Kings declare at 51 without loss
The EP Kings romped to their fourth successive Vodacom Cup win with a 51-0 (halftime 29-0) victory over the flightless Valke at the Izak Steyl Stadium in Vanderbijlpark on Saturday.
Kings coach Alan Solomons has said that promotion to the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division this year is not negotiable, and on the basis of their performances so far this season it is certainly within their sights.
The Kings showed in pre-season friendlies against the likes of the Bulls that they are competitive, and confirmed this last week when they beat Premier side the Pumas 23-8 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
Saturday’s opposition were vastly inferior to the men from Mpumalanga, but the Kings nevertheless were made to work hard at times in unfamiliar Vanderbijlpark.
That the Kings stuck to their game plan would have pleased Solomons more than the eight tries they scored -- four in each half -- as the Valke failed to live with their more physical opponents.
The home side, who lost 67-26 to the Sharks XV last week, had a chance to get the first points on the board but flyhalf Dewald Nel fluffed a first-minute penalty attempt that might have settled his side down.
But there was little doubt who would prevail in this encounter when, as early as the third minute, the Kings flexed their muscles with a try by eighthman Darron Nell, converted by flyhalf Jaco van Schalkwyk.
Van Schalkwyk has been a revelation in the side this year and he kicked an eight-minute penalty to put the Kings 10-0 ahead.
Former UCT Varsity Cup star Marcello Sampson, playing on the left wing, prefaced an industrious performance with a try a minute later before his wing partner, the irrepressible Norman Nelson, dotted down on the half hour.
There was just enough time before the break for flanker Devin Oosthuizen to get his name on the scoresheet, and when the former Tuks backrower got his second, in the 51st minute, the Kings were easing away at 41-0.
The Valke, as has been their way this season, kept plugging away and although rarely threatening the tryline themselves kept the Kings scoreless for the next 20 minutes before replacement flanker Morne Hanekom barged over with eight minutes remaining.
There was however just enough time for Nelson to grab his brace, and his team’s eighth score, to bring up the half-century to a smattering of applause from the 500-strong crowd, who doubtless would have been expecting a bit more than nil from their struggling team.
Valke - 0
EP Kings 51 – Tries: Darron Nell, Marcello Sampson, Norman Nelson (2), Devin Oosthuizen (2), Siyanda Grey, Morne Hanekom. Conversions: Jaco van Schalkwyk (4). Penalty: Van Schalkwyk.