Southern Kings beat Bulls in Super15 warm up

In recording a momentous 23-7 win over the champion Bulls in front of a rugby-hungry crowd at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, the Southern Kings have shown that they have put in the extra miles to become part of the prestigious Super Rugby competition.


As has become a custom when the Eastern Cape team plays important matches, the support they received from the 30 00 strong crowd once again highlighted just how important victory will be for home sides when the official season gets underway.


In a fairly evenly matched first half, the Kings displayed great commitment on occasions when the Bulls were in the ascendency while always looking dangerous with ball in hand.


The visitors will be disappointed with the opportunities they squandered even though there were some positives in many of the new combinations they tested.


The highlight of the first half was the reunion of Tiger Mangweni and Jaco Engels where they served with pride for so many years.


The experience the lost sons of Loftus brought to the team helped cement the impressive victory albeit against a second string Bulls outfit.


After missing his first shot at goal, flyhalf Monty Dumond gave his side the lead in the 20th minute and on his team’s next visit to the opposition’s 22 landed his second.


Other mistakes the teams made in their first half of rugby this year included poor ball-control in contact situations and sub-par lineout work.


The Bulls also failed to capitalise when they had a one man advantage in the first 40 minutes when eigthman Darren Nel was sin binned.


However, the sparks started flying shortly after Dumond converted his third three-pointer at the start of the second half.


The Bulls were caught napping at a breakdown and the Kings made great use of their chance.


Outstanding work by fullback SP Meyer at the ruck allowed the Kings to turnover possession well within his team’s half resulting in centre Matthew Taylor-Smith’s scoring the first try of the match.


Dumond converted and the Bulls were down 16-0 with less than 30 minutes remaining on the clock.


With pressure mounting, mistakes started creeping into the Bulls’ game and although there still were moments of individual brilliance, the team failed to function as a collective.


The second try of the match was even more impressive than the first and also ensured that the Bulls were effectively out of the race.


This time centre Siyanda Grey rounded dotted down after the locals were treated to running rugby at it’s best.


Eventually the Bulls managed to get on the board when young Courtnall Skosan scored his first senior rugby try, but by then the damage had been done and a fight-back was already unlikely.


Even though the Eastern Cape support base will have to wait until 2013 to gain Super Rugby status, the enthusiasm reflected was that of a city that will make great hosts for the South African leg of the IRB Sevens Series later this year.


Final Score Southern Kings 23 (6) Bulls 7 (0)


Scorers


Southern Kings
Tries: Matthew Taylor-Smith, Siyanda Grey.
Conversions – Dumond (2)
Penalties: Monty Dumond (3).
Cards: Darren Nel


Bulls
Try : Courtnall Skosan.
Conversion: Louis Fouch

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