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. I must say that this was almost a Bulls Vodacom Cup team…..
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.
Tries: Schoeman, Watson, Grobler, Whitehead 2, Dukisa, Gates, Bholi, Van Breda, Luiters
Cons: Van Breda 8
Tries: Steenkamp 2, Tobias
Cons: Marais, Stander
Pens: Marais 3
EP Kings: 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Dwayne Jenner, 11 Ntabeni Dukisa, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Jaco Grobler, 8 Luke Watson (captain), 7 Paul Schoeman, 6 Thembelani Bholi, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Steven Cummins, 3 Simon Kerrod, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1BG Uys.
Replacements: 16 Dane van der Westhuizen, 17 Brenden Olivier, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Darron Nell, 20 Devin Oosthuizen, 21 Kevin Luiters, 22 Shane Gates, 23 Hansie Graaff.
Blue Bulls squad: Jacques Rossouw, Kefense Mahlo, Jade Stigling, Leighton van Wyk, Marquite September, Kobus Marais, Carlo Engelbrecht, Andrè Warner, Joshua Stander, Ganfried May, Ruan Steenkamp (captain), Corne Cooper, Chris Massyn, Irne Herbst, Schalk van Heerden, Neetling Fouchè, Jan Enslin, Justin Forwood, Sidney Tobias, Andrew Beerwinkel, Johan Bannink, Jason Jenkins, Carel Swart.
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge