The Isuzu Southern Kings earned their second win of the Guinness PRO14 2018/19 season when they came from behind to snatch a 25-21 victory over Scottish side, Edinburgh Rugby, at Madibaz Stadium on Saturday night.
It was again another never-say-die effort by the Port Elizabeth-based side, but this time instead of falling short, the Isuzu Southern Kings were rewarded with their second win of the season.
It was the Kings who opened the scoring when winger Bjorn Basson scored an impressive try in the fourth minute.
It did not take long before the visitors responded with a try of their own through centre Chris Dean. Jaco van der Walt converted.
Fullback Masixole Banda added two penalties before the break to give the Isuzu Southern Kings a 13-7 lead at half-time.
Edinburgh dominated possession and territory in the second half after play resumed in the second stanza.
The home side showed a gallant defensive effort as they kept their cool to defend over 30 phases until the visitors were rewarded with a penalty try in the 62nd minute for Edinburgh to gain the lead for the first time.
The game looked to be getting out of reach for the home side when substitute hooker Ross Ford scored his first PRO14 try in the 72nd minute to give Edinburgh a 13-21 lead, following the conversion by Van der Walt.
The Isuzu Southern Kings’ replacements came to the party as their fresh legs gave the side a much needed boost.
Replacement flyhalf Bader Pretorius scored on debut in the 75th minute as the home team forged a fightback.
Fijian Meli Rokoua showed his capabilities with great skill, and was rewarded when he superbly offloaded to Yaw Penxe, almost from the half-way mark on the field.
With a determined look and intent, Penxe was unstoppable as he bolted for the tryline to score the winning try in the 77th minute.
“I’m very proud of the effort that the guys put in. We really fought hard for the win and showed great composure in the second half.
The guys who came off the bench made a big impact. They are young men, but they did what they were asked to do,” said Isuzu Southern Kings Head Coach Deon Davids after the game.
The proud head coach added: “We never dropped our heads after losses. We knew we were close, and we worked hard. We knew what our issues were as a team. In this game again we struggled with our scrums, but the guys that came on really put in an effort and fight.”
The Isuzu Southern Kings will now begin preparations for their next fixture – a second South African derby against Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
ISUZU SOUTHERN KINGS
TRIES: Bjorn Basson, Bader Pretorius, Yaw Penxe
CONVERSIONS: Masixole Banda (2)
PENALTIES: Banda (2)
TRIES: Chris Dean, Penalty Try, Ross Ford
CONVERSIONS: Jaco van der Walt (2), Penalty Try