Johannesburg – A rousing 66-28 win over a Bulls XV got the Southern Kings back on the winning track in a Super Rugby friendly at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday evening.
The runaway victory, which included 10 tries for the home side, was just the tonic the Kings needed ahead of their re-entry into the Currie Cup Premier Division in August.
After losing to the Cheetahs, Lions and Stormers in Super Rugby friendlies back in January and February, the new-look Kings produced a stunning display of running rugby.
It was also a pleasing comeback for Kings skipper Luke Watson, who scored his team’s second try in the ninth minute as the Kings dominated early possession.
The Kings made an energetic start and flank Paul Schoeman crashed over for the Kings’ first try after five minutes.
Watson scored his try three minutes later. Scrumhalf Jaco Grobler crashed through the Bulls’ defence for the Kings’ third try of the evening.
Former Sharks centre Tim Whitehead marked his debut with a try after some sparking play by the Kings’ backline.
The elusive Ntabeni Dukisa then slipped through the Bulls’ defence to score his team’s fifth try and give them a healthy 33-16 lead at the break.
The only try for the Bulls in first half came in the 36th minute when skipper Ruan Steenkamp powered his way over the tryline after solid forward play by the visitors.
After the break, Shane Gates and Tim Whitehead were over for tries in quick succession as the Kings ran riot against the outgunned Bulls.
Powerful Kings’ flank Thembelani Bholi took the tally to 50
points with his team’s eighth try.
Scott van Breda piled on the misery for the visitors with his team’s ninth try of the night.
Former Cheetahs’ scrumhalf Kevin Luiters showed good strength when he took the Kings’ score to 64 points with the home team’s tenth try.
Scorers: EP Kings: Tries: Paul Schoeman, Luke Watson, Jaco Grobler, Tim Whitehead (2), Ntabeni Dukisa, Shane Gates, Thembelani Bholi, Scott van Breda, Kevin Luiters. Conversions: Scott van Breda (8).
Bulls XV: Tries: Ruan Steenkamp (2), Sidney Tobias. Conversions: Kobus Marais, Joshua Stander. Penalties: Kobus Marais (3). – Sapa