Ricochet News

Southern Kings upset Waratahs in Sydney

BY MARC JACOBSON - APRIL 21, 2017
Southern Kings upset Waratahs in Sydney

Despite trailing 17-0 at half-time, the Southern Kings managed to claw their back and upset the Waratahs 26-24 at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney on Friday morning.

Heading into this clash, the Kings were deemed as heavy underdogs after losing their first two matches on tour against the Western Force and Reds respectively, but a gallant effort saw them topple the 2014 Super Rugby Champions in their own backyard.

A resilient display and a never-die attitude also saw the Kings score all of their 26 points in the second half alone, in a real match display of two halves.

The Kings stomped their dominance upfront and in the tight displays, as it was a driving maul try scored by hooker Michael Willemse and a scrum penalty-try minutes later when the Kings first got their noses in front in the last 10 minutes of the game.

Being behind by three tries to nil at the break, even after having a one-man advantage in the final stages of the first half, it certainly looked as though the game was singling one-way traffic, before a stern retreat saw a endeavoured fightback from the Kings.

Despite Chris Cloete also sitting out 10 minutes in the sin bin in the second stanza of the game, the Kings held off a hapless Waratahs’ effort, with the side from Port Elizabeth applying continuous pressure as the home side appeared to buckle.

Prop Justin Forewood and fullback Masixole Banda scored the first second half tries, before the forward-over tries in the last 10 minutes, as the Kings by then took a 26-17 with two minutes to play.

Dead and buried, the Waratahs held their dignity in place when they poised for a final scoring stint and scored a constellation on the 83rd minute of the game – losing the second half 26-7 and the game 26-24.

The Kings can now hold their heads up high for a team on the chopping blocks for the Super Rugby cull, and after a relatively positive tour to Australia to their standards, that have turned many heads throughout; they would now look to accumulate another win when they play the Melbourne Rebels at home next week.

Waratahs – Tries: Taqele Naiyaravoro (2), Rob Horne, Cameron Clark. Conversions: Bernard Foley (2).
Kings – Tries: Justin Forwood, Masixole Banda, Michael Willemse, penalty try. Conversions: Lionel Cronjé (2).

Image: Michael Willemse celebrates his maul-over try