Southern Kings

Southern Kings snatch late Rebels victory

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Super Rugby’s newcomers the Southern Kings won their second Super Rugby match when they beat the Melbourne Rebels with a late drop goal to earn a 27-30 victory in Melbourne on Saturday.

The Rebels conceded two early tries but went on to score three tries and take the lead.

However the Kings scored a late try and then in extra time Demetri Catrakilis kicked a drop goal to snatch the result.

The Kings replaced the Lions who finished last in 2012 and another victory for the newcomers will give them a better record than the Lions as they finished last year with three victories. The Kings already have two wins and a draw.

The hero of the day for the Southern Kings was Demetri Catrakilis as he converted
a late Wimpie van der Walt try to level the scores and then in extra time he landed a drop goal
to claim the Southern Kings first Super Rugby victory in Australia.

Last week the Kings came from behind to earn a 28-28 draw with competition
leaders the Brumbies in Canberra.

The Rebels looked to have done enough to get the winning points after fighting
back from 14-0 down to lead 27-17 with 27 minutes left.

But the Port Elizabeth-based Kings refused to give in and drew level following
a converted try from Wimpie van der Walt with five minutes left.

It was left to Catrakilis to claim victory for the Kings with his drop goal
after the South Africans had the ball deep in Rebels’ territory after the siren.

While the Kings were celebrating their first success in Australia and their
second victory over an Australian side this season, after beating Western Force
at home in February, the Rebels have now lost all 11 of their matches against
South African teams.

Just like the previous weekend against the Brumbies, the Kings never threw
in the towel and showed great character to overhaul the home side at the death.

“I’m feeling really good. Our goal was to come away with a win overseas
and we did it,” Catrakilis, 23, said.

“We thought we had to keep it tight and keep control of the ball. I thought
we did that in stages but at the end of the day we came away with a win.”

Kings skipper Andries Strauss said: “The boys showed a lot of fight today
and we went up early in the game and let it slip a bit but great character from
the guys to fight back and get this win.”

Both of the Kings’ first-half tries came against the run of play and exposed
some flimsy Rebels defence as winger Ronnie Cooke and scrum-half Shaun Venter
scored with ease.

But momentum started to shift the Rebels’ way and a telling moment came late
in the first half when skipper, Wallaby Scott Higginbotham, declined a shot
at penalty goal three times to go for a try.

The Rebels received the big reward they were after with playmaker James O’Connor
involved in the leadup for a try to replacement fullback Angus Roberts in the
corner.

O’Connor’s conversion levelled the scores at 17-17.

An O’Connor penalty early in the second half gave the home side the lead for
the first time, which they extended with a try from centre Mitch Inman.

But the 10-point lead did not prove enough as Catrakilis closed the gap with
a penalty before van der Walt’s late effort set up the thrilling finish.

“We did everything to win the game and then in turn everything to lose
it. We just gave it away in the end,” Higginbotham said.

“We went away from the game plan in the last bit and that comes down to
a lack of experience and we’ve just got to work on that, settle our nerves and
play to our strengths.”

The Kings will return home where they will play the Bulls in Port Elizabeth
next weekend, while the Rebels have a bye.

Final Score Rebels’27 (17)’Southern Kings’30 (17)

Scorers

Rebels
Tries – G.Robinson, A Roberts, M.Inman
Pen – J.O’Connor 2
Con – J.O’Connor 3
Drop –
Cards – J.Reid (75th min yellow)

Southern Kings
Tries – R.Cooke, S Venter, W.v.d.Walt
Pen – D.Catrakilis 2
Con – D.Catrakillis 3
Drop –
Cards – D.Catrakilis

Match Officials
Referee:
Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant Ref 1:Ian Smith
Assistant Ref 2:Richard Goswell
TMO : Matt Goddard

Teams

Rebels

1. Nic Henderson , 2. Ged Robinson , 3. Paul Alo-Emile , 4. Hugh Pyle , 5. Cadeyrn Neville , 6. Luke Jones , 7. Scott Fuglistaller , 8. Scott Higginbotham (c) , 9. Nick Phipps , 10. James O’Connor , 11. Cooper Vuna , 12. Rory Sidey , 13. Mitch Inman , 14. Jason Woodward , 15. Richard Kingi

16. Shota Horie , 17. Laurie Weeks , 18. Jordy Reid , 19. Jarrod Saffy , 20. Nic Stirzaker , 21. Lachlan Mitchell , 22. Angus Roberts

Southern Kings

George Whitehead, Sergeal Petersen, Waylon Murray, Andries Strauss (captain), Ronnie Cooke, Demetri Catrakillis, Shaun Venter; Cornell du Preez, Wimpie van der Walt, Devin Oosthuizen, Rynier Bernardo, Steven Sykes, Grant Kemp, Hannes Franklin, Schalk Ferreira

Replacements: Bandise Maku, Kevin Buys, David Bulbring, Jacques Engelbrecht, Nicolas Vergallo, Marcello Sampson, Siviwe Soyzwapi.

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