The EP Kings hosted the SWD Eagles in their opening game of the 2016 Currie Cup campaign.
This match, played at the state of the art Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, served as the curtain raiser of the Super Rugby encounter between the Southern Kings and the Vodacom Blue Bulls.
It was a frantic start to the proceedings as the EP Kings ran the ball from their own 22 upon kickoff. This was a clear indication of their intentions to attack, as they scored a try in the very next phase of play, with hard running from St. Andrew’s old boy Sintu Manjezi gaining enough ground for the backline to work the ball quickly into the hands of winger Athenkosi Mayinje.
The speedster then showed great ability by kicking the ball beyond his opposite number, before diving on it for the opening score of the game. Flyhalf Michael Brink converted, adding a futher two points on the board.
The Kings, perhaps showing the vulnerability that comes with a youthful side, conceded immediately after. A try from Eagles outside centre Daniel Roberts, converted by flyhalf Hansie Graaff, levelled the scores at 7-7. The Eagles then took the ascends in the game by scoring a second converted try through inside centre Martin du Toit.
These were the last points of the half , as the Eagles took a 14-7 lead at Halftime!
It was a slow start to the second stanza , with neither team gaining momentum in attack, the Eagles, however, kept the scoreboard ticking through the reliable boot of Graaff, increasing the Eagles lead to 20-7.
The Eagles then started grabbing a foothold in the game , and then duly scored a try on 53 minutes through winger Riaan Arends, Graaff increased his overall tally with yet another conversion. 27-7 was the score line at the 60 minute mark. It was beginning to look like the boot of Graaff would be the one that took the game away from the Kings. As he scored yet another penalty, making it 30-7.
The Kings with a vocal crowd encouraging them, then started conjuring up some enterprising play.
That was soon rewarded with skipper Jeremy Ward getting over the line in the corner, with an assist from Somila Jho, the Conversion form Michael Brink narrowly reduced the deficit to 30-14 .
In the dying minutes of the game, Eagles winger Leighton Eksteen scored the try that all but ended any hope of a kings comeback. The conversion meant that the match finished 37-14 to the Visitors from George.