Harsh words for Kings after disappointing loss
Harsh words were spoken in the Isuzu Southern Kings dressing room after they went down 41-34 to Scarlets in a Guinness PRO14 clash, unhappy Kings coach Deon Davids said.
At one stage it looked as though the Kings had the game in the bag against a depleted Welsh side, who stole victory at the death with two late tries at the Madibaz Stadium.
After seven starts the Kings have just a single win to their name and Davids wants his team to make a massive step up before they face defending champions Leinster in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.
“I told the players in no uncertain terms that I was not happy with the way we performed,” Davids said.
“I think it went wrong from the start and I am really disappointed in the way we played. We did not stick to our plan.
“Though we did some good things at the start, we just kept letting the opposition back into our half and then we had to defend a lot of phases. We just could not get out of our half.
“I am also disappointed in the way my drivers made decisions in specific areas.
“The way we looked after the ball is also unacceptable at this level. These are things we need to get right.
“I think this was one of the games where our discipline was better in terms of the defensive breakdown where we worked within the rules. Then, at the end, it was not so good.
“This was one of the things we spoke about afterwards. The players have to improve.”
Davids said his team needed to react better when they were under pressure.
“When you work on something in training and get into a certain situation you have to ensure you are focused and that you make the right decision under pressure.
“That learning must take place very quickly. Other than that, we need to move on.
“The players must understand we cannot have situations where people create good opportunities and then just concede a penalty.
“That gives the opposition an easy scrum or lineout to attack from. That is part of game management.”
Kings captain JC Astle said he was disappointed that his team had let the game slip from their grasp at the end.
“It is not easy to take a loss like that right at the end.
“Discipline cost us again like every other week ... So we slipped up again,” Astle said.
It took the Kings two minutes to register the first points when livewire fullback Masixole Banda danced his way through a sluggish defence to score a brilliant solo try.
Banda also kicked four conversions and two penalties and was named man of the match.
It says something about the depth of the Welsh side that they were able to emerge victorious without 12 international players who had been called up to the Wales Test squad.