DISGUSTED Southern Kings head coach Robbi Kempson slammed the effort of some of his players as “borderline pathetic” after the team crashed to a heavy 40-7 defeat against the Stormers in their Super Rugby friendly on Friday.
Kempson, backline coach Carlos Spencer and injured skipper Darron Nell all had harsh words for the team after they slumped to defeat in front of almost 16,000 fans at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday night.
“I think a lot of the players fell very short and their effort was borderline pathetic,” Kempson fumed. “That is exactly the chat we had inside so they won’t mind me saying that. A few of them have to take a long, hard look at themselves if they want to play professional rugby because they’re not going to, if they play like they did today.
“Carlos, Darron and I had a few choice words and they were warranted. We did not front up. If the players are not going to front up to a Stormers side how are they going to front up in Super Rugby in 2016?”
Despite the attack on the effort of his team, Kempson did single some players out for praise.
“There were a few positives to be taken out of the game and Steven Sykes showed that he can still play Super Rugby. This whole exercise of the Super Rugby friendlies was to see the potential of the young players.
“A guy like Paul Schoeman, who is straight out of the under-20s, put his body on the line. Stefan Zaayman was unbelievable during his time on the field. We took Stefan off prematurely because we were under the impression he had an injury.
“These are the guys we want here. Guys who are going to put a lot of effort into the game.”
Kempson described the Stormers as a “quality side” who did not allow the Kings a chance to play from the kick-off.
“They snuffed us out at source. They came here with a game plan and they are a very professionally run outfit.”
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said it was a case of “mission accomplished” because they wanted to improve on what they had achieved in their earlier warm-ups in terms of their mauling defence.
“I was very happy with the breakdown and the quick ball we generated on attack,” Coetzee said.
“We created a lot of opportunities which is good though I know the guys still have a few cobwebs. The big plus is the character of the side and our defence has been good.
“A lot of our youngsters made the step up tonight and in Super Rugby you need depth. In general we were happy with the display. We are ticking more boxes. “
The Stormers, with skipper Schalk Burger in the thick of the action, crossed for six tries against a Kings team which struggled to match the intensity of the visitors.
Former Grey High pupil Siya Kolisi enjoyed a rousing game for the Stormers and is certain to play a key role in Super Rugby this year.