The EP Kings kicked on after last week’s draw against the Pampas XV with a comfortable 30-22 derby win over the Bulldogs in a Vodacom Cup match in East Londen on Saturday.
Victory moved EP temporarily to top of the Southern section standings thanks to a bonus point try while the Bulldogs remained winless and pointless after two matches.
The visitors led 22-10 at the break after three first-half tries through No 8 Paul Schoeman, hooker Virgil Lacombe and flank Devon Oosthuizen, which underlined their dominance.
They raced into a 22-3 lead after 30 minutes and it looked like the Bulldogs were about to concede another big score following their 72-6 thrashing at the hands of the Sharks XV last week.
But a mixture of complacency from EP and tenacity from the Bulldogs ensured that the match never ran away from the home team.
The EP pack laid a solid platform and from that base they were able to dictate terms to their Eastern Cape rivals often using the pack to drive the Bulldogs back.
The home team had their moments but they were outgunned and underpowered and despite some spirited early resistance, it was always going to be a tough encounter for the Bulldogs.
Their endeavour was rewarded with a try from right wing Johannes Seerane in the 35th minute, who finished the Bulldogs’ best move of the match, but that was just about the only highlight in the opening period.
Seeerane scored his second try in the 44th minute to narrow the deficit to only five points after flyhalf Karlo Aspeling added his second conversion.
But EP secured their bonus point and took the game away from the Bulldogs when fullback Siviwe Soyizwapi crashed over in the 55th minute. Left wing Scott van Breda landed a 75th-minute penalty before scrumhalf Sinovuyo Nyoka scored a late consolation try for the Bulldogs.
Bulldogs – Tries: Johannes Seerane (2), Sinovuyo Nyoka. Conversions: Karlo Aspeling (2). Penalty: Aspeling.
EP – Tries: Paul Schoeman, Virgil Lacombe, Devon Oosthuizen, Siviwe Soyizwapi . Conversions: Wesley Dunlop (2). Penalties: Dunlop, Scott van Breda.