The opinions from the local fans going in to the friendly rugby match between the Southern Kings and the Blue Bulls at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last night were cautiously optimistic for a ‘good showing’. The veraaier locals dressed in blue were far more vocal and predicted that the field would run with red, black and a touch of royal gold blood.
Well, the ‘unthinkable’ happened and the Southern Kings demonstrated emphatically just how far they have come along since the two big men of rugby – Anele Pamba and Cheeky Watson – took the beleaguered Eastern Province Rugby Union by the scruff of it’s neck and shook it into the enviable position that it finds itself in today.
This renewed vigour and sense of purpose was epitomised in the post match words of Blue Bulls captain Derrick Kuun; “Port Elizabeth is an awesome place to play rugby in as it is in the heart of the breeding ground of rugby in this country.” Commenting on the performance of the local franchise to date, Derrick said; “I think Solly (EP coach, Alan Solomons) is doing a great job.”
The halftime score was 6 – 0 in favour of the Southern Kings.
And, at full time – the dream had come true for the Southern Kings and their hordes of fantastic, hoarse and adrenalin pumped fans as the scoreline indicated an emphatic win for the Kings: 23 – 7.
The first half was filled with cautious feeling out rugby as the Blue Bulls played as a unit and with a single purpose – to cross the tryline of the Kings. At one stage I thought that the Blue Bulls were being far too arrogant as they chose rather to win territory off of penalties, in easily kickable positions within the Kings half.
On the other hand the Kings pushed the Bulls hard to make mistakes and were ever on the lookout to capitalise on those mistakes. The Bulls chose to rather try and confine play down the centre of the field and attempt to push the Kings out of the way. Some questionable kicking during backline movement by the Kings flyhalf, Monty Dumond had the media mavens raising eyebrows to each other.
But, Monty redeemed himself with three successful penalties (in the 20th, 24th and 42nd minutes of the game) as well as two successful conversions (off tries by Mathew Tayler-Smith and Siyanda Grey).
A relatively tight first half preceded the opening of the confidence gate in the second. 3 points from a penalty in the 2nd minute of the second half was quickly followed a few minutes later when Kings player SP Marais created a beautiful gap and flipped the ball to Mathew Tayler-Smith to crash over the Bulls tryline for the first ‘real’ points of the game.
The Kings ‘secret weapon’ – Norman ‘jong maar jy is vinnig‘ Nelson then broke away from some grasping Bulls, kicked ahead, flipped the ball up to Siyanda Grey and watched Grey sprint for 5 more ‘real’ points. The ‘unbelievable’ had happened – with 20 minutes left on the clock the Southern Kings were 23 points ahead of the Blue Bulls.
The Blue Bulls replied with a try from Courtnall Skosan, converted by Louis Fouche with 12 minutes left to go and that is how the game ended.
Before the doubting Thomas’ wade in with a pile of Blue Bullshit excuses let us just remember – at the end of the day the Blue Bulls had a chance to score points in the first half and didn’t (whether it was arrogance or underestimating of the Kings we will never know), also when you look back at the record books they do not say; “Blue Bulls should have won or Blue Bulls sent a B team or Blue Bulls weren’t fit enough or Blue Bulls have a long season ahead.” So, shurrup and stop crying.
Ever the understated pragmatist Alan Solomons deadpanned after the game; “I thought that it was a terrific performance”, “We must enjoy the fact that we have a win over the Blue Bulls” and “We have demonstrated that we have strong players and a depth of leadership throughout the team.”
Captain Rory Duncan praised the “fantastic crowd”.
My man of the match – Flanker Devin Ooosthuizen for good clean ups, spoiling tactics and committed tackling.
Okay PE enough of this crap and not supporting your local team – the time has come for you to get rid of the little dangling blue scrotums, big blue hats, two tone blue shirts, plastic horns, effeminate blue drinks and don the red, black and gold. I can assure you the next time a local sits near the media centre wearing a foreign teams colours he/she will be pounded with uneaten food from the media packs.
See what other blogs are saying about the Southern Kings Blue Bulls Victory:
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