Kings of the Fortress

Written by Pierre McLeod (pierre_mackie)

Posted in :Bulls, EP Kings, Original Content, Super Rugby on 10 Jul 2017 at 09:33
Tagged with : , , ,

The Southern Kings silenced the Loftus faithful on Saturday when they beat the three time Super Rugby champions, the Bulls, with a penalty kick on full-time to a clinch a memorable 31 – 30 win in Pretoria.

The visitors traveled to Loftus after they recorded a historic one point win against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires a week earlier.

Bulls’ Tian Schoeman leveled the scores after Kings’ Lionel Cronje kicked an earlier penalty, but it was the visitors who scored the first try through flyer Makazola Mapimpi, scoring his tenth try in his fourteenth match. Cronje added the extras as the visitors took a 10 – 3 lead after ten minutes.

The Kings played positive rugby in the Bulls half for most of the opening minutes and capitalised after the Bulls were reduced to 14 men after Jason Jenkins were yellow carded for a dangerous and late tackle on Cronje.

The Kings scored two tries whilst Jenkins watched from the sideline, the first through Cronje and the second through Malcolm Jear. Cronje converted his own try but missed Jear’s as the Kings raced to a 22 – 3 lead with seven minutes left to half time.

Jenkins made amends when he came back on as he scored their first try on half time, Schoeman converted as the Bulls trailed 10 – 22 at the break.

The Bulls came out for the second half more focused and determined as the momentum swung in their favour and scored an early second half try through wing, Duncan Matthews. Schoeman converted as the visitors trailed by five points, 17 – 22, two minutes into the second half.

Schoeman kicked another penalty as the game reached the final quarter to trail by two points and eventually took the lead for the first time with fifteen minutes to play when he kicked his third penalty to give his team a 23 – 22 lead.

As the game reached the final ten minutes, Kings’ Cronje snatched a sneaky drop goal to put his team back in the lead, 25 – 23. Cronje kicked another penalty minutes later to extend their lead to 28 – 23.

The Bulls threw everything at the Kings with only minutes remaining, opting to go for the five pointer with the Kings down to fourteen men. The Bulls finally broke through the Kings’ defense as replacement hooker Jaco Visagie scored what many would have believed to be the winning try. Schoeman converted from right infront to give the Bulls a two point lead, 30 – 28, with a minute remaining.

The Kings got one final penalty in a kickable position to snatch victory away from the Bulls. Cronje rose to the occasion and kicked the winning points for the visitors to record a memorable 31 – 30 victory.

Coach Deon Davids praised the Kings afterwards for a brilliant team effort.

“We have a very strong focus on a player driven culture where we’ve put things in place and as time went on we just slowly let the players take responsibility and accountability for their own planning and implementation for running the standard on the training field and for ensuring they make proper decisions on the field of play and you could see tonight. I’ve never doubted that we could win the game, because I knew if we just stick to our kick-off plan, just get the ball back, we migh get a good territory advantage or they would concede a penalty for us to kick and it just happened like that.”

“It was part of things that can only happen where players have confidence and a clear understanding of what needs to be done and also play for each other. And that is it, just a brilliant team effort,” said Davids.


Vodacom Bulls (3) 30 – Tries: Jason Jenkins, Duncan Mathews, Jaco Visagie. Conversions: Tian Schoeman (3). Penalties: Schoeman (3).

Southern Kings (22) 31 – Tries: Makazole Mapimpi, Lionel Cronje, Malcolm Jae.; Conversions: Cronje (2). Penalties: Cronje (2). Drop goal: Cronje.


  • And how sweet isn’t that silence since Saturday. Definitely provided some comfort after the Sharks gave the Bulls supporters plenty to talk about. Thanks Kings!

  • Comment 1, posted at 10.07.17 09:49:34 by boertjie101 Reply
  • I sometimes wish we could distil the attitude/drive/motivation/culture/whatever that teams like the Kings exhibit and IV-line into straight into Sharks’ veins.

    Sorry for a negative-nellie post on a Monday. Huge congrats to the Kings for a great win.

  • Comment 2, posted at 10.07.17 09:53:37 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @vanmartin (Comment 2) : that video of the team signing together, to me, was quite eye-opening. Never seen the Sharks have that sort of gees.

  • Comment 3, posted at 10.07.17 09:58:19 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : As long as we don’t change coaches yet again to try and uncover it.

  • Comment 4, posted at 10.07.17 10:10:54 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Excellent win by the Kings

  • Comment 5, posted at 10.07.17 10:20:26 by Baylion Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 4) : I gather you haven’t been reading the site much of late; demanding the coach head on a platter has definitely become the topic du jour…

  • Comment 6, posted at 10.07.17 10:59:12 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • Surely plenty of credit should go to the coaching staff at the Kings. Somebody must be doing something right. Maybe Stormers can send Fleckie on a secondment there :mrgreen:

  • Comment 7, posted at 10.07.17 11:22:17 by McLovin Reply

  • @Culling Song (Comment 6) : Work is keeping me busy but I have seen some comments related to this. I obviously disagree with the sentiment. My personal non-expert-usual-disclaimers-apply opinion on the matter is that culture should be ingrained in the union and not the coach. Now in saying that I do understand that matters are never this simple. Everything is intertwined. You just never want to end up in a situation where all your union’s culture leaves the day your coach does. In summary, I believe the ‘slapgat-geid’ (not a real word but it should be) needs to dealt with and uprooted at union level. Teichmann should be addressing it.

  • Comment 8, posted at 10.07.17 12:44:00 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I have to agree with the sentiments re the Kings, I wish we could have their attacking coach at the Sharks and also our coaching staff must give the players the freedom to play, here is my tweet to Cobus Wiese on Saturday after the Kings match and i have had huge respond to this tweet so many even non Sharks supporters are agreeing.

    Replying to @4KobusWiese
    I wish my Sharks team players played for the jersey like these Kings players do for theirs. brilliant….
    7:21 PM – 8 Jul 2017 from Johannesburg, South Africa

  • Comment 9, posted at 10.07.17 16:48:15 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @vanmartin (Comment 4) : @Culling Song (Comment 6) : and why not ,its the age of professional rugby ,just like in soccer ,or are we really just giving lip service

  • Comment 10, posted at 10.07.17 17:02:03 by benji Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • I doubt it’s the coaching I think the desire and the humility and actual team cohesion is better. How to fix that?

  • Comment 11, posted at 10.07.17 19:23:33 by coolfusion Reply

  • @vanmartin (Comment 8) : Slapgat-geid definitely a real word. I use it a lot with my kids over exam times 😛

  • Comment 12, posted at 11.07.17 09:42:22 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @McLovin (Comment 7) : Some oke called Oom Rugby (who talks a lot of sense) on All Out Rugby did a few articles analyzing some of the Kings games and how they play on attack & defence. Clearly the coaching staff know what they are doing, and more importantly the players are buying into it. We would do well to approach their backline / attack coach.

  • Comment 13, posted at 11.07.17 09:46:01 by Bokhoring Reply

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