Kings bag first win
11 Oct 2014
THE EP Kings grabbed their first win of the season to end the Pumas’ semi-final hopes courtesy of a 26-25 (halftime 19-17) result in their Absa Currie Cup match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth last night.
The hosts were deserved winners as they ran in four tries to three to secure their only win of the season in their last game. The Pumas had needed to win the match with a bonus point to have any chance of securing a semi-final place although they would have needed other results this weekend to go in their favour.
The Pumas’ efforts in the first half were hampered by the two yellow cards that they received, the first of which, shown to lock Lubabalo Mtyanda for cynical play in the 12th minute, gave the Kings an opportunity to open their account.
Scrumhalf Tobie Botes broke down the blindside before ducking his way under a tackle on his way to an unconverted try.
The visitors responded with a penalty from flyhalf Justin van Staden but as the match entered the second quarter the hosts struck once again when a sniping break from Botes and some slick handling set up right wing Ronnie Cook who powered his way over in the corner.
The Pumas received their second yellow card, with wing Rosko Specman sent to the sin bin for a high tackle with 13 minutes left in the half and the Kings took almost immediate advantage as flank Paul Schoeman was mauled over for a converted try.
The gap was down to just two points shortly before the break after a quick tap from Specman, on the Kings’ 10-metre line, eventually resulted in Van Staden slicing through a gaping gap in the hosts’ defence to score a try, which he converted himself.
The Pumas took the lead, for the first time in the match, five minutes after the restart, through an excellent try after an incisive break from Specman on the Kings’ 10-metre line.
The visitors extended their lead with a 65th minute penalty from Van Staden but it was the hosts that were dominating territory and possession with only some fine defending from the Pumas keeping them in front.
However, the pressure told and, with six minutes left in the game, the Kings narrowed the gap to one point after fullback Scott van Breda ran through to gather a grubber from inside centre Shane Gates and scored in the right corner. Flyhalf Gary van Aswegan kicked the touchline conversion as EP edged into the lead that they managed to hold onto to rescue something from a disappointing campaign.
EP Kings – Tries: Tobie Botes, Ronnie Cook, Paul Schoeman, Scott van Breda; Conversions: Gary van Aswegan (3).
Steval Pumas – Tries: Frankie Herne, Justin van Staden, Stefan Watermeyer; Conversions: Van Staden (2); Penalties: Van Staden (2).
P W D L PF PA PD BP Pts
WP 9 8 0 1 313 178 135 7 39
Lions 9 6 0 3 315 197 118 7 31
Sharks 9 6 1 2 259 202 57 3 29
Bulls 9 5 0 4 225 223 2 3 23
Cheetahs 9 3 1 5 242 247 -5 7 21
Pumas 10 4 0 6 237 269 -32 4 20
Griquas 9 3 0 6 208 286 -78 4 16
Kings 10 1 0 9 207 403 -196 2 6.