The Eastern Province Kings rugby team booked their place in the quarterfinals of the Vodacom Cup South Section on Friday when they beat the Boland Kavaliers 29-24 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
The EP Kings led 26-10 at half-time.
Boland produced a spirited second half performance which gave the
homeside a scare, but in the end the Kings had done enough in the first half to secure the crucial victory.
The Kings, who scored only a penalty off the boot of flyhalf Justin van Breda in the second half, were far from convincing as Boland came running at them in the second half.
They managed to hang on, but will be disappointed that they were not able to capitalise on their first half dominance and push through for a bonus point try.
EP opened the scoring in the sixth minute when flyhalf Justin van Staden slotted a penalty after Boland were penalised at the breakdown.
Watts levelled matters with a penalty of his own four minutes later, but from then on the homeside dominated the majority of the remainder of the first half.
Former Springbok wing Jongi Nokwe took a final pass to score the Kings’ first try after 13 minutes.
Centre Scott van Breda extended EP’s lead when he forced his way over for the team’s second score.
This time, Van Staden slotted the conversion and also added two quick penalties within minutes of each other to put the Kings into a 21-3 lead.
Boland lost captain and former Bok scrumhalf Bolla Conradie midway through the first half due to injury.
They were eventually rewarded for the persistence when centre Siviwe Magaba scored after continued pressure.
Watts converted to make the score 21-10.
EP had the final say in the first half when Marcello Sampson scored their third try.
Scorers EP — Tries: Jongi Nokwe, Scott van Breda, Marcello Sampson; Conversions: Justin van Staden (1); Penalties Justin van Staden (4).
Boland — Tries: Siviwe Magaba, Franzel September, Jerry Sifoko; Conversions: Elgar Watts (3); Penalties: Elgar Watts.