Kings edge the Leopards
Potchefstroom -The EP Kings secured a narrow 31-25 (halftime 19-19) win over the Leopards in a second-round Vodacom Cup match on Friday.
The Port Elizabeth boys were good value for their win, outscoring the home team by three tries to one in a match marred by numerous handling errors and a high penalty count.
Both teams recorded victories in the first round and something had to give in front of the small crowd of 600 fans that took the time to come out.
Unfortunately it was the Leopards who eventually had to settle for a losing bonus point when Colin Lloyd slotted a last-minute penalty to bring them to within a seven-point losing margin.
The outcome of the match was in the balance until five minutes from the end with the Kings holding a slender 24-22 lead.
But then a piece of good teamwork and some slick passing freed Kings flank Mpho Mbiyozo, and the former SA Sevens star made the necessary 20 metres to the line to score his team’s third try.
Earlier, Kings wing Norman Nelson scored the opened try of the match in the 31st minute after an aimless punt by Leopards flyhalf Dauw Steyn and a worse chase allowed Nelson to return with interest.
But the visitors were guilty of conceding too many easy penalties within kicking range and Steyn made them pay with four first-half penalties. No 8 Jaco van Zyl scored a try on the stroke of halftime, which Steyn converted to level matters at the interval.
The Leopards though were also guilty of flagrant infringements, allowing Kings flyhalf Monty Dumond to keep the board ticking over. In all, he landed three penalties and two conversions.
Kings lock Barend Pieterse added a second try on the hour before Mbiyozo sealed victory 15 minutes later.
Leopards 25 – Try: Jaco van Zyl. Conversion: Dauw Steyn. Penalties: Steyn (5), Colin Lloyd.
EP 31 – Tries: Norman Nelson, Barend Pieterse, Mpho Mbiyozo. Conversions: Monty Dumond (2). Penalties: Dumond (3), Jaco van Schalkwyk.