A strong first-half performance from the Eastern Province Kings earned them a 37-21 (halftime 29-14) victory over the Down Touch Griffons in the Absa Currie Cup First Division match at the North West Stadium in Welkom on Saturday.
The Kings started strongly when eighthman Aidon Davis went over for the opening score, with flyhalf Wesley Dunlop converting in the 8th minute. Two minutes later, Dunlop extended the visitors' lead to 10 points through a penalty.
But the home side struck back through lock Chris Ehlers with a try in the 21st minute, which was converted by Louis Strydom.
Four minutes later the Griffons, under pressure in their own 22-metre area, intercepted and raced the length of the field to score a brilliant try through their hooker, Elandre Huggett, again converted by Strydom.
But that was all the home side would have to show for their efforts as the Kings turned their possession and territory dominance into points.
The Kings scored three tries to wrap up the bonus point in the space of 11 minutes through flank Dalton Davis and wingers Hadleigh Parkes and Siviwe Soyizwapi. Dunlop converted two of the tries to hand the visitors a 29-14 halftime lead.
The second half became a dire affair as both teams failed to capitalise on their performances from the first half.
The Kings, who scored four tries to earn their bonus point in the first half, crossed the line for their fifth try in the 61st minute through Ross Geldenhuis to make the score 34-14, as Dunlop missed the conversion.
Three minutes later, Dunlop slotted his second penalty to extend their lead, but the Griffons struck back with their third try straight from the kick-off.
The home side's captain, Lehan Koekemoer, rumbled over the line with Strydom adding the two points.
Both teams were unable to add to their tallies in the final 15 minutes, as poor defence and handling errors cost them dearly.
The Kings will be relieved to kick-start their campaign after suffering a defeat last weekend.
Griffons - Tries: Chris Ehlers, Elandre Huggett, Lehan Koekemoer; Conversions: Louis Strydom (3).
EP Kings - Tries: Aidon Davis, Dalton Davis, Hadleigh Parkes, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Ross Geldenhuis; Conversions: Wesley Dunlop (3); Penalties: Dunlop (2).