Southern Kings shock the Western Force on debut

Super Rugby’s newcomers the Southern Kings pulled off the early shock of the season when they beat the Force 22-10 in Port Elizabeth.

Southern Kings eighteen year old winger Sergeal Petersen who was in school last year scored two tries for the hosts.

The Force scored two tries of their own with the first by winger Alfie Mafi and the second by Pek Cowan.

Amazingly the Southern Kings top the South African conference as they have the best points differential and as they have a bye next week they are gauranteed four points and could remain there for two weeks.

The Southern Kings, who lost captain Luke Watson after half an hour, trailed 5-10 at half time but they managed to score 17 unanswered points in the second half against the Force who spent 10 minutes with 14 men as Hugh McMeniman was yellow carded.

The Kings spirited performance was exemplified in the final five minutes when the Force camped on the Kings line desperately in search of a try to secure a bonus point, but were denied by a resilient home defence.

Besides Petersen’s two tries, flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis kicked four penalties and played a key tactical game in the second half as the Kings sought to gain more territory.

Petersen opened the scoring when he gathered a chip down the blindside from scrumhalf Shaun Venter and the 32 000-strong crowd erupted after his swallow dive in the right-hand corner.

The Force, though, controlled much of the first half and hit back with two tries through prop Pek Cowan and wing Alf Mafi as they threatened to take charge of the match.

Their driving play often had the Kings on the backfoot and the hosts were forced to make numerous tackles just to stay in touch.

The Force, however, suffered through poor goalkicking and missed the only three shots they had at the posts.

In the second half, they chose not to kick at the posts and opted for driving mauls from the lineout when they received penalties.

Meanwhile in the second half, the Kings placed greater emphasis on retaining possession and Catrakilis led an improved tactical kicking display to give them greater opportunity of scoring points.

From a period of pressure on the Force line, Petersen finally received the ball on the right and held off two defenders to cross for his second try, making it 16-10.

This jolted the Force, while providing a major confidence boost for the Kings and they more than matched their experienced opponents to enjoy the better of the second period.

Their defence was outstanding and when Catrakilis kicked two penalties to put them 12 points in front, their self-belief seemed to grow, ultimately resulting in a memorable win.

Final Score Southern Kings 22 (5) Force 10 (10) 


Southern Kings
Tries – S.Petersen 2
Pen – D Catrakilis 4
Con –
Drop –
Cards –

Tries -P Cowan
Pen –
Con –
Drop –
Cards – Hugh McMeniman (53rd min Yellow)

Match Officials
Lourens van der Merwe
Assistant Ref 1:Stuart Berry
Assistant Ref 2:Christie Du Preez
TMO : Johan Meuwessen


Southern Kings

15 SP Marais, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Marcello Sampson, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Shaun Venter, 8. Luke Watson (c), 7. Wimpie van der Walt, 6. Cornell du Preez, 5. Steven Sykes, 4 David Bulbring, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Schalk Ferreira

Replacements : 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Jaco Engels, 18 Daniel Adongo, 19 Jacques Engelbrecht, 20 Johan Herbst, 21 George Whitehead, 22 Hadleigh Parkes

Western Force

1. Pek Cowan,2. Nathan Charles,3. Tetera Faulkner,4. Sam Wykes,5. Hugh McMeniman,6. Angu

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