S15 preview: Get ready for the Southern Kings screwjob

Southern Kings

Southern Kings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Southern Kings unfortunately decided to switch their logo at their last minute before the 2013 season kicked off.  The more fitting image of a baby seal being clubbed to death was replaced with something resembling 4 Bic pens randomly sprouting towards the sky.

2013 is not going to pretty for this franchise.  You’ve got to feel for them.  Consider how the  South African rugby administration has set them up to fail.

  • SARU dicking around for most 2011 and 2012 and not making it clear which teams would be participating (how do you recruit when you don’t know which teams will be in or out?)
  • The Lions refusing to loan any players to the Kings, despite the fact that they were offered to all the other South African franchises.
  • Only giving the Kings one season to stay afloat in the S15 (who wants to sign for a team that will finish last and be relegated?)
  • SARU refusing to relax the foreign quota limit for the Kings in light of the above (it was waived for the Melbourne Rebels by the ARU).  Would have been great to see a few more Kenyans in this squad.

Yip, it’s pretty much a certainty they are going to be on the receiving end of some massive hidings.  Away from home, you’d be brave to bet against them conceding 100 points somewhere along the way.  The really irritating thing here, is that would have been great to see a good side playing out of P.E.

Players to watch this season: Luke Watson and … um… I am pretty sure there are one or two other decent players, aren’t there?

If they had a theme song by Leonard Cohen it would be: “Never Any Good”.

Prospects for 2013: Nuclear holocaust.

Luke Watson – Big Daddy Rugby extends the olive branch

Luke Watson had a bit of a rough year a while ago after falling out with Jake White, John Smit and some pretty thick comments about the Bok emblem that even I couldn’t defend. He went from poster boy to punch bag in a few short months, especially after John Smit released his autobiography.

I’ve always liked Luke Watson – after all SA rugby needs characters.  And anyone who gets the old guard from the bad old days upset is worth a cheer if you ask me. I’d love to see a bit more WWE-style post match theatrics in rugby. There’s nothing more tiring than hearing post-match interviews talking about how “the boys gave a 100% percent out there”.

Wouldn’t it be great if after the Stormers victory over the Bulls we got to hear Jean De Villiers finish off his Supersport interview at Loftus with:

“And all the Bulls fans out there can suck it! Stormers rule!”

For good measure, maybe he could throw his Powerade drink in the face of Bobby Skinstad before leaving the podium. I’d definitely stay tuned for post match interviews if that kind of send off was a possibility.

Luke - it takes a special kind of fellow to really get under the skin of those who bring the old flag to test matches.

Well I don’t think that it will happen anytime soon, but nevertheless with the news that later this year Luke is coming back to SA to play for the Southern Kings he seems to be repairing his image in South Africa.

One of the comments from Luke in his interview with another rugby blog site Rugby Heels and Everything Else is pretty revealing:

Luke: “Fans, fence-sitters, cynics… thank you all! Thanks to those who have supported me through some really difficult times (I might even have let some of you down and for that I apologise). You are awesome! To the cynics/haters… I get it. I promise. I totally understand. I’m sorry if I offended or hurt anyone, that was never my intention. People make mistakes. I’ve definitely made some. So I understand. To the fence-sitter… Thanks for not hating me!!”

You’d have to say, in the words of Peep Show “fair enough”.  At least in the opinion of this website, Luke Watson is alright with me.  All is forgiven my friend.  Come back and kick some ass on the field.

The full article is available here – and I must say it’s good to see a fellow rugby site run by a woman. The rugby media landscape is changing in SA.