Heartbreak for the Kings
Scarlets hit back with two tries late in the game to snatch thrilling PRO14 win at the Madibaz Stadium
There was heartbreak for the Isuzu Southern Kings when they conceded two late tries to slip to a narrow 41-34 PRO14 rugby defeat against a severely depleted Scarlets side at the Madibaz Stadium on Friday night.
It was a late surge by the Scarlets that delivered a dramatic victory.
The Kings ended the match with a furious offensive in the final minute in a desperate bid to level the score, but the resolute Scarlets defence held firm.
The Scarlets took the lead for the first time in the 42nd minute when Ioan Nicholas scored his team’s third try after some neat interplay by the Welshmen.
The visitors nudged ahead 22-20 after flyhalf Dan Jones converted Nicholas’s try.
Seven minutes later the Kings regained their lead when centre Harlon Klaasen burrowed his way through the Scarlets defence to push the home team into a 25-22 lead.
There was more joy for the Kings after 54 minutes when former Springbok wing Bjorn Basson latched onto a pinpoint kick ahead by centre Berton Klaasen to leave the Kings with a 32-22 lead.
It was end to end stuff at this stage and Werner Kruger crashed over for the Scarlets to narrow the Kings’ lead to 34-29 with 18 minutes to play.
Scarlets stole the match in the final seven minutes when David Bulbring and Taylor Davies went over for tries.
It took the Kings two minutes to register the first points when livewire fullback Masixole Banda danced his way through a sluggish defence to score a brilliant solo try.
The Kings weathered an early Scarlets onslaught and extended their lead to 10-0 after 12 minutes when the ever-present Banda nailed a penalty.
The visitors got some reward for their efforts when Jones succeeded with a penalty in the 17th minute to reduce the Kings’ lead to 10-3.
Scarlets were not afraid to use the width of the field with their explosive backline, but the Kings defence held firm.
The Kings were in for their second try of the match after a turnover by Andisa Ntsila sprung the Kings backline into action.
Livewire Banda kicked ahead and wing Yaw Penxe raced through to collect and dive in under the posts to put the Kings into a 15-3 lead.
The Scarlets, however, refused to lie down and hooker Dafydd Hughes dotted down after the Welsh side drove their way over the Kings tryline.
The Welshmen had their second try on the stroke of halftime when Will Boyde put the finishing touches to a lineout drive to leave the Kings with a 20-15 advantage at the break.
Southern Kings 34:
Tries: Masixole Banda, Yaw Penxe, Harlon Klaasen, Bjorn Basson.
Conversions: Masixole Banda (4). Penalties: Masixole Banda (2)
Tries: Dafydd Hughes, Will Boyde, Ioan Nicholas, Werner Kruger, David Bulbring, Taylor Davies.
Conversions: Dan Jones (4). Penalty: Dan Jones