EP Kings lose to Premier XV in PE

2011-06-06 00:00

PORT ELIZABETH — In their first game appearance in six weeks, the Kings lost 27-17 against the Contipartners Premier XV, an invitational side made up of overseas South African, Sevens and Super Rugby players.

The Kings, who used the match as a build up to the Nations Cup, named a roster of 26 players and were able to use all of them as planned.

The Kings dominated possession and territory, but struggled with ball security, which the Premier XV were able to capitalise on.

“The game served its purpose. It provided valuable match practice for the Nations Cup and all 26 players played as planned. It was important that everyone got time on the field even if it cost us some rhythm,” said head coach Alan Solomons.

“There were a lot of positives. We maintained control for most of the game, but made silly mistakes. You just can’t make mistakes like that against guys like Cecil Afrika and Gcobani Bobo. We are in a building process toward the Nations Cup and ultimately the Currie Cup. We know that nobody will ever give anything up to us and that we must go in and take it,” said captain Mzwandile Stick.

Contipartners Premier XV coach Brendan Venter said, “An invitational game like this is based on a simple principle — coaching is not important. We were able to be competitive because of talented players who showed a lot of fight. The Kings were well organised and showed moments of brilliance; they were all over us in the first half, but we had lucky tries. I don’t think they will have any problems at the Nations Cup.”

Gcobani Bobo, who hails from the region and scored the Premier XV’s first try in commenting on playing at the Nelson Mandela Stadium said, “Guys travelled long and far to play in this game because they wanted to play at this stadium. It is a beautiful stadium and the facilities are amazing. We saw it in the World Cup and it is great to play here in person.”

The King’s lone try was scored by prop Clint Newland with SP Marais kicking four penalties.

Premier XV tries were scored by Bobo, Sam Gerber and Sevens sensation Cecil Afrika who scored on a dazzling 75 metre run.

The Kings depart for Bucharest, Romania for the Nations Cup today.

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