Robbi Kempson has lamented the Kings’ poor record this season, but insists the remainder of their campaign does not lack relevance.
With 12 defeats from 13 games, the Kings boast the worst record in the Pro14 this season. They are last in the Conference B standings as well as the overall competition table.
That means, even with eight rounds regular season fixtures remaining, the Kings’ season is a write-off as they have zero chance of reaching the playoffs.
But Kempson is adamant that his team could use the back-end of the season to clinch a few upset wins to appease their fan-base, while also blooding some youngsters to build for the future.
‘We have a three week break now until our next game (against Edinburgh in Port Elizabeth on 21 March) and after three tough games in a row the guys do need a break from rugby,’ said Kemspon.
‘It is not just physically they need a break, they also need it mentally. One of the areas we have identified that needs work is conditioning, and there will be a big focus on that when the players come back from their break.
‘In modern rugby even when the guys are off they are given programs that they need to follow. There is a need though for heavy conditioning so that will happen when the players return.’
‘You saw what we did with Tiaan Botes (18) and I thought it worked well. We are going to do that with more players. We need to grow our depth so we will give more youngsters who are in our playing pool opportunities to show what they can do during the remainder of the season.’
But that in no sense means that the Kings will be softening their focus on being on the right side of the results column in their remaining eight matches.
‘The most important thing is we need to win. A lot of of our supporters are angry, and understandably they have a crack at us, specifically me.
‘Generally in modern rugby coaches don’t talk about the win but the roles in the process, but we can’t keep doing that. We need to impress upon our supporters that we are desperate to get that win for them.’