Makazole Mapimpi carries the ball during the Kings shock win over the Sharks. Photo: Richard Huggard/BackpagePix

PRETORIA - They did it to the Waratahs in Sydney, to the Sharks in Port Elizabeth and to the Jaguares in Buenos Aires, the question beckons if the Southern Kings have one more trick up their sleeve to cause yet another upset, this time against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld?

This season will tell a story of a Kings team that stands a good chance of making history in the capital but their attempt at this coup de grace could have come just a month too late as the Bulls seem to have turned the corner.

The Kings have finally stepped out of the shadows of mediocrity and went from being competition whipping boys, to a side not to be taken lightly, especially after their latest win in South America against a formidable Jaguares side last weekend.

The Eastern Cape side are enjoying their best season in their short, two-part history in the competition and with five wins from their 13 games, they have been better than their hosts for Saturday’s fixture at Loftus.

The Bulls, on the other hand, have been woeful with only four wins from their 13 matches, however they gave their supporters and themselves a glimmer of hope for the future with a good display of rugby in putting away the Sharks 30-17 in Durban last weekend.

The resurgence of the men in blue has largely been due to the return to form of high profile players such as Jan Serfontein, Jesse Kriel and Warrick Gelant but it is the freedom with which the Bulls are playing that makes them a serious threat to the Kings' ambitions of another ambush of a local giant.

Kings coach Deon Davids is very much aware of the enormity of the task that lies ahead on Saturday and in almost an exercise of bringing to reality the unfamiliar surroundings that will be Loftus, the Kings have spent this week in the North West holiday resort of Sun City.

“The Bulls would have gained a lot of confidence from their win against the Sharks, and we expect a very tough game,” Davids said.

“They are a very proud team with some quality players in their side, players who have been in tremendous form for our national sides, so we know that we also have to be on par in every aspect of the game to ensure that we can compete and put up a good performance against the Bulls.

"We are looking forward to an excellent game against them.”

At the same time, the Kings' time away in the bush is just reward for their heroic efforts in achieving what most South African teams have failed to do in winning away to the Jaguares.

It is in the narrow but monumental win in Buenos Aires that the Kings have proven that they are just as dangerous on the road as they are at home and they will be looking at backing up their performance against the Jaguares with another similar if not better showing.

“The match against the Jaguares was a big victory for us,” said Kings captain Schalk Ferreira. “I think we have proven that we can travel well, and that the longer we play together the better we perform.

"But I do think that beating the Jaguares after taking more than 60 points last year, was personally a big victory, especially after they (Argentina) played against England, showing their strength at international level and playing most of those players in the Jaguares team.”

Pretoria News

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