The visiting Eastern Province Kings taught the Regent Boland Cavaliers a rugby lesson and scored six tries to record a notable 40-7 (halftime 19-0) victory in the Currie Cup first division match played at Boland Stadium in Wellington on Friday afternoon.
The Kings opened the scoring early through winger Michael Killian but fullback Scott van Breda was unable to convert the try. Boland tried to up the tempo but simply could not match the physicality of the men from Port Elizabeth.
After a great passage of play which saw the Kings shift the ball wide and showcase sublime handling by all involved it was the turn of Killian’s wing partner Brian Skosana to dot down. Van Breda found the target and the visitors extended their lead to 12 points.
After veteran lock Wayne van Heerden was held up over the line the Kings were awarded a scrum by referee Jonathan Kaplan and promptly demolished the Cavaliers.
Kaplan had no qualms about awarding the penalty try and Van Breda kicked his easiest conversion of the half to make it 19-0 with 30 minutes gone in the half.
Van Breda was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes after a cynical trip on a Boland player. The teams went into the break with the Kings leading 19-0 and looking for the all important fourth try.
Despite being down to 14 men the Kings scored first in the second half after flanker Stefan Willemse went over in the corner.
Flyhalf George Whitehead took over the kicking duties with Van Breda in the cooler and nailed the touchline conversion to take the visitors out to 26-0.
The floodgates opened and big lock Steven Sykes showed a surprising turn of pace to score in the same corner as Wilemse and the signs began to look ominous for Boland.
Whitehead showed that his earlier conversion was no fluke and added the extras again from the touchline. Eightman Cornell du Preez scored try No 6 for the visitors and Whitehead maintained his perfect kicking record to make it 40-0 for the Kings and practically seal the victory.
Replacement Jason Kriel scored a late try to give the hosts a slight reprieve and fullback Eric Zana duly converted the score.
At this stage both sets of replacement benches had been virtually emptied and the game lacked any kind of discernable rhythm.
Zana then made a fine break to hand Kriel his second try on a platter and also kicked the extras. With the clock winding down replacement scrumhalf Ricky Schroeder found Jonathan Francke who split the Kings defence open and after deft hands it was replacement hooker Ulrich Pretorius who scored a third try for the hosts.
Zana rushed his kick and could not find the target and the score remained 40-19 to the Kings. Despite throwing everything at the Kings the Boland were unable to score a fourth try and now will have to hope for a miracle to reach the semifinals of the competition.
They have an immensely difficult assignment coming up as they travel to Nelspruit to face the top-of-the-log Steval Pumas next Saturday and then end the season by hosting the Down Touch Griffons in Wellington.
Regent Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Jason Kriel (2), Ulrich Pretorius; Conversions: Eric Zana (2).
Eastern Province Kings – Tries: Michael Killian, Brian Skosana, Penalty try, Stefan Willemse, Steven Sykes, Cornell du Preez; Conversions: Scott van Breda (2); George Whitehead (3).