Last weekend’s two PRO14 matches featuring South African teams rather than just players were a reversal of this season’s early results. The Ospreys vs Kings encounter in Swansea truly was another of “game of two halves”.
In atrocious but typically Welsh conditions, Kings dominated the first half and, surprisingly, ran out to a 13-0 half-time lead. Early in the second half they took it to 16-0 before the home side was able to respond.
And although Ospreys scored two tries to get the score back to 16-14, they were unable to convert two penalty chances in the closing minutes to snatch an unlikely victory. And so Kings finally got their first win of the 2019/2020 season and it was against one of the many teams they have never beaten before and it was away from home – another first.
Also in Wales but about an hour down the M4, Cardiff Blues played host to Cheetahs in almost perfect rugby-playing conditions, which was surprising given that it is only 65-odd kilometres from the torrential rain in Swansea. The weather may have been perfect in the first half but Cheetahs most certainly were not.
Within the first quarter the team from Bloemfontein was down to 14 players thanks to red card for a moment of utter madness by Jasper Wiese and 11-0 down on the scoreboard. To the credit of the visitors, they fought back but after a yellow card late the first half, Cardiff Blues made full use of the two-man advantage. The final score was an utterly disgusting 30-17.