Port Elizabeth’s Southern Kings Super Rugby franchise completed their pre-season warm ups with an 11-21 losss to the Cheetahs at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium.
The Kings opended the scoring in the 8th minute with a penalty kick following a slow start.
The Kings maintained their structure and possession, and were strong on defence, before Cheetahs flank, Boom Prinsloo broke through to cross over the whitewash in the 24th minute. Sias Ebersohn converted, taking the score to 3 – 7.
Watts brought the Kings to within 1 point just before half time with a second penalty conversion in the 36th minute. Kings went into the break 6 – Cheetahs 7.
The second half saw the Kings take the lead in the 43rd minute as inside centre Shane Gates dove over the whitewash in the far left corner, regaining the lead and taking the Kings to 11. Watts missed the conversion.
Solid defence held off an aggressive Cheetahs side for the next 20 minutes before Sergeal Petersen dove over the whitewash for the Cheetahs.
Fred Zeilinga converted, taking the score to 11 to 14.
In the dying minutes of the game, after the final whistle blew, the Kings put on a spirited attack, but the Cheetahs were able to turn the ball over on the 5m line and captain Francois Venter crossed the whitewash.
Cheetahs flyhalf Sias Ebersohn converted the try to finish the scoring.
Final Score Southern Kings 11 (6) Cheetahs 21 (7)
Tries – Gates
Pen – Watts: 2
Tries – Prinsloo , Peterson, Venter
Con – Ebersohn 2, Zeilinga
Referee: Craig Joubert
15 Jurgen Visser , 14 Luzuko Vulundlu , 13 Stefan Watermeyer , 12 Shane Gates , 11 Malcolm Jaer , 10 Elgar Watts , 9 Ntando Kebe , 8 Jacques Engelbrecht , 7 Thembelani Bholi , 6 Chris Cloete , 5 JC Astle , 4 Steven Sykes (c) , 3 Tom Botha , 2 Martin Bezuidenhout , 1 Schalk Ferreira
Replacements : 16 Sti Sithole , 17 Martin Ferreira , 18 Vukile Sofisa , 19 Cornell Hess , 20 CJ Velleman , 21 Stephan Willemse , 22 Junior Pokomela , 23 Leighton Eksteen , 24 Theuns Kotze , 25 JP du Plessis , 26 Siyanda Grey
15 Sergeal Petersen, 14 Maphutha Dolo, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Johannes Prinsloo, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Nicolaas van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements – from: Jacques du Toit, Danie Mienie, Luan de Bruin, Reniel Hugo, Hilton Lobberts, Paul Schoeman, Henco Venter, Tian Meyer, Fred Zeilinga, Michael van der Spuy, Clayton Blommetjies.