The Eastern Province Kings kept their season alive in spectacular fashion when they thrashed the Griffons 63-7 (half-time 35-7) in an Absa Currie Cup First Division rugby match at NMB stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
The Kings are chasing a home semifinal playoff berth and from the start of the match started throwing the ball around freely. They ran in nine tries to one which helped catapult them into second spot on the first division log standings.
The Kings got the scoreboard ticking over as early as the fourth minute. A lineout win near the Griffons' 22-metre area resulted in an effective rolling maul which in turn brought on a few phases before flank Devin Oosthuizen went crashing over midway out. Fullback Scott van Breda kicked the conversion.
Van Breda was back in the action two minutes later when he broke down the touchline before offloading to No 8 Tim Agaba, who burst through two tackles to run 30 metres and score under the posts. Van Breda added the two points to push the Kings into a 14-0 lead after seven minutes.
Hooker Hannes Franklin was on hand 10 minutes later to pick up a loose ball and dive over the tryline for the Kings' third try and Van Breda extended the lead to 21-0.
However, the Griffons were given a sniff when Kings prop Charl du Plessis was yellow-carded by referee Marius Jonker for robust play after 20 minutes.
Only two minutes later, the visitors took advantage of their numerical advantage to have centre Japie Nel break through midfield to score. Scrumhalf Innes Kritzinger slotted the conversion.
The Griffons went straight back on the attack and were deep in the Kings' 22m area when Michael Killian intercepted the ball against the run of play to sprint the length of the field and score the Kings' bonus point try. Van Breda made no mistake with the place kick.
With Du Plessis back on the field after his transgression, the Kings took control again and a try by centre Wayne Stevens following cross-kick by flyhalf George Whitehead and a neat tap back by Killian. Van Breda was again on target with the conversion to take the teams into halftime at 35-7.
The Kings added another try almost directly after the restart taking the ball through a number of hands before replacement lock Thabo Mamojele used his strength to force his way over. Again Van Breda kicked the conversion.
Stevens scored his second try and lock Samora Fihlani two of his own to drive the nail into the Griffons' coffin. Van Breda maintained his 100 per cent record on the night by slotting all three conversions.
EP KINGS - Tries: Devin Oosthuizen, Tim Agaba, Hannes Franklin, Michael Killian, Wayne Stevens (2), Thabo Mamojele, Samora Fihlani (2); Conversions Scott van Breda (9).
GRIFFONS - Tries: Japie Nel; Conversions Innes Kritzinger.