Kings win at last in PE

Date published: October 10 2014

The EP Kings were left elated following their 26-25 victory over the Pumas in Port Elizabeth, their first win of the season.

The EP Kings were left elated following their 26-25 victory over the Pumas in Port Elizabeth, their first win of the season.

Scott van Breda’s late try following by a fine conversion by Gary van Aswegen gave the Kings the slimmest of wins, not that the margin was of any importance.

The Pumas went into Friday’s contest on the South African east coast knowing that a bonus point win could at least give them a mathematical chance of making the semi-finals.

A big ask, made no easier by the Kings stretching out to a 19-3 lead in the first-half.

Carlos Spencer’s men had failed to secure a victory in this year’s competition – the only side to fail to register a victory.

Friday’s match took them over 400 points conceded in the season, hardly making it difficult to pinpoint their area of weakness, but knowing their 2014 Currie Cup was drawing to a close the hosts played with a real spark in the first half.

Tobias Botes gave them the perfect start when he finished a superb solo effort for the game’s first try, the Pumas already down to 14 men as Lubabalo Mtyanda was penalised.

Justin van Staden got the Pumas on the board with a penalty but Botes was firing in the opening quarter, on hand with the boot this time to set up Ronnie Cooke’s try to the delight of the home faithful.

Matters worsened for the Pumas with the sin-binning of Rosko Specman following his high tackle on Van Breda with the line in sight.

Paul Schoeman wasted no time to finish on the resulting driving maul, with Van Aswegen’s conversion giving the Kings a healthy advantage after half an hour.

The Pumas have always been entertaining this season though and two quickfire tries before the interval turned the contest around.

First hooker Frank Herne smashed his way over from close range to get the visitors’ first try, before the boots and finishing of Van Staden shone through.

The fly-half was on hand to finish off some fine running from Spekman, back on the field after his yellow card, to leave the Pumas trailing only by two going into half-time.

Momentum had truly swung the away side’s way before the interval and so continued at the beginning of the second half, Spekman again causing the Kings all sorts of problems with his running.

The winger cut infield off an inside pass to get behind the defensive line, before a chaotic passage saw Stefan Watermeyer manage to ground the ball after close inspection from the TMO.

Despite plenty of free-flowing rugby the handling skills from both teams weren’t up to the task, a multitude of knock-ons meaning fewer tries as Van Staden’s penalty stretched the visitors lead to 25-19.

But the Kings to their credit never cowered away and were finely rewarded with time running with for their fourth try, Shane Gates capping a fine night as he set up the winning try in the corner for Van Breda to blow the roof off the stadium.

Van Aswegen’s tricky conversion out on the touchline was successful to put the Kings 26-25 ahead and in sight of that first victory at the tenth attempt.

The fly-half couldn’t land a penalty to wind down the clock, leaving the Pumas with the length of the field in order to win the contest – but the chip tactic was the wrong decision.

Delight for the Kings, real disappointment for the Pumas.

The scorers:

For EP Kings:
Tries: Botes, Cooke, Schoeman, Van Breda
Cons: Van Aswegen 3

For Pumas:
Tries: Herne, Staden, Watermeyer
Cons: Staden 2
Pen: Staden
Yellow Cards: Mtyanda, Speckman

EP Kings: 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Ronnie Cooke, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Tobie Botes, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Devin Oosthuizen, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Darron Nell (captain), 3 BG Uys, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Simon Kerrod.
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Charl du Plessis, 18 Lizo Gqoboka, 19 Steven Cummins, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Jaco Grobler, 22 Ntabeni Dukisa.

Pumas: 15 Coenie van Wyk, 14 JW Bell, 13 JW Jonker, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Justin van Staden, 9 Reynier van Rooyen, 8 RW Kember, 7 Brian Shabangu, 6 Corne Steenkamp (c), 5 Marius Coetzer, 4 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Frank Herne, 1 Corne Fourie
Replacements: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 DeJay Terblanche, 18 Frikkie Spies, 19 Uzair Cassiem, 20 Dylon Frylinck, 21 JC Roos, 22 Jerome Pretorius.

Referee: Marius Jonker
Assistant Referees: Christie du Preez, Tahla Ntshakaza
TMO: Jason Jaftha