Teenage wing Sergeal Petersen scored two tries and took the Man of the Match award as the Southern Kings made a dream debut in the Super Rugby competition with a 22-10 win over the Western Force at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, in Port Elizabeth, on Saturday.
Trailing 10-5 at half-time, the Kings kept the Force scoreless in the first period as they showed great spirit after losing skipper Luke Watson through a blow to the throat after half an hour.
Their spirited performance was exemplified in the final five minutes when the Force camped on the Kings line desperately in search of a try to secure a bonus point, but were denied by a resilient home defence.
Besides Petersen’s two tries, flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis kicked four penalties and played a key tactical game in the second half as the Kings sought to gain more territory.
Petersen opened the scoring when he gathered a chip down the blindside from scrumhalf Shaun Venter and the 32 000-strong crowd erupted after his swallow dive in the right-hand corner.
The Force, though, controlled much of the first half and hit back with two tries through prop Pek Cowan and wing Alf Mafi as they threatened to take charge of the match.
Their driving play often had the Kings on the backfoot and the hosts were forced to make numerous tackles just to stay in touch.
The Force, however, suffered through poor goalkicking and missed the only three shots they had at the posts. In the second half, they forsook kicking at the posts and opted for driving mauls from the lineout when they received penalties.
In the second stanza, the Kings placed greater emphasis on retaining possession and Catrakilis led an improved tactical kicking display to give them greater opportunity of scoring points.
From a period of pressure on the Force line, Petersen finally received the ball on the right and held off two defenders to cross for his second try, making it 16-10.
This jolted the Force, while providing a major confidence boost for the Kings and they more than matched their experienced opponents to enjoy the better of the second period.
Their defence was outstanding and when Catrakilis kicked two penalties to put them 12 points in front, their self-belief seemed to grow, ultimately resulting in a memorable win.
Scorers: Kings 22 (5): Tries: Sergeal Petersen (2). Penalties: Demetri Catrakilis (4).
Force: 10 (10): Tries: Pekahou Cowan, Alf Mafi. – Sapa
Article source: http://www.thenewage.co.za/84346-15-53-Kings_secure_debut_win