Dan Evans scored a hat-trick as the Ospreys powered their way to a 43-7 bonus-point win against the Kings in Port Elizabeth on Friday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
Ospreys coach Allen Clarke will be thrilled with this result, as it keeps his team in the hunt for a spot in the playoffs heading into the final round of regular-season fixtures in two weeks’ time.
The Ospreys dominated every facet of the game and expertly translated that pressure into points.
The Kings were never in this contest. They struggled to combat the Ospreys’ forwards and failed to contain the backs, especially Evans.
The fullback was the biggest threat to the Kings’ defence, breaking the line at will with worrying regularity. His try-double early in the first half rocked the Kings, before three more tries from the Ospreys gave them a commanding 33-0 lead at the break.
The second half paled in comparison to the first, but the defence from both sides was superb. Kings flyhalf Bader Pretorius made two try-saving tackles right on the line to deny Hanno Dirksen and Cory Allen, while the Ospreys forced their hosts into two knock-ons when they were under pressure close to the tryline.
The Ospreys lost their spark on attack somewhat in the second half, but were still able to outscore the Kings by two tries to one.
Evans completed his hat-trick in the 56th minute, and while the Kings finally got on the scoreboard with a try from Michael Willemse, the Ospreys finished with a flourish, with hot-stepping wing Keelan Giles dancing past several defenders to set up a magical try for lock Bradley Davies.
Kings – Try: Michael Willemse. Conversion: Masixole Banda.
Ospreys – Tries: Dan Evans (3), Cory Allen, Hanno Dirksen, Bradley Davies (2). Conversions: Luke Price (4).
Kings – 15 Ulrich Beyers, 14 Harlon Klaasen, 13 Sibusiso Sithole, 12 Berton Klaasen, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Bader Pretorius, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Andries van Schalkwyk, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 JC Astle, 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 De-Jay Terblanche, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Alulutho Tshakweni.
Subs: 16 Alandré van Rooyen, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Pieter Scholtz, 19 Schalk Oelofse, 20 Stephan de Wit, 21 Rudi van Rooyen, 22 Masixole Banda, 23 Meli Rokoua.
Ospreys – 15 Dan Evans, 14 Hanno Dirksen, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Keelan Giles, 10 Luke Price, 9 Aled Davies, 8 James King, 7 Justin Tipuric (c), 6 Olly Cracknell, 5 Bradley Davies, 4 Adam Beard, 3 Ma’afu Fia, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Nicky Smith.
Subs: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Dan Lydiate, 20 Sam Cross, 21 Matthew Aubrey, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Luke Morgan.
Photo: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images