Published April 25, 2014 18:30
The EP Kings ended the Cell C Sharks XV unbeaten run thanks to a gritty 27-11 (halftime 14-8) win in their Vodacom Cup South Section match at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban on Friday.
The Kings relied on some outstanding defence and some individual brilliance as they claimed just their third win of the season.
The visitors were full value for their win as they ran in three tries to one and the result meant that the Sharks XV, who had won the first six games, could still be overhauled at the top of the log depending on how the match between SWD and Western Province later on Friday panned out with Province four points behind the Sharks XV.
The home team had the better of the first half, in terms of territory, although the possession stats were fairly evenly matched.
It was the hosts who opened the scoring thanks to a fine try from right wing Sizo Maseko who showed superb strength in a wonderful finish that saw him force his way over in the corner for an unconverted try in the 11th minute.
However, the Kings struck back eight minutes later with a well-worked try which saw left wing Sergeal Petersen show good pace to make an outside break. Petersen then swapped passes with eighthman Aidon Davis before cantering away for a converted try.
The Sharks XV regained the lead in the 23rd minute with a penalty from flyhalf Jean-Luc Du Plessis.
But the Kings had the stronger finish of the two teams and flyhalf Ntabeni Dukisa sprinted clear from 40 metres out after intercepting a loose pass before he converted his own try to hand EP a 14-8 lead at halftime.
The Kings, who had run the ball in the first half, adopted a safer approach at the start of the second as they made use of a kicking game to pin the Sharks XV back in their own territory.
The visitors stretched their lead to nine points when Dukisa, who had a fine game before limping off in the 59th minute, kicked a 47th minute penalty before his opposite number Du Plessis struck back with a penalty of his own in the 50th minute.
EP extended their lead once again three minutes later thanks to a penalty from replacement wing Kayle van Zyl.
The hosts had almost complete territorial dominance in the final quarter but the Kings grabbed their third try with nine minutes left in the game.
Fullback Malcolm Jaer chased through a speculative kick with his tackle resulting in a loose ball. The impressive Davis was on hand to secure the turnover ball with replacement centre Brian Skosana on hand to round off a wonderful team try.
CELL C SHARKS XV – Tries: Sizo Maseko; Penalties: Jean-Luc Du Plessis (2).
EP KINGS – Tries: Sergeal Petersen, Ntabeni Dukisa, Brian Skosana; Conversions: Dukisa (2), Kayle van Zyl; Penalties: Dukisa, Van Zyl.