Pumas flyhalf JC Roos struck five penalties to give his team a narrow 15-13 win over the EP Kings in a nail-biting Absa Currie Cup encounter at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday evening.
The match ended in thrilling style as the Kings fought in vain for their first victory of the season. A breakout from their own tryline with minutes remaining saw them come within metres of scoring their second try of the evening. However, the Pumas defence held firm and an attempted drop goal which would have snatched victory drifted wide.
After trailing 6-3 at halftime and then 9-6 when Roos struck his third penalty in the 55th minute, the Kings hit back when a period of relentless pressure saw powerful prop Lizo Gqoboka surge over the line for the only try of the evening.
Fullback Scott van Breda added the conversion and the Kings took the lead for first time on the night, 13-9.
However, Roos’s accurate boot proved telling in the final analysis as the Pumas forced two more errors in the Kings’ half for the flyhalf to boot his fourth and fifth penalties, putting the visitors 15-13 ahead in the 74th minute.
Van Breda had a shot from the halfway line, 10 metres in from touch, to try put the Kings back in front, but that fell short. Then came the home team’s final surge for victory, only to be thwarted by a desperate Pumas defence.
In the first half, the Kings crossed the line through scrumhalf Enrico Acker only for the try to be disallowed through an off the ball incident which EP lock Steven Sykes spend 10 minutes in the sin bin.
The point-scorers were:
- EP Kings 13: try by Lizo Gqoboka; penalties by Scott van Breda (2); conversion by Scott van Breda
- Pumas 15: penalties by JC Roos (5).
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