Both the Kings and the Force have got a specualtive future ahead of them. Both are in danger of being cut from Super Rugby. This one game could make or break each teams season so it was expected to be a match which comes down to pure passion…
Jono Lance kicked things off with an easy penalty. The next action was marvellous with Dane Haylett-Petty throwing an ‘out the back door’ pass to his brother Ross Haylett-Petty. He was on a rampage but managed to offload to Lance who bounced out of Lionel Cronje tackle and scored.
That did not dampen the Kings spirit and they managed to rumble over due to good maul and it was Justin Forwood who profited.
As the clock turned red, the Force still led by three points but were determined to stretch the lead out even more before the break. Curtis Rona made sure that would happen as he threw a perfectly flat pass to Alex Newsome who reached out and dotted the ball down. The Western Force looked to be in good stead for the second half.
The Kings come back out trailing but suddenly started to play like the All Blacks! Makazole Mapimpi made a half break but was tackled by Billy Meakes who was covering back very well. However, the winger managed to offload and found his scrum half, Louis Schreauder. The half back then found the hands of Malcom Jaer who ran in to finish off a marvellous piece of play! Suddenly the contest was back on.
That try was very quickly cancelled out though when the Dane Haylett-Petty snuck into the forwards and burrowed over from close range.
Mapimpi had sparked the Jaer try and then had one of his own when Lionel Cronje fed a perfectly weighted grubber kick into his arms and he simply ran in. This score meant the game was on a knife’s edge again with the Kings taking the lead.
Jono lance took the score back into the Force’s favour with a cleanly struck penalty but yet again, the Kings responded. This time it was Malcom Jaer again but with a little more magic. Lionel Cronje recieved the ball about 15 metres out. He then proceeded to push the ball around his body in a 360 degree motion then dabbed a kick through and he fullback was in for his brace! Cronje brought the tricks out for a truly magical set up!
Malcom Jaer was having the time of his life and he was presented with an opportunity for a hatrick which he duly took. He intercepted Ross Haylett-Petty’s pass then outpaced Dane Haylett-Petty while managing to dot the ball down.
There were so many trys and straight from kick off there was another one. Alex Newsome charged down Yaw Penxe’s kick and hacked the loose ball past Cronje and dived onto it for his second try!
The Western Force hit back again with a penalty try from a scrum. Ian Prior’s easy conversion meant that the lead was back again with the Force! What a game!
With just 5 minutes left, there was only one point seperating the teams. But that gap was extended through the returning Ben McCalman. The Number 8 the beneficiary of a strong maul.
Pieter-Steyn de Wet did get a penalty for the Southern Kings but it was not enough to pull down the Force’s lead. WHAT A MATCH!