By: CHANEEZ SIAS
The Southern Kings welcomed the Dragons team all the way from Wales right here in the Eastern Cape on Friday 2 March. The teams gathered in the rainy weather conditions at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday evening. The teams took part in the Guinness Pro14 match and the Southern Kings seemed keen on playing on their home turf. Supporters started filling up the seats anxiously with minutes left until kick off.
Five minutes into what looked to be an exciting game, Dorian Jones successfully secured the first three points for the Dragons. However, the Southern Kings seemed to dominate the early stages, pushing play all the way up to their attacking quarter right near the try line. The Dragons held off play well, but the Kings did not give in to the defence, holding up solid attacking skills.
Play built up very quickly 25 minutes into the game, with the Welsh team pushing hard near the try line and with the hard work they put in, Dorian Jones made a sneaky breakthrough try to the right side of the poles look incredibly easy. After securing five more points for the Dragons from the try Dorian James kicked a clean ball through the poles and secured another two points.
The Southern Kings still had no points to support their impressive play and their countless efforts in the first half. After numerous efforts to secure their first try, Luzuko Vulindlu and Kurt Coleman managed to gain seven points from a beautiful try and an easy looking kick for the Southern Kings. 38 minutes into the first half, Dorian Jones secured another three points for the Dragons from a penalty kick.
The fire and determination from the Kings was spectacular, as Masixole Banda scored an impressive second try for the the home side off a bouncing ball. Coleman went on to secure two more points from a successful conversion just before half-time, leaving the score board at a tight gap of 13- 14 points in favour of the Kings.
The second half kicked-off just after half past eight and in less than a minute into the second half, the Kings managed to break away from the halfway line straight into the 22 and secured an impeccable try through Vulindlu yet again. A successful conversion from Coleman followed. The Southern Kings kept the crowd on their feet and hyped up the atmosphere as they secured another try just minutes later, this time using Ruaan Lerm and consistent kicking from Kurt Coleman for yet another successful conversion.
The Southern Kings were awarded penalty kick right in front of the poles where Kurt Coleman secured three points with ease. 51 minutes into the match, the Southern Kings were in a safe lead with 31-13. The Welshmen fought back hard, regaining their attacking half in the 55th minute and seem to hold off the hyped Kings for a good few minutes.
The hosts created a beautiful open space for Anthony Volmink, who used his speed to out run the opposing team and won five points from an easy-looking try with Coleman securing a clean conversion yet again. With ten minutes left of the game, the scoreboard sat at 38-13 in favour of the the home side.
With three minutes left on the clock, the Southern Kings managed to squeeze in yet another try thanks to Bobby De Wee. Coleman finished off a stellar performance with the kicking tee, converting yet another try. The final score for the game was 45-13 points to the Southern Kings.
After the Match, Kings’ coach Deon Davids was full of praise for his side. “It’s always nice to taste success; it has been tough. It’s important to enjoy the journey and take all the lessons in. We’ve got something to look forward to and the win came at the right time”.
The Kings will face their next challenge on 24 March, when they play host to Benneton Treviso from Italy.
Tries: Luzuko Vulindlu x2, Masixolo Banda, Ruaan Lerm, Anthony Volmink, Bobby De Wee
Conversions: Kurt Coleman x6
Penalties: Kurt Coleman
Tries: Dorian Jones
Conversions: Dorian Jones
Penalties: Dorian Jones x2