THE Eastern Province Kings will go into the second round of league matches in the Absa Currie First Division with a handy six-point lead after seeing off closest rivals the Leopards in a hard-fought battle at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday night.
The Kings finish the first round of seven matches in the expanded, eight-team competition as the only unbeaten side, and they lead the standings with 30 point, ahead of the Leopards, on 24, and the Ford Pumas, who move up to 23 following their comprehensive 67-34 away win over early pace-setters the Griffons in Welkom on Saturday.
In Saturday’s other matches, the SWD Eagles moved up to fourth thanks to an impressive 47-22 win in Kempton Park over the luckless Valke, who are seventh.
Defending champions the Regent Boland Kavaliers picked up their second win in a row after losing their opening five matches, squeezing home 39-32 over the bottom-dwelling Border Bulldogs on a day on which the visiting teams made a clean sweep.
The Griffons, after leading the standings early on, slip to fifth after their third defeat, while the Kavaliers climb to sixth.
EP Kings (6) 20 Leopards (6) 12
The EP Kings are well on track to achieve their goal of promotion to the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division after a hard-fought win over the Leopards gave the men from Port Elizabeth a handy six-point cushion going into the second round.