Port Elizabeth – Eastern Province Kings coach Carlos Spencer has identified repeated mistakes as the underlying reason for his team’s failure to break a run of defeats in the Currie Cup this season.
The Kings went down 37-22 to the Free State Cheetahs at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday — showing a competitive edge but committing a series of errors which were seized upon by the visitors.
At home, the Kings trailed 16-10 at half time but conceded three tries in the second half to see any chances of victory slipping from their grasp.
Spencer was left frustrated after the match as his players failed to properly implement their game plan.
“We went out with a plan and did not execute it properly,” Spencer said.
“Once again we speak about it every week. Turnovers, penalties at crucial times and our defence let us down. We just cannot afford to be giving away 30 to 40 points every week.
Spencer urged his players to remain focused until the final whistle.
“Discipline has let us down in the past seven weeks. It has always been one of our issues the penalties and we speak about it. It just feels like we are flogging a dead horse at the moment.”
The team’s weaknesses have been addressed in training, but on the field of play the players have failed to execute, he said.
“We speak about these things and still we continue to get them wrong. Individuals keep getting it wrong and that is unfortunately just where we are at the moment.”
Despite suffering a seventh consecutive loss, Spencer said it was important for the team to keep working hard to get things right.
“We have got to stick together in moments like this and be tough and come back together on Monday and stay tight and prepare for the Sharks on Saturday.”
He singled out winger Ntabeni Dukisa for an impressive run which saw him beat several defenders to score under the poles from 50 metres out.
“Ntabeni’s try was a bit of individual brilliance. Well done to him. He still had one or two players to beat when he was down the sideline. To finish off like he did was a brilliant job.”
The forwards made a massive effort in the scrums, but it was key that the rest of the team follow suit, he said.
“There was a massive improvement in the scrums. I thought we put great pressure on them.
“We gave away a couple of penalties but in general I thought it was the best we have been all season. So well done to the forwards.”