Southern Kings leave lasting impression in Super Rugby

10 July 2017 - 11:04 By Khanyiso Tshwaku
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Southern Kings coach Deon Davids. File photo.
Southern Kings coach Deon Davids. File photo.
Image: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images

Southern Kings coach Deon Davids says his team has done more than enough to leave a legacy far beyond their on-field successes.

By beating the Bulls 31-30‚ that win their first and most probably their last against the Bulls and at Loftus Versfeld‚ the Kings snared their sixth win of the season.

The Bulls‚ whose season has lurched from one disaster to another‚ had to endure their 10th loss of the season.

This wasn't as embarrassing as the loss to the Sunwolves‚ considering the Kings have felled some credible opponents this season.

But a team of the Bulls' class and calibre should not be losing to the Kings.

However‚ Davids's side is reading from another hymnbook this season despite the fact the Super Rugby guillotine that hung over them was delivered on Friday.

“This could be the last ever Southern Kings side to play in Super Rugby and if people look back at this team‚ they will look back at the individuals in terms of the skill‚ passion‚ pride and the heart they exhibited‚" Davids said.

"Regardless of what happens in life‚ if your dreams are strong‚ you put in the hard work and do things for the right reasons‚ you understand you're here to serve and not here on your own.

“If you can carry those values into society and into a team and people gain inspiration from that‚ then that is the legacy that we want to leave.”

Southern Kings captain Lionel Cronje has embodied the team's never-say-die attitude.

Having been cast aside by the Sharks and the Stormers‚ his career had stood still before Davids rescued him and entrusted him with the leadership responsibility.

His 21 points‚ including the last-minute penalty that rescued the Kings after they let the Bulls back into the game after leading 22-3‚ ensured they would come away with the well earned spoils.

Having beaten the Jaguares by the same score in Beunos Aires the previous week‚ they've shown they're not to be trifled with.

“This whole season has been about aiming to get the respect of the players‚ respect to yourself and show your own worth to yourself before you do so to other people‚" Cronje said.

"You can't be worrying about external factors you had no control over.

"It is what it is and there's nothing we can do about the decision that was made.

"You can only look forward to it like we have towards this Super Rugby campaign when it started.

“We had to be positive about it and whatever that's coming in the future because it's a new venture.

"There are a lot of positives to be gained and that's what we're looking forward to. That's what our team has been built on.”

Embattled Bulls coach Nollis Marais has been living on borrowed time since John Mitchell was announced as his replacement.

Not even he would have called the result after their exhilarating beating of the Sharks the week before.

“The win was there for us but we should have handled it better‚" Marais said.

"When you're sitting in the position we're in and the team is not going to playoffs‚ they want to play expansive rugby.

"We told them to control the territory battle and the counterattacks will come. We scored points because we played constructive rugby.”

- TimesLIVE

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