Yes it was the Force, yes they were at home, yes they will face stiffer opposition, but what a performance! On their Super Rugby debut the Kings showed guts and determination that epitomize what it is to be proudly South African. With the odds and the public stacked against them the Southern Kings not only won the match but changed the minds of a Nation that for a few shameful weeks chose to support the Aussies over our own kind. Shame on us! We at FRS slammed the Kings because they didn’t earn the right to be there and that is still true; but it wasn’t the players faults. They just wanted to play rugby, and they proved it last night.
No moment was more telling than when diminutive Sergeal Peterson, straight out of school, handed off all 104kg of Will Tupou to score his second try. The substitutes were epic, Jacques Englebrecht was immense gaining yard after yard with bollocking runs. Coming on after 30 minutes for captain Luke Watson, Engelbrecht ran 74 metres; more than anyone else on the field. You could see it written on their faces, the Kings were never going to lose. The Force took them lightly, choosing to complain about Port Elizabeth on Twitter when they should have been training.
South Africa are very blessed at the moment with promising fly-halves everywhere you look. Pat Lambieand Johan Goosen shone brightly in Bloem but none more so than Dimitri Canyoupronouncethis who kept the Force on the back foot all night long. The biggest props must go to the 30 000 fans that showed up. The Lions battled to get their friends to show up to Ellis Park (yes, we still call it that) but the PE faithful came out in numbers and were richly rewarded. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, the Kings will get some bladdy good hidings. But for now, all hail the Kings!
Fantasy Winners and Losers
AlfieMafi was the runaway captaincy choice and he didn’t disappoint scoring a try but the expected away win wasn’t forthcoming. Ultimately the Force players were fantasy losers although they would’ve been sold anyway with their tough upcoming fixtures. Managers would’ve hoped for more but that’s the beauty of Super Rugby, you just never know. No manager worth their salt owned any Kings players with their bye next week so it was just a case of sit back and enjoy being proved oh so very wrong!