Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
The Emirates Western Force has gone down to the Southern Kings, 22-10, in the South African side’s Super Rugby debut in Port Elizabeth tonight.
The Force held the ball for lengthy periods through the first half, transferring it into a 10-5 half-time lead. However, the home side responded with 17 unanswered points in the second term in front of a vocal crowd at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
For a second successive week the Emirates Western Force started well, starving their opposition of possession and holding the ball for multiple phases in the attacking half.
However, while both sides swapped missed penalty goals early, it was the Kings that opened the scoring when winger Sergeal Petersen collected a ricocheted kick from his scrumhalf Shaun Venter to sail over the try line in the 15th minute.
Four minutes later the Force launched another attacking raid in the Kings’ half, turning away an attempt at penalty goal in favour of the sideline. The decision appeared to reap almost immediate dividends when Nathan Charles crossed the try line from the back of the rolling maul, only to have the try disallowed by referee Lourens van der Merwe.
The visitors did not have to wait long to square the ledger, when, on the back of 10 phases, flanker Angus Cottrell carried two defenders to within a metre of the line, with Pek Cowan on hand to pick and drive the ball the remaining distance for the try.
While Kyle Godwin’s conversion attempt was denied by the upright, the Emirates Western Force took the lead six minutes later when Alfie Mafi darted down the left flank after intercepting a Kings pass inside his 22. Several phases later, the ball returned to Mafi’s wing via some crisp handling from outside centre Winston Stanley, to allow the winger to touch down for his third try of the season.
Trailing 10-5 at the break, the Kings struck back through the boot of flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis with penalty goals in the 45th and 52nd minute.
The Force’s cause received a further blow when lock Hugh McMeniman was issued a yellow card at the 55-minute mark for a high tackle, with Petersen capitalising on the overlap to cross for his second try five minutes later.
Catrakilis landed two further penalty attempts inside the final 15 minutes to provide his side with the 12-point win.
The Emirates Western Force will head to Pretoria next week to take on the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, 2 March.
2013 Super Rugby – Week 2
Saturday, 23 February 2013 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kick-off: 7.10pm (local)/1.10am (AWST)
Southern Kings 22 (Sergeal Petersen 2 tries; Demetri Catrakilis 0/2 conversions, 4/5 penalty goals) defeated
Emirates Western Force 10 (Pek Cowan, Alfie Mafi tries; Kyle Godwin 0/1 conversion, 0/1 penalty goal; Sam Christie 0/1 conversion)
Emirates Western Force
1. Pek Cowan, 2. Nathan Charles, 3. Tetera Faulkner, 4. Sam Wykes, 5. Hugh McMeniman, 6. Angus Cottrell, 7. Matt Hodgson (c), 8. Ben McCalman, 9. Alby Mathewson, 10. Sam Christie, 11. Alfie Mafi, 12. Kyle Godwin, 13. Winston Stanley, 14. Nick Cummins, 15. Will Tupou. Res: 16. Heath Tessmann, 17. Kieran Longbottom, 18. Toby Lynn, 19. Richard Brown, 20. Chris Alcock, 21. Mick Snowden, 22. Junior Rasolea
Coach: Michael Foley
1. Schalk Ferreira, 2. Bandise Maku, 3. Kevin Buys, 4. David Bulbring, 5. Steven Sykes, 6. Cornell du Preez, 7. Wimpie van der Walt, 8. Luke Watson (c), 9. Shaun Venter, 10. Demetri Catrakilis, 11. Marcello Sampson, 12. Andries Strauss, 13. Ronnie Cooke, 14. Sergeal Petersen, 15. SP Marais. Res: 16. Edgar Marutlulle, 17. Jaco Engels, 18. Daniel Adongo, 19. Jacques Engelbrecht, 20. Johan Herbst, 21. George Whitehead, 22. Hadleigh Parkes
Coach: Matt Sexton
Yellow Cards: Hugh McMeniman (55th minute)
Red Cards: nil
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe
Crowd: Not announced
By the Clock
The Emirates Western Force will welcome captain Matt Hodgson, winger Nick Cummins and off-season recruit Hugh McMeniman into their starting XV to play the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
The three Wallaby representatives did not take part in last weekend’s 30-23 loss to the Rebels in Melbourne, with Hodgson returning from a hamstring injury and McMeniman a late withdrawal from the side due to a pectoral strain. Cummins started in Force A’s 23-16 win over Rebel Rising, in his first appearance for the year after sustaining a knock to his knee during pre-season training and not participating in either of the side’s trial matches.
Hodgson will become the eighth player in the Emirates Western Force’s history to captain the side in Super Rugby and will run on at openside flanker replacing Chris Alcock, who will start as one of five forwards on the Western Australian bench.
McMeniman is set to make his first appearance in Super Rugby since his final season with the Queensland Reds in 2009. The 29-year-old will pack down alongside Sam Wykes in the second row, behind an unchanged front row of Pek Cowan, Nathan Charles and Tetera Faulkner.
Cummins represents the sole change to the Emirates Western Force backline that produced an impressive first-up performance in their maiden start together against the Rebels. The Wallaby flyer replaces Pat Dellit on the right wing after Dellit was forced to return home with facial fractures and an ankle injury sustained against the Rebels. He is expected to be available for selection for the Force’s Week Five match against the Reds in Brisbane.
Saturday night’s match represents the Kings’ first in Super Rugby after replacing the Lions in the South African conference.
Emirates Western Force Head Coach Michael Foley said he was keen for his side to build on its performance against the Rebels.
“We’re fortunate to be in a position to bring in Hodgo, Hugh and Nick for Saturday,” he said.
“Last week there were some promising signs that we’re heading in the right direction. Our challenge is to continue to develop as a team and persevere with the style of game we've begun to play.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge that awaits the side on Saturday night.”
2013 Super Rugby – Week Two
Southern Kings v Emirates Western Force
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Saturday, 23 February 2013
Kick-off: 7.10pm (local)/1.10am, Sunday, 24 February (AWST)
1. Pek Cowan
2. Nathan Charles
3. Tetera Faulkner
4. Sam Wykes
5. Hugh McMeniman*
6. Angus Cottrell
7. Matt Hodgson (c)
8. Ben McCalman
9. Alby Mathewson
10. Sam Christie
11. Alfie Mafi
12. Kyle Godwin
13. Winston Stanley
14. Nick Cummins
15. Will Tupou
16. Heath Tessmann
17. Kieran Longbottom
18. Toby Lynn
19. Richard Brown
20. Chris Alcock
21. Mick Snowden**
22. Junior Rasolea
* Emirates Western Force debut
** Emirates Western Force & Super Rugby debut