Between 15 000 – 20 000 supporters braved the cold weather to watch the EP KIngs take on the Welsh in a rugby match held at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
The Welsh won 34- 12 and while the scoreline was probably a fair reflection of the game, EP were not demolished, but made critical handling errors.
EP played an expansive game, trying to run the ball rather than kick (unlike last season where the possession was kicked / given back to the opponents).
The forwards played well as a unit and players performed well – Darron Nel (captain), Edgar Marutlulle (brilliant carrying the ball up and on the drive), flanker Thembelani Bholi and No 1 prop Lizo Gqoboka produced quality displays.
Kevin Luiters at scrumhalf (playing his 1st game for EP) was quick, decisive and had a few sniping breaks.
However, it is clear that Carlos Spencer still has a lot of work ahead of him to ensure EP is competitive in the Currie Cup this season.
Spencer needs to find a quality flyhalf, or George Whitehead needs to up his level of play. Whitehead kicked away a lot of possession and appeared to take too long to decide on what to do with the ball.
The game was entertaining and even though EP lost they continued to play rugby for 80 minutes.
The Welsh will play the Springboks on Saturday.
All photos by Zane Hobson