NEWPORT – The Southern Kings turned in a much-improved display but it proved in vain as they lost their Pro14 encounter against the Dragons 27-22 at the Rodney Parade on Saturday in Newport.
The Kings were on the back foot almost immediately as the Dragons burst out of the blocks and they didn’t more than five minutes to move into a 7-0 lead thanks to a try from Ollie Griffiths.
Flank Aaron Wainwright doubled the advantage in the 15th minute after he charged down a clearance from Kings flyhalf Masixole Banda.
Despite starting to dominate possession and opening up an expansive game, the Kings fell further behind with Lewis adding a penalty to his two earlier conversions.
The Kings missed a number of chances to get on to the board but proved to be wasteful with the final pass. Eventually the visitors got back into the contest as they bagged two quick tries, through captain Michael Willemse and then via Bjorn Basson, to head into the break trailing by a converted try.
The Kings continued after the break with their attacking emphasis with Michael Makase denied a try on the line in the 47th minute. Ten minutes later Godlen Masimla capped off a Kings break with Banda notching up his first conversion of the day.
Lewis’ reliable boot then edged the Dragons in front before he showed his class with a solo moment of brilliance to decide the contest with a 67th-minute try.
The Kings remained on the front foot but only broke through the valiant defence with 15 seconds left on the clock with a pass flung wide to Yaw Penxe, who made no mistake from a few metres out.
Scorers: Dragons 27 (17) Tries: Ollie Griffiths, Aaron Wainwright, Josh Lewis Conversions: Josh Lewis (3). Penalty: Josh Lewis (2).
Southern Kings 22 (7) Tries: Mike Willemse, Bjorn Basson, Godlen Masimla, Yaw Penxe. Conversion: Masixole Banda.
Africa News Agency (ANA)