PORT ELIZABETH – Poor discipline cost the Southern Kings dearly when they lost 38-31 to Leinster in a Pro14 rugby match at the Madibaz Stadium, in Port Elizabeth, on Sunday afternoon.
The Kings started off quite well and were first to get the scoreboard ticking when leftwing Yaw Penxe crossed the try line. Masixole Banda missed the conversion. (5-0).
The champions, however, slowly started finding their rhythm, but things were made easier by the Kings giving away one penalty after the other.
Rightwing Adam Byrne got the visitors back on level terms when he scored a try. Flyhalf Noel Reid missed the conversion. (5-5). Leicester piled on the pressure and took the lead when referee Lloyd Linton awarded a penalty try (12-5). The Kings were not to be outdone and hit back with a intercept try by scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer.
But then the problems started for the home side when lock Stephan Greeff and prop Schalk Ferreira were both yellow carded shortly after each other.
Scrumhalf Jamison Gibson-Park and flanker Dan Leavy both scored to put the champions in control. Reid converted both for the visitors to lead by 26-12. With a bonus point secured, Leinster continued putting on the pressure. Things got even worse for the Kings when flanker Tienie Burger was also sent to the cooler for 10 minutes.
The Irish team then scored a fifth try just before the break to stretch their lead to 31-12. Reid converted once again (33-12).
The Kings started the second half with 13 players on the pitch, but this did not stop them from scoring first. Ungerer was once again on hand to intercept and score under the poles and Banda added the two extras (33-19). The home side managed to keep the champions at bay for quite some time before replacement-forward Bryan Byrne scored in the 65th minute. Reid missed the conversion (38-19).The Kings kept up their fight, determined to get a bonus point from the match. The home side did just that when replacement-forward Lupumlo Mguca barged over. Banda missed the kick (38-24).
The Kings ended the match with 14 players when replacement-centre Berton Klaasen was yellow carded in the 75th minute for a deliberate knock-on. Replacement-forward Dries van Schalkwyk scored a fifth try for the home side and Banda converted (38-33).
Kings 31 (12):
Tries: Yaw Penxe, Stefan Ungerer (2), Lupumlo Mguca, Dries van Schalkwyk. Conversions: Masixole Banda (3).
Leinster 38 (33):
Tries: Adam Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park, Dan Leavy, Max Deegan, Bryan Byrne, penalty try. Conversions: Reid (3).
African News Agency (ANA)