Glasgow mountain for Kings
Huge effort required to counter Scottish PRO14 side
After a stout defensive effort against Ulster, the Isuzu Southern Kings will be back in the trenches against the Glasgow Warriors on Saturday.
Beaten 28-7 by the Irish outfit Ulster in their last outing, the Kings have another mountain to climb, at Nelson Mandela University’s Madibaz Stadium.
The Warriors will arrive in Port Elizabeth smelling blood when they attempt to stretch their unbeaten Guinness PRO14 run to four matches.
So far the Kings have yet to win a match, and it will require a huge effort to stop Glasgow in their tracks.
The Warriors ran roughshod over the Cheetahs and emerged with a 52-24 win. They crossed for seven tries against the Free Staters and they will fancy another big haul of five-pointers against the winless Kings.
“They were very impressive with ball in hand against the Cheetahs last week,” Kings head coach Deon Davids said.
“From a defensive point of view it will be a challenge and we will have to ensure we do not give Glasgow time and space. Our connections within our defence will have to be very good.”
There will be little recovery time for the Kings, who allowed Ulster to gain the upper hand in the second half last Sunday.
After that game, Davids expressed his concern about the 22 penalties his team conceded.
“I felt at times the breakdown was a free-for-all and I was unsure of what went wrong and the reason for all of that. In the scrums we were a bit on the unlucky side not to be rewarded, but to get a penalty against us sometimes.
“It will be interesting playing at varsity. We have said we want to take the game to other venues and the people. The university is known to the Kings in the sense that we have had a couple of training sessions there in the past.”
Glasgow coach Dave Rennie has praised his squad’s performance after the win over the Cheetahs.
Trailing at half-time, Glasgow’s fitness prevailed as they ran in five second-half scores and Rennie was happy with how they performed at altitude.
“I thought there was a lot of massive work from our big men up front, our wingers were also excellent and it’s hard to look past the engine-room guys. Rob Harley, Jonny Gray and Callum Gibbins’ efforts were massive.”
“We are a very fit side. We’ve got a lot of powerful, explosive players who demonstrated their fitness while the opposition were under fatigue. It made a big difference for us in the second half.”
Rennie is hoping to see improvement again in Port Elizabeth. “It was important that we got a result and getting five log points was a bonus.
“It’s the good thing about being away – we spend a lot of time together and the group gets a little tighter.
“The win helps that, but it’s only a start. It’s a long season, as we know, and there’s room for improvement.”
Saturday’s match was switched to the Madibaz Stadium. Extra preparation time is required for the Test between SA and Australia at at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on September 29.
The move “is in line with our ongoing initiative of taking the Kings and the PRO14 brands to our various communities within our region”, Kings chief operations officer Charl Crous said.
“We are excited about taking this international competition and a world-class club like Glasgow Warriors to the people,” Crous said.
“We are confident we will get a good crowd at Madibaz Stadium and we encourage our supporters to buy their match tickets early.”