PORT ELIZABETH – The Southern Kings produced an outstanding display of defensive rugby at the Madiba Stadium to record a sensational 25-21 victory over Edinburgh in a Pro14 match at the Madiba Stadium on Saturday.
Two tries late in the match gave the home side victory after they had struggled to get their hands on the ball for the majority of the encounter.
It was the Kings that drew first blood when leftwing Bjorn Basson went over for the first try. Fullback Masixole Banda converted (7-0). The visitors hit back almost immediately when centre Chris Dean crossed the try line. Flyhalf Jaco van der Walt succeeded with the conversion (7-7).
The Kings went back into the lead when Banda slotted a penalty (10-7).
The home side used every opportunity that they had and Banda increased his side’s lead when he put another penalty over (13-7).
In the first 22 minutes of the second half Edinburgh piled on the pressure and stayed within five metres of the Kings tryline. At one stage the visitors crossed the appeared to have scored after forcing 33 phases of play, but the try was not awarded as the ball was not grounded.
The pressure eventually got too much for the Kings and flank CJ Vellleman was yellow-carded. Edinburgh were awarded the penalty try to take the lead (14-13). The Scottish side then increased their lead when replacement Ross Ford dotted down. Van der Walt converted (21-13).
Matters changed drastically with less than eight minutes left. The visitors had a player sent off and this gave the Kings hope. Replacement Baden Pretorius scored and Banda converted (21-20).
Rightwing Yaw Penxe then out-sprinted the Edinburgh defence to score the match-winning try. The conversion was missed but the score was enough to give the Kings their second victory of the tournament (25-21).
Kings 25 (13): Tries: Bjorn Basson, Yaw Penxe, Baden Pretorius, Conversions: Banda (2). Penalties: Banda (2).
Edinburgh 21 (7): Tries: Chris Dean, Ross Ford, penalty try. Conversions: Jaco van der Walt (2).
African News Agency (ANA)