PORT ELIZABETH – With only six teams in the PRO14 having scored more tries than the Southern Kings so far this season, the team are still eager to improve on their try-scoring instinct for the remainder of the season.
After eight rounds, the Kings have scored 23 tries, with the majority of the five-pointers coming from the previous three home matches at the Nelson Mandela University’s Madibaz Stadium against three of the top four finishing teams from last season – Glasgow Warriors, Scarlets and Leinster.
The Port Elizabeth-based side will be facing Irish outfit Connacht at the same venue on Sunday.
Assistant coach Chumani Booi has indicated that his troops are targeting the visitors from Galway for a second win of the season and another try-fest.
“Obviously, it’s a home game for us (against Connacht), and so we will be targeting it (for a win). We know that they are bringing a strong side.
“We are targeting this match for our second win of the season,” Booi said, making reference to the side’s only victory of the season so far – a win over last season’s semi-finalists Glasgow Warriors.
Booi, who is taking charge of a backline that has impressed in the competition so far this season, has been left impressed by his charges’ ability to finish off the work done by the forward pack with some entertaining tries.
However, the Booi does not see this success as reason to celebrate until the team starts to add a few more scalps by achieving more wins than the solitary one that is in the bag so far.
“The manner in which we have been able to score tries is a big positive for us. The backs have managed to gel very well. Obviously the forwards work so hard to give us good ball, and they set up the platform for the backs.
“Yes, I am happy with the try-scoring, but we can still improve.
“When you are not winning, it’s not something that we can celebrate, but it is an achievement we can look at continuing to improve on, and just keep scoring more tries.”
With Connacht now next on the list of opponents, the Southern Kings do not expect an easy match before they close off their account for the year in two weeks’ time.
The Irish side boasts a strong team and have had an impressive run so far this season, winning four of their eight matches, which include victories over Ulster, Scarlets and the most recent one against Dragons in their last fixtures.
“We know that they are very organised and they have a very good set-piece. Their scrums and lineouts are very good, so from our side we know that with ball in hand we are very dangerous,” said Booi.
“We are therefore focusing more on our strengths – which is ball-in-hand, and ensuring that we get quick ball to move it to our speedsters outside.
“They have won a few of their matches and are a well-coach, organised team. If you look at their backs, they have a few internationals who can move the ball around quite well.
“They will be a hard team to stop.”
The match between the Kings and Connacht on Sunday will kickoff at 3pm SA time.
African News Agency (ANA)