PORT ELIZABETH – The Irish side Connacht produced an outstanding first-half performance to outclass the Southern Kings by 31-14 in a Pro14 match at the Madiba Stadium.
The visitors were in the driving seat from the outset and quickly built a 10-0 lead. Flyhalf Jack Carty opened the scoring with a penalty and also converted after rightwing Cian Kelleher scored a try in the 11th minute.
The Irish were relentless on attack, with backs and forwards combining well. The visitors bossed the scrums and also took control of the lineouts. Connacht used the driving maul to great effect and the Kings struggled to find an answer.
The Kings got their first points in the 27th minute when fullback Masixole Banda danced through for a try which he converted himself (10-7).
Connacht were not to be outdone and continued to apply the pressure with good rugby. A scrum-infringement in the 35th minute saw the home team’s prop Lupumo Mgula being sin-binned.
The pressure got too much for the Kings thereafter and referee George Clancy awarded a penalty try (17-7).
The visitors increased their lead on the stroke of halftime when leftwing Matt Healy rounded off an outstanding team move (22-7). Carty added the extra two points to bring the halftime score to 24-7.
The Kings were first to draw blood in the second half when replacement Ntabeni Dukisa barged over and Banda converted (24-14). The home side played with renewed energy, but just could not get things going to perfection.
Connacht did not allow the home side to settle and hit back when replacement Paul Boyle crossed the try line and substitute-flyhalf David Horwitz did the rest.
Southern Kings 14 (7): Tries: Masixole Banda, Ntabeni Dukisa. Conversions: Banda (2).
Connacht 31 (24): Tries: Cian Kelleher, Matt Healy, Paul Boyle, penalty try. Conversions: Jack Carty 2, David Horwitz. Penalty: Carty.
African News Agency (ANA)