PORT ELIZABETH – South Africa’s Kings finally announced themselves in the winners column of the PRO14 competition when they overwhelmed the Dragons 45-13 in Port Elizabeth on Friday night.
The Kings had gone 16 matches without a victory in the competition but were too much for the visitors, who themselves have been struggling this season.
The Kings had all the early intent but could not gain any constructive momentum and when, in fact, they had a penalty in front of the posts of the Welshmen, they opted for the attacking scrum, but were out-scrummed, and the ball was cleared.
The Kings’ piled on the pressure on the Dragons but the Welsh stood fast and the first quarter ended when they broke the siege through fyhalf Dorian Jones, who finished off a break-out from his team’s half. He converted to add to his earlier penalty that had opened the scoring early in the match.
The Kings responded with a fine try by centre Luzuko Vulindlu, following a series of attacks in the Welsh 22 and the Kurt Coleman conversion attempt was successful.
Jones responded with a penalty but right on half-time there was a moment of magic from Kings fullback Masixole Banda, who chipped over the top to gather and score, and Coleman slotted the conversion to give the home side a 14-13 half-time lead.
The Kings had a perfect start to the second half when, from the kick-off, Coleman sprinted through a gap and unleashed the try-scoring pass to Vulindlu, for his second try, converted by the flyhalf for a 21-13 lead.
The Kings’ fight for their first win continued and the forwards counter-rucked from a lineout won by the Dragons near their line and the quick ball saw No 8 Ruaan Lerm scramble over for the try.
Soon after, Coleman nailed another penalty and the Dragons looked a beaten side
The writing was on the wall for the Dragons when in the 66th minute the Kings broke out from their 22, and Anthony Volmink scored a super try, sprinting down the touchline line from his 22.
The Coleman conversion put the Kings into an unassailable lead at 38-13, and the victory was fully secured five minutes from time when lock Bobby de Wee smashed over.
Scorers in the match:
Kings – Tries: Luzuko Vulindlu (2), Masixole Banda, Ruaan Lerm, Anthony Volmink, Bobby de Wee. Conversions: Kurt Coleman (6). Penalty: Coleman.
Dragons – Try: Dorian Jones. Conversion: Jones. Penalties: Jones (2).
African News Agency (ANA)