Kings Trounce Eagles

The EP Kings went to George knowing that they had a titanic battle ahead of them against coastal and competition rivals, SWD Eagles. Both teams did battle in last year’s ABSA Currie Cup First Division final, a match won by the Eagles in the Kings own backyard. The Kings beat the Eagles in a closely fought encounter at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in the first game of this season’s ABSA Currie Cup First Division campaign.

On a chilly evening with slippery underfoot conditions the crowd gathered at Outeniqua Park was treated to some hot action. After a cagey opening spell, during which both teams adopted a tentative approach to the game soon came to life with a total of four tries being scored in the first half alone. The SWD Eagles were the first to get the try-fest going with a try through their fullback, SP Marais and the other centre, Matt-Tayler Smith. The half time break came with the Kings leading 22-10.
The second half was an all-together different affair with the Eagles scoring 14 points and the Kings amassing 38 points. Man-of-the-match, SP Marias, continued to grow in confidence and stature and his brace of tries on either side of the half gave him a total of four tries in the match.
The result, as well as the tempo of the game, was unexpected. “It’s been raining heavily and constantly down on this part of the world. Conditions were very wet and slippery underfoot an this being a derby match we were anticipating a tight match dominated by forwards”, Kings coach Alan Solomon’s stated. But contrary to Solomon’s thinking the match proved to be a high scoring affair and though both sides were guilty of handling errors the Kings couldn’t have had a better start to the second half of the competition. The 60-24 victory gives the Kings their 6th win on the trot and cements their position on top of the log.

The team seemed totally immersed in the match and though they were penalised a few times at the scrum it was evident that the Kings pack had started the more abrasive of the two sides. “I think that we were able to get those points because our forwards did all the hard work at the beginning of the game and the backs were fantastic on the attack. I was also thoroughly impressed with the replacements. They did what replacements were meant to do and that’s to energize the team and it was pleasing to see them get around the padlock like they did”.

Though cherishing this landslide victory Solomon still believes that there are some areas which needs some attention. “Defensively we are a work in progress. There was a spell in the second half where we were guilty of taking our foot off the pedal and allowed then to get 2 tries”. However Solomon did not expect the team to be a little bit rustic, especially since they’ve just come off a 2-week break.
The total team performance has been something which the Kings have been striding for all season long and this resounding victory would have been made even sweeter by the fact that the Kings picked up all 5 points on offer and at the same time prevented their opposition from picking up any points at all.

The Kings’ next match is against the Border Bulldogs on Friday 2 September 2011 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, 7pm kick-off.

By: Philasande Sixaba 

Moral Boosting Win for Boks
The Springboks took on a second-string All Blacks side on the 20th of August at the Nelson Mandela stadium in Port Elizabeth.

It was a must win game for the Springboks as they have lost 7 of their last Tri-nations games over the past 2 years. The Boks started the game on a high with a 7th minute 52 metre penalty kick from Morne Steyn early in the first half. The Boks played with high intensity which resulted in a second penalty kick for Morne Steyn right in front of the poles and saw the Boks increase their lead in the twelfth minute to 6-0.

Although the Boks played at a high intensity rate the All Blacks managed to crack open their defensive line with a well-worked set-piece and some slick handling in the backline which resulted in a try by outside centre, Richard Kahui. The Boks stuck to their guns and put more pressure on the All Blacks and increased their lead to 9 points to 5. Late in the first half, Springbok flyhalf slotted in a drop goal that took the hosts into halftime with a 12-5 lead.

The All Blacks came out firing in the second half with a good breakdown the touchline by fullback Isreal Dagg which resulted in a try being disallowed by the Television Match Official (TMO). The Boks then settled things down by kicking two more penalty goals from the boot of Morne Steyn. Springbok coach said he was happy with his team’s performance and said it was a good morale-boosting performance leading into the World Cup next month, “I would have liked the guys to score more points but I am happy with their performance”. All Blacks coach blamed missed chances and handling errors which cost them the game, “We had 5 opportunities of scoring a try and we didn’t take them” said Graham Henry

The Springboks are expected to announce their world cup squad on Tuesday the 23rd of August.

Philasande Sixaba