Be­lea­guered PE fran­chise hunt down vis­it­ing Dragons

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - FRONT PAGE - Ge­orge By­ron by­rong@ti­soblack­

AROAR of tri­umph mixed with re­lief echoed around Nel­son Man­dela Bay Sta­dium when the South­ern Kings fi­nally broke their PRO14 duck by thrash­ing the Dragons 45-13 last night.

Prior to this do-or-die rugby scrap be­tween the com­pe­ti­tion’s two worstper­form­ing teams the Kings had lost 16 con­sec­u­tive matches.

Buoyed on by a loyal home crowd of 4 574 fans, the Kings came out with all guns blaz­ing to outscore the Welsh­men by six tries to one.

There were ju­bi­lant scenes at the end when a re­lieved Kings head coach Deon Davids joined his play­ers out on the field to cel­e­brate the vic­tory.

Davids had told his team he wanted them to bring a dog-fight mentality into the bat­tle and they re­sponded with a fighting dis­play which slew the Dragons.

It was a sweet mo­ment for the Kings play­ers to savour af­ter a tough start to life in the en­larged Euro­pean league.

Af­ter lead­ing 14-13 at the break, the Kings went straight onto the of­fen­sive when the sec­ond half kicked off.

Elu­sive fly­half Kurt Cole­man carved open the Dragons de­fence be­fore of­fload­ing to cen­tre Luzuko Vulindlu, who went over for his sec­ond try of the evening.

Cole­man nailed the con­ver­sion to leave the Kings with a 21-13 lead af­ter 42 min­utes.

There was no stopping the Kings now and No 8 Ruaan Lerm was over for the Kings’ fourth try just four min- utes later to give them a 26-13 lead.

The cool-headed Cole­man then nailed a penalty af­ter 51 min­utes to make it 31-13.

The Kings could start their cel­e­bra­tions af­ter 66 min­utes when wing An­thonie Volmink put the ic­ing on the cake with a fifth try for the home side.

A sixth Kings try came af­ter 77 min­utes when Bobby de Wee piled on more agony for the vis­i­tors.

Af­ter a lively open­ing spell in the first half, the Dragons were the first to score when fly­half Do­rian Jones kicked a penalty from near the half­way line af­ter five min­utes.

Kings wing Michael Makase had the crowd on their feet when he broke free of the Dragons de­fence, but he was brought to ground by the scram­bling Welsh de­fend­ers.

Af­ter ab­sorb­ing the Kings pres­sure, the Dragons were sud­denly on the front foot and went through sev­eral phases be­fore Jones went over for a try in the 26th minute. He added the con­ver­sion to make it 10-0.

This stung the Kings into ac­tion and they piled on the pres­sure in a bid to get them­selves back in the game.

Playing with new pur­pose, Vulindlu sliced his way through the Dragons de­fence for the Kings’ first try.

This in­vig­o­rated the Kings and they scored a sec­ond five-pointer when full­back Masixole Banda won a foot race to the try­line af­ter 39 min­utes.

Cole­man made no mis­take with the con­ver­sion to leave the Kings with the slen­der 14-13 lead at the break.

Scor­ers: South­ern Kings 45: Tries: Luzuko Vulindlu (2), Masixole Banda, Ruaan Lerm, An­thonie Volmink, Bobby de Wee. Con­ver­sions: Kurt Cole­man (6). Penalty: Kurt Cole­man Dragons 13: Try: Do­rian Jones. Con­ver­sion: Do­rian Jones. Penal­ties: Do­rian Jones (2)


GET­TING AWAY: South­ern Kings player Bobby De Wee goes on the at­tack as he is chal­lenged by Dragons op­po­nent Ry­nard Land­man dur­ing their Guin­ness PRO14 game at the Nel­son Man­dela Bay Sta­dium last night

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.