnomers in the history of sport.

It is obvious for everyone to see that Kempson is feeling the heat.

He might as well get used to it as the situation is unlikely to improve until the owners invest in some key players.