Kings’ forwards lay platform for victory
The Eastern Province Kings made full use of their forward superiority to cruise to a 57-5 win (half-time 21-5) against the Border Bulldogs in their Currie Cup First Division match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
The Kings ran riot against their Eastern Cape neighbours as they crossed for eight tries with the Bulldogs answering with just a single try, from their captain Gareth Krause.
The victory maintained the Kings’ unbeaten record this season and they move to the top of the table while Border slumped to their fourth loss in as many matches.
Border had no answer to the Kings’ forward domination and, at times, the hosts' pack was simply walking Border backwards at scrums.
Eighthman Luke Watson and lock Wayne van Heerden both grabbed a brace of tries while flyhalf Wesley Dunlop contributed 14 points from seven conversions for the home team.
The Kings’ forward dominance over the Bulldogs told as early as the 11th minute when Watson was mauled over for a converted try.
The hosts doubled their lead 11 minutes later when the unrelenting pressure on Border’s defence told once again when EP outside centre Wayne Stevens cut in off his right side to canter over untouched from 20 metres out.
Despite being outgunned in the forward exchanges Border were not prepared to give up without a fight and they clawed a try back three minutes later when they opted to kick a penalty for touch instead of having a shot at goal and their endeavour was rewarded when eighthman Krause was mauled over for an unconverted try.
But the Kings re-established their superiority on the scoreboard when they won a turnover 20 metres from Border’s tryline with Van Heerden eventually cantering over for a converted try as EP went to the half-time break holding a comfortable 21-5 lead.
The Kings took complete control of the contest in the second half and they wrapped up the bonus-point for scoring four tries seven minutes after the restart when Watson went over for his second try in a carbon-copy of his first five-pointer.
The Kings were starting to run rampant and wing Marcello Sampson sparked a superb counter-attack after fielding a kick on his own 10-metre line. The wing set off on a mazy run before off-loading to fullback SP Marais who dived over between the posts for a converted try.
EP continued to rack up the points and Van Heerden nabbed his second try while there was also a try for replacement back Scott van Breda and a penalty try on the final whistle.
EP Kings – Tries: Luke Watson (2), Wayne Stevens, Wayne van Heerden (2), SP Marais, Penalty Try; Conversions: Wesley Dunlop (7), George Whitehead.
Border Bulldogs – Try: Gareth Krause.