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The Eastern Province Kings are top of the Currie Cup First Division Log, edging ahead of the Griffons on points difference, after a superb display of rugby on Friday night against the Border Bulldogs, cruising to a 56-5 victory (half time 21-5) at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
The Kings, once again under the leadership of Captain Luke Watson, soared to their fourth consecutive win, outplaying their Eastern Cape neighbours and making it four out of four in their first division games so far this season and providing a solid base to challenge for a spot in the premier division later this year.
Watson led the charge from the onset, with EP’s forward dominance over the Bulldogs in clear evidence 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, and EP outside centre Wayne Stevens cut in off his right side with an amazing break from 20 metres out, to score right between the goal posts.
Despite being outplayed in the forward exchanges, Border were not prepared to give up without a fight and they clawed a try back in the 26th minute, when they opted to kick a penalty for touch instead of having a shot at goal, which led to their eighthman, Gareth Krause, being mauled over the line for an unconverted try.
But the Kings quickly 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 second half saw more of the same, as the Kings dominated a tired and battered looking Bulldogs team, with Watson wrapping up the bonus point just seven minutes in, scoring the fourth try of the game.
Wing Marcello Sampson also deserves a mention, having sparked a superb counter-attack after fielding a kick on his own 10-metre line. Sampson 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, and there was also a try for replacement back Scott van Breda and a penalty try on the final whistle.
Special mention must also be made of Varsity Cup-winning flyhalf Wesley Dunlop, who kicked a superb game, contributing 14 points from seven conversions for the home team.
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.
|1||Eastern Province Kings||4||4||0||0||156||60||96||19||8||3||19|
|7||Regent Boland Kavaliers||4||0||0||4||71||104||-33||9||14||3||3|