The Southern Kings put in a gutsy performance against the Toyota Cheetahs in their final pre-season friendly ahead of the 2016 Vodacom Super Rugby competition.
After a slow start Elgar Watts converted a penalty for the Southern Kings in the 8th minute, opening up the score 3 – 0.
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, taking the final score to Southern Kings 11 to Toyota Cheetahs 21.
Kings: Shane Gates: Try; Elgar Watts: 2 Penalties
Cheetahs: Boom Prinsloo: Try; Sergeal Peterson: Try; Francois Venter: Try; Sias Ebersohn: 2xConversions; Fred Zeilinga: Conversion
All photos by Zane Hobson