Kings skipper Luke Watson scored two of his team’s four tries as they claimed a 34-27 victory over the Highlanders on Saturday.
After being humiliated by the Waratahs in Port Elizabeth a week ago, the Kings didn’t let their fans down again at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, bouncing back in style to bag the third win of their debut season and their first against Kiwi opposition.
R13 – 12/05/13
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
The result means the Highlanders missed out on a golden opportunity to climb off the foot of the table as they slumped to their ninth loss in ten starts. Two losing bonus points leave them three behind the Western Force.
Watson’s second try – on the stroke of half time – put the Kings 20-17 ahead at the interval after his first try had given the hosts the early lead.
Tries from Highlanders fly-half Colin Slade and veteran lock Brad Thorn had briefly put the visitors in front in the closing stages of the first period, but a barnstorming start to the second half saw the Kings build a 17-point lead by the hour mark.
But the Highlanders came storming back via tries from centre Shaun Treeby and wing Hosea Gear to move within striking distance in the dying minutes.
Re-live all the action from the Kings’ win over the Highlanders at our Super Rugby Match Centre, with video highlights.
The Kings’ defence held on though, and the Super Rugby newcomers will be able to reflect on a much improved performance during their upcoming bye week.
The Highlanders meanwhile face the daunting task of travelling to Pretoria to face the Bulls.