Cronje kicks Kings to victory

Sat, 08 Jul 2017 14:45
Large bulls v kings match action 800

SUPER RUGBY MATCH REPORT: Captain and flyhalf Lionel Cronje kicked the match-winning penalty in the 82nd minute as the Southern Kings edge the Bulls 31-30 in Pretoria on Saturday.

On a day of refereeing shockers, Argentinean match official Federico Anselmi and South African television match official Johan Greeff contributed with two crucial calls.

The second of those two was the penalty that allowed Cronjé to kick the winning points.

The kick followed a controversial decision that led to a five-metre scrum at which the Bulls were penalised.

After watching big-screen replays, the Argentine referee judged that Bulls flank Jannes Kirsten had touched the ball before it trickled out of ball, leading to the set-piece.

Despite the controversy, Cronje and the Kings certainly made some BIG statements.

Cronje left the Bulls with egg over their collective faces, as he scored 21 points - through a try, two conversions, three penalties and a drop-goal - to hand the Bulls their 10th defeat of the season.

It must have been even sweeter for Viljoen, who was discarded by the Bulls not so long ago.

The Kings may not attract the big money or spectators of the other franchises, but they have outperformed one of the big guns of South African rugby - the Bulls - just a day after their axing was confirmed.

With reports that they will soon be playing in European competitions - like the Pro12/14 and Euro Challenge Cup - the Kings showed they can add value wherever they end up.

That is if they are able to retain all the players.

They have already lost the services of star loose forward Chris Cloete to Munster.

A maiden victory over three-time former champions the Bulls placed Kings 11th in the overall standings, ahead of four Australian and two South African teams plus the Japanese Sunwolves.

The revival by the side from Port Elizabeth began with a victory over the Waratahs in Sydney and last weekend they defeated the Jaguares in Argentina.

The Kings raced to a 22-3 lead, before a Jason Jenkins try for the hosts trimmed the gap to 12 points at half-time.

Bulls were much improved in the second half as they sought to build on a shock away victory over the Sharks in Durban last weekend.

They nudged into a 23-22 lead on 66 minutes when flyhalf Tian Schoeman slotted his third penalty only for Cronje to kick a drop-goal a minute later to put the Kings ahead again.

Cronje added a penalty for a five-point advantage that was overtaken when hooker Jaco Visagie barged over and Schoeman converted for a 30-28 lead with two minutes remaining.

The Kirsten incident followed and Cronje scored to give the Kings victory by the same score that brought them success in Buenos Aires last weekend.

Man of the match: Jan Serfontein continued his good form, while there was strong work from Adriaan Strauss at the breakdown and a few good carries. Lock Rudolph Snyman - with his enormous workrate and that crucial ankle tap late in the first half that allowed his team to get back in the game - was the home team's most productive player. The work-rates of flank Chris Cloete and lock Lubabalo Mtyanda was invaluable to the Kings. Our award goes to Kings captain and flyhalf Lionel Cronje - a masterclass in flyhalf play and kicking the winning points. We award it to him, despite the question mark over the penalty. He did not award it, he kicked it under tremendous pressure.

The scorers:

For the Bulls:
 Jenkins, Matthews, Visagie
Cons: Schoeman  3
Pens: Schoeman 3

For the Southern Kings:
 Mapimpi, Cronje, Jaer
Cons: Cronje 2
Pens: Cronje 3
DG: Cronje

Yellow card: Jason Jenkins (Bulls, 22 - foul play, high tackle), Wandile Mjekevu (Southern Kings, 27 - foul play, high tackle), Lubabalo Mtyanda (Southern Kings, 65 - cynical foul, plating the ball on the ground)


Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Duncan Matthews, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Nic de Jager, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Rudolph Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Conrad van Vuuren, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Pierre Schoeman, 18 John-Roy Jenkinson, 19 Ruben van Heerden, 20 Shaun Adendorff, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Tinus de Beer, 23 Burger Odendaal.

Southern Kings: 15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 Wandile Mjekevu, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Lionel Cronje (captain), 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Mzamo Majola.
Replacements:  16. Martin Bezuidenhout, 17. Schalk Ferreira, 18. Dayan van der Westhuizen, 19. Mzwanele Zito, 20. Thembelani Bholi, 21. Stefan Ungerer, 22. Masixole Banda, 23. Yaw Penxe.

Referee: Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)

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Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 21h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 4 3 0 1 15
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
Reds 3 2 0 1 8
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 8
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Highlanders 3 3 0 0 13
Hurricanes 3 2 0 1 10
Crusaders 4 2 0 2 10
Chiefs 3 2 0 1 8
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 5 2 0 3 9
Sharks 4 1 1 4 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4