The Southern Kings, like the Cheetahs on Saturday, were left counting the cost of vital errors in their PRO14 home matches this weekend, as a late penalty goal allowed the Dragons to force an 18-18 draw against the Southern Kings while the Cheetahs went down 31-14 against Ospreys on Saturday.
A late penalty against the Southern Kings saw them settle for an 18-18 draw against the Dragons in a tight battle at the Madibaz Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Sunday, after the hosts led 13-8 at halftime. Fortunately for coach Deon Davids’ charges, the result was sufficient to keep them above the Dragons on the log standings in Conference B.
The Dragons drew first blood with Adam Warren rounding off some enterprising play from a chip kick, which Josh Lewis backed up with a penalty goal in the 11th minute for an 8-0 lead. The Southern Kings struck back strongly with two tries in two minutes by Stefan Ungerer - who dived over a ruck short of the tryline – and Bjorn Basson, who gathered a well-timed grubber kick with a subsequent penalty goal by Bader Pretorius pushing them 13-8 ahead.
Deon Davids’ men continued to test the Dragons as the half progressed, but mistakes at crucial times denied them from taking advantage of two more solid plays before the break.
The Southern Kings extended their lead to 18-8 in the third quarter compliments of their third try by Harlon Klaasen who dashed past a defender to touch down, but the Dragons reduced their deficit to three points minutes later as Jordan Williams scored a fantastic individual try.
There was high drama shortly after as both teams were reduced to 13 men, with front-rowers Leon Brown and Alulutho Tshakweni being yellow-carded for repeated infringements in the scrums, while Lloyd Fairbrother and Michael Makase were sent to the sin-bin shortly after for charging into a ruck dangerously and a playing an opponent in the air respectively.
The Southern Kings managed to remain in the lead despite this, but a high tackle cost them with two minutes to go, which allowed Lewis to level the scores, leaving the teams tied at 18-18.
Southern Kings (13) 18: Tries: Stefan Ungerer, Bjorn Basson, Harlon Klaasen. Penalty Goal: Bader Pretorius.
Dragons (8) 18: Tries: Adam Warren, Jordan Williams. Conversion: Josh Lewis. Penalty Goals: Josh Lewis (2).
See the Cheetahs vs Orleans report on the following URL posted on Sunday morning: http://rugbyvaria.co.za/sa-rugby/pro14/cheetahs-lose-match-of-errors-as-ospreys-keep-slim-play-off-hopes-alive
Other Guinness PRO14 Round 19 results:
Glasgow Warriors 30-7 Ulster - Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow
Munster 45-21 Cardiff Blues - Irish Independent Park, Cork
Cheetahs 14 Ospreys 31
Zebre 5-6 Connacht - Stadio Lanfranchi, Parma
Scarlets 12-20 Edinburgh - Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli
Leinster 27-27 Benetton - RDS Arena, Dublin
Issued by SA Rugby Communications