Kings lose to Griquas in opener

Mar 25 • General News, Vodacom Cup • 1667 Views • Comments Off on Kings lose to Griquas in opener

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Photo: Stan Blumberg

The Eastern Province Kings hosted the GWK Griquas in their opening round match of this year’s Vodacom Cup competition at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

The home team had a good first half, where they enjoyed most of the possession and territory which allowed them to score two tries in quick succession. Strong runs through flank, Thembelani Bholi and outside center, Hansie Graaff, gave them much needed momentum along with well excecuted kicking by flyhalf, Gary van Aswegen, which gave them some good territorial advantage.

The Griquas were however the one’s that scored the first points as eighthman, Carel Greeff, crossed the line for his team’s first points. Fullback, Gouws Prinsloo, added the extras as Griquas took a 7 – 0 lead after fourteen minutes.

The Kings started playing some exciting rugby towards the end of the first half, with the forwads driving it up as they played most of their rugby in Griquas’ half, scoring two tries in the process.

Battering ram, Bholi scored the first try after yet another powerful run through the Griquas mid-field, van Aswegen converted to level the scores at 7 all after eighteen minutes.

A powerful scrum by the Kings deep inside Griquas’ twenty two, turned into a five pointer as scrumhalf, Kevin Luiters, dove onto a loose ball inside the in-goal area. van Aswegen was unsuccessful to add the touchline conversion as the Kings took a 12 – 7 lead with fifteen minutes to the half time break.

The Kings had an opportunity to extend their lead five minutes later, but van Aswegen failed with a penlty kick.

Prinsloo added three points on half time to bring the score within two points after he kicked a successful penalty, as they trailed 10 – 12 at the break.

Kings head coach, Mzwandile Stick made some early tactical substitutions as he replaced Martin Ferreira, Kevin Luiters, Tom Botha and Hansie Graaff all within the first twenty minutes.

Prinsloo kicked his team into the lead when he added three points through a penalty kick in the fifty third minute.

Ten minutes later Steph Roberts scored his team’s second try as Griquas extended their lead to 20 – 12 after a successful conversion by Prinsloo.

Mzwandile felt it was necessary to make another replacement as George Whitehead came on for van Aswegen.

Griquas took a comfortable lead when replacement scrumhalf, Abraham Griesel, scored their third try with fifteen minutes to play. Prinsloo added his third successful conversion as they took a 27 – 12 lead.

The Kings scored a conselation try through replacement scrumhalf, Jaco Grobler, as Griquas were reduced to thirteen men after continuous infringements inside the “red zone”. Replacement, Scott van Breda added the extra’s as they trailed 19 – 27 with less then ten minutes to play.

The Kings failed to add any further points to the scoreboard as Griquas claimed a 27 – 19 win.

Scorers:

EP Kings (12) 19 – Tries: Thembelani Bholi, Kevin Luiters, Jaco Grobler. Conversions: Gary van Aswegen (1), Scott van Breda (1).

GWK Griquas (10) 27 – Tries: Carel Greeff, Steph Roberts, Abraham Griesel. Conversions: Gouws Prinsloo (3). Penalties: Prinsloo (2)

Pierre Mc Leod
Senior Rugby Writer- Sharksworld

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