The Kings’ stock is rising rapidly after they won a thrilling Super Rugby derby against the Sharks 35-32 in Port Elizabeth.
Deon Davids’ men’s composure was vital in this game as they overcame numerous on-field setbacks to eventually score a winner.
Who was the star in this match?
34-year-old winger Alshaun Bock was a wizard in this game. He was a late replacement for Wandile Mjekevu and showed his steel. The former Junior Bok scored two tries and threw a brilliant dummy to set up his skipper Lionel Cronje’s score. Astonishingly Bock recently lost his mother and sister within a week, what inner strength!
Key themes and events
- This was utlimately a game of very fine margins – as the scoreline suggested. In the end, it was a vital Sharks error that allowed the Kings to snatch their win. Following Sharks replacement Garth April’s fourth penalty, flanker Philip van der Walt threw a wild pass into touch after the kick-off. It led to a 5m lineout and the Kings eventually showed enough patience to create width and score.
- Width was a feature of the Kings’ attacking play. They really exploited space well, which led to three of their four tries. This is truly a well-coached backline.
- While the hosts in general defended well, they were put under pressure to enough of an extent that they did concede a fair amount of penalties. And it almost allowed the Sharks to escape defeat. However, the Kings’ increasing experience helped them show more composure than ever before. It’s proved more important than their brilliant attacking play in the dying seconds.
- Sharks coach Robert du Preez will not be happy with his side. Throughout the week the Durbanites were warned about their opponents, yet it still seemed at times as if they underestimated them. An unfamiliar leaky defence and haphazard passing cost them momentum.
- With Pat Lambie’s horrid time with injuries continuing – he went off with concussion – the Sharks at least could take some solace from April’s performance. He certainly provided an edge to his side’s attack.
Kings – Tries: Alshaun Bock (2), Lionel Cronje, Pieter-Steyn de Wet. Conversions: Cronje (3). Penalties: Cronje (3).
Sharks – Tries: Dan du Preez, Lwazi Mvovo. Conversions: Pat Lambie, Garth April. Penalties: April (4), Lambie (2).