Hands-off ... this win is for

2017-05-18 06:01
The Kings stepped up to their game in front of thousands of supporters at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last Saturday. A #FILLTHESTADIUM on social media proved to be a huge success. Here Berton Klaasen of the Kings sidesteps two Sharks players.    Photo: MICHAEL SHEEHAN/GALLO IMAGES

The Kings stepped up to their game in front of thousands of supporters at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last Saturday. A #FILLTHESTADIUM on social media proved to be a huge success. Here Berton Klaasen of the Kings sidesteps two Sharks players. Photo: MICHAEL SHEEHAN/GALLO IMAGES

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The Southern Kings’ #FILLTHESTADIUM campaign proved to be a huge success with 21 096 spectators attending last Saturday’s Super Rugby clash at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

This contibuted to the electrifying atmosphere which played its part in the Kings rewriting the history books, as it was the first time in their existence that they have beaten a South African team in Super Rugby.

According to both captain Lionel Cronje and coach Deon Davids, it was that support that helped them secure a memorable 35-32 victory over the Sharks.

The Southern Kings, largely expected to be given the boot in 2018 as SANZAAR restructures the competition, are experiencing a resurgence under coach Davids and have now won their last three fixtures – beating the Waratahs 26-24 in Sydney, the Rebels 44-3 in Port Elizabeth and their epic win over the Sharks.

More good news is that four Southern Kings players, Chris Cloete, Andisa Ntsila, Lionel Cronje and Makazole Mapimpi, are amongst an extended group of players who have been invited to the third Springbok training camp, from May 21-23 in Johannesburg.

Davids was full of praise for the character shown by his side and lauded the way they kept clear heads to produce the victory.

In a Sport24 interview Davids said, “It is not always talent that wins you games. It is more about the guts and the players in the team. It’s about the spirit‚ guts and willingness that the guys have to carry them over.”

Captain Lionel Cronje said, “Home ground advantage should never be underestimated. It’s just awesome to have the support we had. It was really nice to come out and play in front of such an awesome stadium ... you could feel the buzz on the field.”

  • The Kings will be hoping for another big crowd and another big performance when they host Australia’s Brumbies at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.

The kick-off is at 19:30.

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