Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett has branded the Southern Kings as a “C division” team after they were beaten 53-0 by the Sharks.
Mallett is now a TV analyst for South African Super Rugby broadcasters Super Sport and gave his comments after the match.
“It was an A division team against a C division team,” said the SuperSport TV analyst after the South Africa derby produced one of the dullest, lopsided matches in the competition this season.
“This was a massacre — it looks very ugly,” added the coach who guided South Africa to third place at the 1999 Rugby World Cup.
“We repeatedly saw the Kings attack, win three phases, lose possession and concede points.”
Mallett has previously said that only four of the six South African franchises are genuine Super Rugby teams, inferring the Central Cheetahs and Kings are below the necessary standard.
Thirteen rounds into the expanded 18-franchise Super Rugby competition there is talk among the organisers of changes for the 2018 season.
One suggestion is an expanded two-tier competition and anyone wanting to push that viewpoint need only acquire a video of this mismatch at Kings Park stadium in Indian Ocean port Durban.
The bonus-point victory kept the Sharks hot on the heels of fellow South Africans the Lions in the Africa 2 conference with just two points separating them.
Finishing first is vital as it guarantees a home quarter-final while only one of the two Africa conferences runners-up advance to the knockout stage.
Sharks skipper and fly-half Patrick Lambie triggered the rout with an eighth-minute try and the hosts scored five more before half-time.
The Kings displayed more fight after a half-time tongue lashing from coach Deon Davids and restricted the Sharks to two second-half tries, neither of which Lambie could convert.
But the result was another embarrassment for a Port Elizabeth team composed of raw talent and rejects from other South African franchises.
Should the organisers go the two-tier route, the Kings are certain to be a second division side.
They are the only team to have lost 10 matches so far this season and the only one to have conceded more than 500 points.
They share with fellow newcomers, the Japanese Sunwolves, the grim record of only one victory, but the Tokyo-based franchise have gained five points more than the Kings.
After Lambie opened the scoring, he kicked his only penalty of the match before the floodgates opened.
Outside centre Paul Jordaan, full-back Willie le Roux, Jordaan again, inside centre Andre Esterhuizen and winger JP Pietersen scored tries and Lambie converted all five.
Lambie claimed his second try nine minutes after half-time and lifted his match tally to 23 points by racing unopposed down the wing to score in the corner.
With the game long finished as a contest there was only one further score as replacement prop Thomas du Toit used his massive physique to barge over.
The Kings host fellow strugglers the Argentine Jaguares next Friday while the Sharks have a bye with their next fixture only on July 2 after the June Tests ‘window’.