James Hook missed two late penalties as the Kings held on to beat the Ospreys 16-14 in Swansea on Saturday to record their first-ever win in Europe.
Trailing by two, Hook had two late opportunities to clinch victory for the hosts, but he missed both his attempts in the 79th minute and stoppage time to hand the Kings a stunning triumph.
Both these sides have started the season horribly, with the Ospreys losing four of their five opening games, while the Kings are on a five-match losing streak.
Playing for pride and some much-needed form, it was the Kings who came firing in the first half, before the visitors dominated the second half. But, ultimately, the game was decided by Hook’s errant boot.
The visitors had, despite the inclement weather, played with all the possession and precision to lead their Welsh counterparts 16-0 at the break. Scott van Breda opened the scoring with a penalty for the Kings, and seconds later – straight from the restart – centre Erich Cronje crossed the line after some innovative play on the back of the kick-off receipt.
What. A. Try. @SouthernKingsSA stun @ospreys, scoring a phenomenal flowing try from kick-off #GuinnessPRO14 #OSPvKIN
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— PRO14 RUGBY (@PRO14Official) November 9, 2019
Van Breda, who was rock solid at the back for the Kings, would add two more penalty goals to enhance his team’s advantage at the interval.
The Kings went into defence mode in the second half, but while their efforts were commendable at first, a flurry of penalties allowed the Ospreys to attack from five metres out. Eventually, in the 52nd minute, Morgan Morris went over for a converted try to launch the hosts’ attempt at a comeback.
With time running out, the Kings conceded a yellow card and soon after a second converted try to have their lead reduced to just two points. But that was as good as it got for the Ospreys before Hook’s two failed efforts.
Ospreys – Tries: Morgan Morris, Hanno Dirksen. Conversions: James Hook, Luke Price.
Kings – Try: Erich Cronje. Conversion: Scott van Breda. Penalties: Van Breda (2).
Ospreys – 15 Cai Evans, 14 Hanno Dirksen, 13 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Lesley Klim, 10 Luke Price, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Morgan Morris, 7 Olly Cracknell, 6 Dan Lydiate (c), 5 Lloyd Ashley, 4 Marvin Orie, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Scott Otten, 1 Rhodri Jones.
Subs: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Ma’afu Fia, 19 Guido Volpi, 20 Sam Cross, 21 Matthew Aubrey, 22 James Hook, 23 Tom Williams.
Kings – 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Christopher Hollis, 13 Howard Mnisi (c), 12 Erich Cronje, 11 Josiah Twum-Boafo, 10 JT Jackson, 9 Josh Allderman, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Thembelani Boli, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Bobby de Wee, 4 Jerry Sexton, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Subs: 16 Alandre van Rooyen, 17 Xandre Vos, 18 Lupumlo Mguca, 19 Aston Fortuin, 20 Ruaan Lerm, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Siya Masuku, 23 S’bura Sithole.
Photo: Pro14 Rugby