EP Kings clobber spirited Valke in Jo’burg

2012-07-16 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — The match was gone for the Valke by half-time as the EP Kings converted a 24-8 lead at the break into a 37-20 victory in their Currie Cup First Division match at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park on Saturday.

The Kings led 31-8 after 55 minutes, but the Valke did get some salve for their wounded pride as they scored two late tries to add some respectability to the scoreline.

On an icy day with a strong wind, the Kings adapted well to the conditions with their pack enjoying dominance and flyhalf George Whitehead kicking well.

Whitehead kicked an early penalty for the Kings and the Valke then paid a heavy price for an injury to tighthead prop Nico Engelbrecht.

He was replaced by Hannes Ludik, who earned himself a yellow card just five minutes after his arrival, the Kings taking advantage of the extra man as wing Michael Killian powered over for the opening try.

The visitors continued to reap the rewards of laying a solid platform up front as experienced tighthead prop Clint Newland scored their second try and, four minutes before half-time, wing Jongi Nokwe was able to use his pace and an overlap to score the third try.

Whitehead converted all three of the tries to leave the EP Kings in firm control at the break, even though Valke eighthman Reg Muller rumbled over in a maul in injury time for the home side’s first try.

Newland went off early in the second half and his replacement, Lizo Gqoboka, had been in action for just over a minute when he crossed the tryline to put Eastern Province 31-8 in front after Whitehead’s conversion.

The Valke, with nothing to lose, then began to up the pace and restored some credibility to the one-sided scorline.

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