I think it would it be fair to say that last night’s promotion/relegation game between the EP Kings and Cheetahs was one between two B Teams.
The EP Kings ‘B’ Team was further severely depleted by the loss of Falie Oelschig to a Red Card for punching. With the Kings leading 32 minutes into the game, Oelschig ended any chance of a Kings victory when he tried to wrestle the ball away from stand-in Cheetahs captain Robert Ebersohn, then popped a short punch which was picked up by the final of several long and inconclusive replays, prompting the TMO to recommend a red card.
Up until that stage the Cheetahs had been severely outclassed in all stages of play and the Kings had been camping in the Cheetahs half looking like real contenders.
If it had not been for two missed penalties from Sias Ebersohn – kicks an Under 15 rugby schoolboy would have made with ease – then the score would have been 6-6.
From the moment that Oelschig left the field it was inevitable that the Cheetahs would inevitably wear the Kings down into submission. A game Kings held the Cheetahs at bay for a further 31 minutes whilst playing with 14 men, before Sias Ebersohn made up for his poor kicking with a try. It was left to Nico Scheepers to do the honours with the boot from in front of the poles, though.
Tired and desperate the Kings began making mistakes – two of which resulted in Nico Scheepers success with the boot to seal the game for the Cheetahs.
Final Score: 6-16.
- Free State Cheetahs – Tries: Sias Ebersohn. Conversions: Nico Scheepers. Penalties: Nico Scheepers (3).
- EP Kings – Penalties: George Whitehead (2)
Stand outs for me were:
- The Kings Coenraad ‘Boetie’ Britz’s tackling was low and devastating, resulting in Marcel van der Merwe and Philip van der Walt having to leave the field bewildered and beaten.
- Outstanding ‘Premium Division’ defence from the Kings – two man tackling and good clean up.
- Spirited and outstanding attack from Tiger Mangweni
What the ref missed: Another EP Kings foward throwing a punch as he entered the maul.
A warning from me: If I read one more ‘expert’ going on about how this result is proof that the Kings are not going to perform well in Super Rugby I will send Falie (and one other Kings forward) to punch you in the nose!
The facts are: The Southern Kings are able to draw players from SWD and Border as well as any of the other franchise areas plus 2 international players. This immediately puts them in a stronger position than the Cheetahs (who finished ahead of the Lions in last years Super Rugby tournament).
A ‘BIRDS EYE’ view of the game:
Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2012/10/where-to-now-ep-kings/