More tough battles await Kings after 50-0 thrashing
The enormity of the task confronting a young Isuzu Southern Kings team was put into stark focus when they were blanked 50-0 by Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium on Friday.
It was a fifth straight Guinness Pro14 loss for the struggling Kings, who are stranded at the bottom of Conference B after being on the receiving end of an eight-try rout.
Things will not get any easier for the Port Elizabeth franchise when they face an Ospreys side at the Liberty Stadium in Wales on Saturday.
When the season kicked off in September, hopes had been high that interim head coach Robbi Kempson and a new group of players would usher in a new era.
Last season the Kings could win only win two of their 21 games, and their losing streak was extended to five by a rampant Glasgow side on Friday.
The Kings’ initial plan had to been to make a fast start while rival teams were still depleted by international World Cup call-ups.
Three home games at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium should have been an ideal launch pad for the Kings to finally start building momentum.
But it did not pan out that way, with the team losing on successive weekends to Cardiff Blues, Munster and Ulster on home soil.
Six Scottish players made their return to the Warriors from Rugby World Cup duty at Scotstoun and their impact was reflected in the lopsided scoreboard.
Ahead of the clash, the Warriors had won only one of their opening four matches, and had been desperate to inject life into their ailing campaign.
“It was one of those rare and unfortunate compliments you get from a side when they play their internationals against you, when in previous seasons we literally played against academy sides,” Kempson said.”
“Ja, it was good schooling for our lads. It is important that we learn how embrace those challenges — particularly when you are playing against international competition who are gearing up for European and Champions Cup matches.
“I think we need to realise the level we are playing against and not what has come before in previous seasons.
“So tough lessons were learnt, particularly by our younger players.
“Do we continue in the manner we are? Yes, absolutely. The reason we have a young squad is to ensure that they do have a learning curve and not to discard them at any given chance.
“It is matter of them ensuring that they embrace these types of challenges going forward and they realise what a tough competition it is playing in the Pro14 against internationals on a consistent basis week in and week out.
“It will be no different next week so it’s up to us to ensure that we start embracing those challenges and take the next step forward with regard to the complement of our players and what we trying to achieve.”
Glasgow Warriors 50: Tries: Grant Stewart, Matt Fagerson, Callum Gibbons, Ollie Kebble, Nikola Matawatu, Zander Fagerson, penalty try (worth 7 points), Ratu Tagive. Conversions: Adam Hastings (4).
Southern Kings 0.