It was an impressive performance from Robbi Kempson’s side in what were unfavourable rugby conditions in Swansea, scoring a clinical first-half try through Erich Cronje and defending aggressively to keep the hosts at bay.
Ospreys notched consolations through the impressive Morgan Morris and Hanno Dirksen to ensure an absorbing finale, but they failed to make sustained periods of second-half pressure pay and remain with just a solitary Guinness PRO14 victory this season.
Both sides resorted to boot-heavy policies during the opening exchanges in what were slippery conditions, with kicking and catching errors characterising the first ten minutes.
The Kings grew progressively into the game, however, building momentum and having an Elrigh Louw try disallowed on 11 minutes after a Josh Allderman knock-on.
But they more than made up for that error just seconds later, when a brilliant team move involving Scott van Breda, John Jackson and Josiah Twum-Boafo set up outside centre Cronje who was able to run through to dot down with ease.
Allen Clarke’s team edged their way into the contest in response, using the battering ram of No.8 Morris to look for penetration but more often that not being thwarted by an aggressive Kings defence.
And after the first-half petered out into a largely cagey and error-strewn contest, van Breda extended Kings’ advantage with a massive boot from a penalty on the halfway line to make it 13-0 at the break.
The full-back notched another three points just after the break but Ospreys came out of the blocks quickly, dominating territory and eventually narrowing the deficit through the dangerous Morris who bulldozed over from close range.
And set-piece dominance became the order of the day for the hosts as the second period progressed, bullying Kempson’s side at the scrum to press home the superiority of their pack.
That led to points on 71 minutes, when Clarke’s side capitalised on Cronje being sent to the sin-bin with a clinical try from wing Dirksen – coolly converted by Luke Price – to tee up an absorbing finale.
And after James Hook missed two late penalties, Kings held on for a famous victory to get their season back on track.
Man of the match
For man of the match look no further than the majestic van Breda, who was imperious from the tee to help engineer a brilliant Kings victory.
The South African’s penalty on the stroke of half-time was slammed over from inside his own half, capping off an impressive display – he was also assured in all other departments – and making sure he functioned as a vital cog in the efficient Kings machine in South Wales.
Play of the day
For the most dazzling move of the match look no further than Kings’ first try, a brilliant hybrid of kicking and fluent passing to carve open a defiant Ospreys defence.
It was all started by van Breda who caught the ball from the restart, intelligently chipping over the first line of the hosts’ defence to unleash the charging cavalry.
And then Jackson and Twum-Boafo combined unerringly, eventually releasing the marauding figure of Cronje whose try opened up an early lead.
Cardiff City Stadium will play host to the 2020 Guinness PRO14 Final on June 20 as one of the most exciting days in the club rugby calendar comes to Wales!
General sale tickets are available from http://bit.ly/PRO14Cardiff2020 and prices start at just £13 for concessions and £26 for adults (subject to booking fees), that’s a 15% early bird discount. Family ticket (2 adults / 2 children) prices begin at £64 and fans are encouraged to buy early to get the best value tickets.
Read more at https://www.pro14rugby.org