Port Elizabeth - The EP
Kings were made to sweat as they edged to a 30-23 (half-time 17-20)
victory over the Falcons in their Absa Currie Cup First Division rugby match
at NMB stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
The result was in
the balance for the final 10 minutes and the game could have gone either
way with the Falcons producing a fighting performance which actually saw
the bottom-of-the-log team leading at the break.
The Kings will
be relieved to have edged closer to securing a home semifinal berth but
it was hardly a convincing performance from a team placed second on the
standings. There were lost lineouts, handling errors and some poor
judgment calls but in the end they got the four log points.
The Falcons deserve credit for the way they spoiled to great effect in the
first half and they were also solid on defence after conceding two early
Both of those tries were scored by Kings flank Stefan
Willemse and both came via a lineout wins and drives. The first was
scored as early as the second minute and fullback Scott van Breda
slotted the conversion.
The Falcons replied with penalty by
fullback Kyle Hendricks three minutes later. But when Willemse scored
his second try in the 12th minute and Van Breda added another
conversion, the Kings looked to be setting themselves up for a big one.
However, the Falcons were not about to roll over and play dead and when
Kings lock Steven Sykes was sin-binned on the half hour they stepped up
their attack and took advantage of their numerical advantage. Hendricks
kicked the penalty which resulted from Sykes's card to narrow the gap to
But it was the two tries the Falcons scored while Sykes was
off the field just before halftime which stunned the Kings. The first
was a breakaway effort by right wing Sandile Ngcobo after 32 minutes and
the other was scored by flyhalf Jaco Oosthuizen after a charge-down.
Hendricks kicked both conversions while Van Breda added a penalty to
take the sides into the break with the Falcons having a three-point
If the Kings were not worried going into the break
they would have been when Hendricks succeeded with a penalty four
minutes after the restart to extend their lead to 23-17.
Breda kicked a penalty of his own and then, on 53 minutes, Kings
captain and centre Tiger Mangweni rounded off a superb passage of play
from the home side with a try under the poles after they had moved the
ball through several phases across the field. Van Breda was on target
with the conversion as the Kings regained the lead.
could have gotten worse for the Falcons when prop Brendan Rams was
yellow-carded midway through the second half. But they soldiered on and
defended like tigers and did well not to concede any points while Rams
was serving his 10 minutes.
The Kings applied some serious
pressure in the final 10 minutes and although they struggled to break
the Falcons defence they did go further ahead to secure the win through a
Van Breda penalty.
Tries: Stefan Willemse (2), Tiger Mangweni
Conversions: Scott van Breda (3)
Penalties: Scott van Breda (3)
Tries: Sandile Ngcobo, Jaco Oosthuizen
Conversions: Kyle Hendricks (2)
Penalties: Kyle Hendricks (3)