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Kings deserved win - Du Preez

Super Rugby
DURBAN - The news on Sunday about Patrick Lambie’s latest injury was that “there is no news just yet” and an update will be released on Monday after the usual scans and protocols have been followed when a player has had a blow to the head.

The luckless Lambie left the field 30 minutes into the Sharks’ match against the Kings in Port Elizabeth after a clash of heads with one of his own players, fullback Rhyno Smith.

Lambie is a born fighter but this latest concussion will raise concerns about his future.

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Photo: LUKAS COCH/EPA

The Sharks lost the game 35-32 and coach Robert du Preez said after the match that it had been an unfortunate setback to lose his captain and flyhalf and he would await the developing news on Lambie from Singapore, where the Sharks will be this week preparing for Saturday’s match against Japan’s Sunwolves. They leave on Monday morning.

“It was a great pity but we had a capable replacement (Garth April), and that (the loss of Lambie) was not why we lost the game,” the dejected coach said. “We have no idea of the extent of Pat’s problem but obviously we are very concerned.

Patrick Lambie leaves the field after a clash with Sharks teammate Rhyno Smith. Photo: Richard Huggard, BackpagePix

“Losing this game is very disappointing but we can’t have any complaints, we were outscored by four tries to two tries and that sums it up,” Du Preez said. “We were under no illusions about how the Kings would come out against us. We were not caught unawares in the least. They have been playing really good rugby of late and we knew they were waiting for us.”

The Kings have now won three matches in a row and if they beat the Brumbies at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday, it will make life even more uncomfortable for the suits in the Saru boardroom who are apparently set to axe the Kings and the Cheetahs in a revised Super Rugby competition next year.

Photo: Richard Huggard/BackpagePix

There were 20 000 fans at the stadium in Port Elizabeth and there will doubtless be even more this week now that the Eastern Province region has something to cheer about after so much rugby depression .

“It is fantastic for the Kings, they have been playing good rugby all year and it is great for Port Elizabeth,” the gracious Du Preez said. “It is what we need in South Africa (a revival in the EP area), it is encouraging for the game in this country to have more competitive teams playing well against teams like the Sharks.”

Du Preez said the key to the outcome of the match was the “passion” showed by the Kings.

Photo: Richard Huggard/BackpagePix

“They kept going to the last minute and it paid off when we made a mistake in our 22 and allowed them the territory and possession to score the winning try,” Du Preez said. “Well done to them.”

Kings captain Lionel Cronje said that “character and spirit had got the team over the finish line in front”.

“It is special. It is not always talent that wins you games, it is the guts and the willingness to do what it takes,” the flyhalf said. “The guys are super-stoked. This has been a phenomenal day, we have fought so hard and were rewarded.”

The Mercury

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