Herne hat-trick helps sink Kings
September 30, 2016

Hooker Frankie Herne scored a hat-trick of tries as the Pumas beat the Eastern Province Kings 38-30 (halftime 19-20) in their Currie Cup Premier Division rugby fixture at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday.

Both sides came into the basement-battle encounter desperate to claim their first victory in the competition having played a combined 14 matches between them without success.

It was the Kings who struck first when flyhalf Pieter-Steyn de Wet landed two penalties within the first 10 minutes.

But the Pumas bounced straight back through a try by flank Brian Shabangu which resulted from a lineout and a driving maul.

The Kings stretched their lead to eight points when fullback Johann Tromp sniped through the Pumas' defence to score for De Wet to convert.

The Pumas were back breathing down the necks of the Kings when Herne collected a loose Kings pass to sprint through and score his team’s second try. Flyhalf Heinrich Steyl converted.

The match had developed into a tit-for-tat slug-fest with the Kings scoring their second try of the night through flank Brandon Brown. De Wet was again on target with the kick for the Kings to lead 20-12 on the half-hour.

The Kings were dealt a blow when Brown was yellow-carded shortly before halftime and the Pumas took advantage from the resultant penalty as Herne barged over for his second try. Steyl converted to leave only a point separating the teams at halftime.

Five minutes into the second half, Pumas flank Carel Greeff was also shown yellow and soon after Kings captain and scrumhalf Ricky Schroeder snuck his way over the tryline for his team’s third try. De Wet maintained his good form from the kicking tee to add the extras.

After a lengthy period of sustained pressure from the Pumas, replacement scrumhalf Kevin Luiters scored the visitors’ fourth try from a quick-tap penalty to reduce the gap to 27-24 on the hour.

The Kings were down to 14 men again when replacement Etienne Oosthuizen was sin-binned with 10 minutes to play. Immediately after that Herne got in for his third try of the night and fullback Davon Williams converted to put the Pumas ahead for the first time in the match, albeit by a single point.

And they sealed the win with a try by left wing Jean-Paul Lewis with only a minute left to play. Williams succeeded with the conversion to close off the game.


EP Kings – Tries: Johann Tromp, Brandon Brown, Ricky Schroeder; Conversions: Pieter-Steyn de Wet (3); Penalties: Pieter-Steyn de Wet (3)

Pumas – Tries: Brian Shabangu, Frank Herne (3), Kevin Luiters, Jean-Paul Lewis; Conversions: Heinrich Steyl (2), Davon Williams (2)

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