Super Rugby Preview – Kings vs ChiefsAuthor: Nick | Filed under: Match Previews, Super Rugby
Match Date: Friday 15th March
Here we go again – the most controversial team in the history of Super Rugby takes on the reigning 2012 Super Rugby Champions in what is sure to be yet another packed Nelson Mandela Stadium on Friday night. Matches involving the Kings evoke all sorts of reactions not all of them good (see video below). Everyone is waiting for that tipping point but we’re pretty sure that the Watson’s have other plans about said tipping point. One thing is certain (aside from a Chiefs win), plenty of eyes will be glued on this game for one reason or another!
Why buy a ticket? They could have done this in the car park for free!
The dust has settled and the hype is slightly lower this week, the Kings went down against the Sharks last weekend and although it wasn’t by the margin that the majority were predicting it wasn’t exactly stellar rugby from the Sharks and that could be of concern for the Kings. Jacques Engelbrecht has been a man possessed and a bit of a revelation in the number 8 jersey but it appears that the hardship of Super Rugby may be catching up with him; he has been named for the match on Friday but has been busy nursing a case of sore ribs all week.
Dimitri Cantstopthis was on top form again, besides his goal kicking he has the ability to clear his line better than the majority of flyhalves in this competition and although we are repeating ourselves, the Kings really need this guy!
Reading a little further into the detail of these Herculean performances is a little worrying for the proud coastal town (can one classify P.E. as a city?). The Kings might not be far away from losing a couple of players as a result of their mammoth defensive efforts – they had to make a truckload full of tackles against the Force (1 truckload = 194) and 165 against the Sharks. That is a lot of contact in anyone’s book (even if that person’s book is 50 Shades of Gray).
The Kings will also be cognisant of the fact that the Sharks were held up over the line no less than 3 times – while this all spells excellent defense for the Kings, it’s not going to equal wins in Super Rugby (unless you’re the Stormers – but it’s not like that gameplan paid off anyway). The Kings need to focus on getting points on the board because sooner or later, tackling is going to get old. Sergeal Petersen had a quiet night on Saturday and spent much of his time being worn as a fashionable boa by his namesake.
If the Kings are looking for someone to light a fire then they need to bring him into the game and while they may be scarce on top flight talent, they don’t appear to be scarce on effort. But the key will be in putting that effort into attack otherwise it will be a debut season and a final season for the Kings. Well, that last part Cheeky may have something to say about.
The Chiefs had their mastery undone last weekend by a mammoth Stormers effort – the Chiefs did not play badly, the Stormers simply played better. It was an entertaining match to watch and it’s pretty obvious that the loss of star players is not going to slow down the Waikato express. On the topic of losing players, the Chiefs are in the red this weekend as Mahonri Schwalger (knee) and Ben Tameifuna (family bereavement) are both heading back to the homeland but backup has arrived in the form of hooker Rhys Marshall (impressed in outings against the Cheetahs and Highlanders) and an angry fat person, Michael Kaianga (who is uncapped).
All in all, the Chiefs are looking strong and will be looking to this match to get the campaign back on track. Tim Nanai-Williams is proving to be a right bloody handful to deal with in the centres and he bagged 2 tries last weekend for his efforts. It also doesn’t do the opposition any good that he has Lelia Masaga sitting outside of him at 14 – these 2 are reminiscent of when the terrible twins (Mau Nonu and Tana Umaga) used to terrorise defensive structures!
The Chiefs can also thank their lucky stars that they shopped right in the off season, Gareth Anscombe is a points machine! The man running out in the number 15 jersey brings a sense of stability to the back that most teams can only dream of and whenever the ball gets sent downtown you can actually see the Chiefs players saying to each other “No worries, Gareth is back there to handle it” – he’s like a reliable wheelman in a bank job. Enough with the kicking, teams should try running at him if they want an alternative result.
Lets also not take anything away from the grazing herd that is the pack – they are producing the goods every weekend and Liam Messam is leading from the front, he may not have the cappies armband but he certainly has the trust of the guys around him – if he were to set himself on fire we’re pretty sure the rest of the outfit would follow suit. Fantasy Managers Note: There has been some talk of Messam being rested this week in order to get his 100th cap next week in Hamilton rather than in PE against the Mighty Kings, keep an eye on the teamsheet.
So, enough analysis, lets just say it like it is – the Chiefs are still serious title contenders and if anyone is expecting the Kings to pull a fast one then you best lay off the vodka at work.
There’s certainly going to be some history after this weekend!
The former champs are up against the newbies, even if it isn’t a blowout this match is going one way…. CHIEFS to romp & stomp!
The Chiefs are not so sloppy when it comes to finishing, the margin should be 15+ (yes we say that every week but this time we’re right!)
We’re glad we aren’t the Bookies who must be wondering how to deal with the Kings, they should be getting hammered but they’re just not. Despite the Sharks not racking up the points we still see the Kings getting a 15 point head start.
The books will be out later this afternoon and you can bet your bottom dollar the Kings will be rank outsiders. Last week they were given 8:1 against the Sharks and we reckon it will be about the same against the Chiefs.
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