EP Kings fight back to beat Valke in Currie Cup

The Eastern Province Kings turned around a second-half deficit to run in seven tries and beat a game Valke outfit 45-24 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday night.

The victory ensured the Kings remain unbeaten in the competition but they had to fight to keep a determined Valke team at bay. In fact, the Kings trailed 24-19 after 61 minutes but took full advantage when the visitors ran out of steam in the latter stages.

The sixth-placed Valke have scored as many tries as the top sides in the competition but have also had their problems defensively, conceding the second-most tries. And so it turned out in this match.

The Valke made it clear they did not come to Port Elizabeth to roll and over and play dead. They ran the ball at every opportunity with their forwards setting up quality ball at the same time.

But it was the Kings who got off to the brighter start with captain and No 8 Luke Watson scoring two tries in the first 15 minutes to give his team a four-point lead at the break.

They narrowed the gap to one point with a Karlo Aspeling penalty straight after the restart and then took the lead after 43 minutes through a superb Aspeling drop goal from 40m. The flyhalf then extended the cushion to five points with another penalty.

But there was always a feeling that if the Kings could lift their game a notch they would manage to take control and they did so, flanker Cornel du Preez going over for a brace followed by further scores to prop Jaco Engels and centre Wayne Stevens to complete an impressive comeback.

Final Score EP Kings (19) 45 Valke (15) 24


Tries: Wayne Stevens, Luke Watson (3), Jaco Engels, Cornell du Preez, penalty try
Conversions: George Whitehead (2), Wesley Dunlop (3).

Tries: Reg Muller, Jaco Oosthuizen
Conversion: Karlo Aspeling
Penalties: Aspeling (3)
Drop goal: Aspeling.

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