Kings break their duck
PRO14 REPORT: Scott van Breda’s 11-point haul from the tee helped the Southern Kings pick up their first-ever away win and first victory of this season.
The Kings overcame Ospreys 16-14 in South Wales.
It was an impressive performance form Robbi Kempson’s side in what were unfavourable rugby conditions in Swansea, scoring a clinical first-half try through Erich Cronje and defending aggressively to keep the hosts at bay.
Ospreys notched consolations through the impressive Morgan Morris and Hanno Dirksen to ensure an absorbing finale, but they failed to make sustained periods of second-half pressure pay and remain with just a solitary Pro14 victory this season.
Both sides resorted to boot-heavy policies during the opening exchanges in what were slippery conditions, with kicking and catching errors characterising the first ten minutes.
The Kings grew progressively into the game, however, building momentum and having an Elrigh Louw try disallowed on 11 minutes after a Josh Allderman knock-on.
But they more than made up for that error just seconds later, when a brilliant team move involving Scott van Breda, John Jackson and Josiah Twum-Boafo set up outside centre Cronje who was able to run through to dot down with ease.
Allen Clarke’s team edged their way into the contest in response, using the battering ram of No.8 Morris to look for penetration but more often that not being thwarted by an aggressive Kings defence.
And after the first-half petered out into a largely cagey and error-strewn contest, van Breda extended Kings’ advantage with a massive boot from a penalty on the halfway line to make it 13-0 at the break.
The full-back notched another three points just after the break but Ospreys came out of the blocks quickly, dominating territory and eventually narrowing the deficit through the dangerous Morris who bulldozed over from close range.
And set-piece dominance became the order of the day for the hosts as the second period progressed, bullying Kempson’s side at the scrum to press home the superiority of their pack.
That led to points on 71 minutes, when Clarke’s side capitalised on Cronje being sent to the sin-bin with a clinical try from wing Dirksen – coolly converted by Luke Price – to tee up an absorbing finale.
And after James Hook missed two late penalties, Kings held on for a famous victory to get their season back on track.
HUUUGE from @scottvbreda 😳💪
Casually knocking one over from the half-way line to give @SouthernKingsSA a comfortable HT lead..
— PRO14 RUGBY (@PRO14Official) November 9, 2019
Man of the match
Despite his second-half yellow card Cronje was superb for Kings, pulling the strings in midfield and scoring the try that proved crucial in the victory.
The outside centre capped off an eye-catching team move to get his team off to a flyer, holding firm in defence in the latter stages to help Kings secure a historic first Championship away victory.
Play of the day
For the most dazzling move of the match look no further than Kings’ first try, a brilliant hybrid of kicking and fluent passing to carve open a defiant Ospreys defence.
It was all started by van Breda who caught the ball from the restart, intelligently chipping over the first line of the hosts’ defence to unleash the charging cavalry.
And then Jackson and Twum-Boafo combined unerringly, eventually releasing the marauding figure of Cronje whose try opened up an early lead.
Tries: Morris, Dirksen
Cons: Hook, Price
For the Southern Kings:
Con: Van Breda
Pens: Van Breda 3
Yellow card: Erich Cronje (Southern Kings, 64)
Ospreys: 15 Cai Evans, 14 Hanno Dirksen, 13 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Lesley Klim, 10 Luke Price, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Morgan Morris, 7 Olly Cracknell, 6 Dan Lydiate (captain), 5 Lloyd Ashley, 4 Marvin Orie, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Scott Otten, 1 Rhodri Jones.
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Ma’afu Fia, 19 Guido Volpi, 20 Sam Cross, 21 Matthew Aubrey, 22 James Hook, 23 Tom Williams.
Southern Kings: 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Christopher Hollis, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Howard Mnisi (captain), 11 Josiah Twum-Boafo, 10 John-Thomas Jackson, 9 Josh Allderman, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Martinus Burger, 5 Bobby de Wee, 4 Jerry Sexton, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Alandre van Rooyen, 17 Xandre Vos, 18 Lupumlo Mguca, 19 Aston Fortuin, 20 Ruaan Lerm, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Siyabonga Masuku, 23 Sibusiso Sithole.
Referee: Andrea Piardi (Italy)
Assistant referees: Ben Whitehouse (Wales), Gianluca Gnecchi (Italy)
TMO: Alan Falzone (Italy)