A PRO14 season that promised so much took another turn for the worse for Southern Kings on Saturday afternoon. Against a Munster side that has lost 12 players to the Irish cause in Japan, we expected a better showing but they were as woeful last week as they were the week before, losing at home without the bonus point this time: 20-31.
The off-the-field problems around appointing a permanent coach have been discussed at some length in the media and are clearly having an affect. Strangely, the players are trying their best but their efforts are undermined by a constant barrage of poor kicks out of hand by the woeful half backs.
Demetri Catrakilis and Stefan Ungerer are not doing their teammates any favours. If we were advising interim coach, Robbi Kempson, we’d be urging him to bench both of them and try something else, anything else.
And then Cheetahs played another team they had been unable to beat in four attempts: Ulster. As it was last week, the goal would have been another bonus-point win and it was a real festival of running rugby with former Golden Lions wing Anthony Volmink grabbing a hat-trick.
But the home team flattered to deceive. Yes, they won convincingly but defence looked fragile and lacked determination at times. Cheetahs scored nine brilliant tries but they relaxed at critical moments and allowed the visitors to score four of their own, gifting Ulster a four-try bonus point from the match. The final score was 63-26.