Kings enjoying the 'big stage'
Despite being outplayed by WP, EP Kings captain Luke Watson said there were many positive aspects to the team's return to the Currie Cup.
Despite being outplayed by Western Province, particularly in the second half, EP Kings captain Luke Watson said there were many positive aspects to the team's return to the Currie Cup in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
Down 10-11 at half-time, WP took control with three tries in the second half to run out deserving 35-16 winners in the competition's opening game.
"I think it is a big stage for lots of our young players," Watson said.
"It is the first time they are playing Currie Cup [Premier Division], so the pressure does get to you a little bit, so we have a lot to work on but also a lot of positives to take from the game."
Watson led from the front and the experienced No.8 scored one try and nearly got over for a second, seeing the ball slip from his grasp on the tryline as he attempted to dive over.
While happy with some aspects of their game, Watson paid tribute to WP for the way they emerged on top in the second half.
"I thought the first half was alright, but in the second half WP pulled away and showed what serious contenders they are for this competition," he said.
"They are a complete outfit, and a lot of credit must go to them."
Although competitive for large parts of the match, EP struggled to break down the WP defence and several times they failed to control their line-out possession.
One of EP Kings' younger players, Thembelani Bholi, stood out for the home side and came within a whisker of scoring a try when he was held up over the line.
"Bholi was great and I think he is one of the guys for the future.
"Also Lizo Gqoboka at loosehead prop for us and guys like wing Shakes Soyizwapi and centre Shane Gates are playing their first season of the Currie Cup. They put their hands up tonight and showed they have bright futures."