The EP Kings outscored the Bulls XV 10 tries to 3 in a Currie Cup friendly at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday night.
The Kings outfit was bolstered by the return of their captain Luke Watson as they made most of the weakness of their opponents – which were mostly put together by Bulls u19 and u21 players.
The Kings opened the scoring through flank Paul Schoeman, Scott van Breda added the extra two to take a 7 – 0 lead after just 5 minutes. Three minutes later Bulls flyhalf Kobus Marais kicked a penalty to bring the score to 7 – 3.
Kings captain Watson put his name on the score board after scoring a five pointer from a rolling maul, conversion was missed from van Breda as the they took a 12 – 3 lead. Again Marais added three points through a penalty.
The Kings looked dangerous with ball in open play and winger Siviwe Soyizwapi made things very difficult for the Bulls defence, but poor finishing cost the Kings early on in the game. Pressure from the Kings allowed scrumhalf Jaco Grobler to dot down after too many defenders were sucked in by yet another rolling maul, van Breda added the extra two as the Kings took a 19 – 6 lead.
Marais took three points back as he slotted his third penalty, taking the score to 19 – 9. Some good touches by the Kings backs saw Tim Whitehead score his first try in a Kings jersey, van Breda stretched the lead to 26 – 9.
Good pressure from the Bulls paid off as their captain, Ruan Steenkamp, scored his team’s first try with five minutes to half time, Marais added the two points, 26 – 16. The Kings created more open space through Soyizwapi as he cut through the Bulls defense, which led to Ntabeni Dukisa’s try under the sticks. Van Breda added the extra points to take a 33 – 16 half time lead.
Replacement centre, Shane Gates almost scored immediately after the start of the second half, with Whitehead’s second try following shortly thereafter, van Breda converted the first and the Kings took a comfortable 45 – 16 lead.
Thembelani Bholi crashed over for his try with a quarter of the game left, van Breda was on target yet again as the Kings hit the 50 mark, 52 – 16. Bulls captain Steenkamp managed to cross the line for his second try of the night, Marais was unable to convert. As the game opened up towards the end and after some brilliant touches from the outside backs, van Breda was awarded with a try of his own, he also converted to give the Kings a 59 – 21 lead.
Replacement hooker for the Bulls, Sidney Tobias, scored his teams third and final try, Joshua Stander added the extra two as the score moved to 59 – 28. With six minutes to play there was still enough time for the Kings to sneak in another try as replacement scrumhalf, Kevin Luiters, stretched over the whitewash to dot down his team’s final score of the night, van Breda added the extras to bring the final score to 66 – 28.
The Kings’ final friendly before their first Currie Cup game on the 8th of August will be against The Sharks on the 4th of July.
Tries: Paul Schoeman, Luke Watson, Jaco Grobler, Tim Whitehead (2), Ntabeni Dukisa, Shane Gates, Thembelani Bholi, Scott van Breda, Kevin Luiters
Conversion: Scott van Breda (8)
Tries: Ruan Steenkamp (2), Sidney Tobias
Conversion: Kobus Marais, Joshua Stander
Penalties: Kobus Marais (3)