The Bulls made light work of the Kings in their Super Rugby derby, claiming a 38-6 bonus-point win in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
After beating the Sunwolves last weekend, to notch their first victory of the season, the Kings had a spring in their step during the early part of this clash but the Bulls soon took control of proceedings and outscored their hosts five tries to none with Jamba Ulengo and SP Marais leading the way with a brace apiece.
The victory moves the Bulls in to second position on the Africa Conference One table as well as the South African Group, although they are four points adrift of the Stormers.
Bulls skipper Adriaan Strauss called for a dominant 80 minute display, after they failed to do that in recent victories over the Sunwolves and Cheetahs, and he will be happier with his side’s performance in this clash although they played with 13 men for a brief period when RG Snyman and Marcel van der Merwe received yellow cards in quick succession shortly before half-time.
The Kings were full of running during the early exchanges but a 12th minute penalty from the boot of Louis Fouche was all they had to show for their efforts.
The three-time champions bounced back with two well-taken tries from Jan Serfontein and Ulengo which meant they led 10-3 by the 20th minute and when Marais glided through a gap shortly after to score the visitors’ third try, the Bulls were in control of proceedings.
To their credit, the Kings didn’t surrender and launched several attacks, inside the Bulls’ 22, during the latter stages of the half but they couldn’t breach the visitors’ defence.
Fouche landed another penalty in the 36th minute before Snyman received his marching orders for playing the ball on the deck deep inside his 22 just before half-time.
And when Van der Merwe was sin-binned for straying offside on defence close to his try-line, shortly afterwards, the Kings had a golden opportunity to score their opening try.
But despite their numerical advantage, they didn’t cross for that five-pointer and the Bulls held a 17-6 lead at the break.
The Bulls were still playing with 13 men when the second half started but they managed to hold on and when Snyman and Van der Merwe returned they continued to dominate.
Ulengo soon crossed for his second try after Jesse Kriel showed his class in the build-up with a superb offload out of the back of his hand, after he gathered a loose ball midway between the Kings’ 22 and the halfway mark.
Kriel was provider again in the 63rd minute when he delivered the final pass to Snyman, who got over for the Bulls’ fifth try and Marais sealed victory in the 75th minute when he dived over from close quarters, after gathering a knock on from a Kings player.
Kings – 06
Pens: Fouche 2
Bulls – 38
Tries: Ulengo 2, Marais 2, Serfontein, Snyman
Cons: Schoeman 3, Brummer
Yellow cards: Snyman, Van der Merwe
Kings: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Luzuko Vulindlu, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Stefan Watermeyer, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Louis Fouche, 9 James Hall, 8 Aidon Davis, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 JC Astle, 4 Steven Sykes (c), 3 Tom Botha, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Sti Sithole
Replacements: 16 Martin Ferreira, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Justin Ackerman, 19 Schalk Oelofse, 20 CJ Velleman, 21 Ntando Kebe, 22 Leighton Eksteen/JP Du Plessis, 23 Jaco van Tonder
Bulls: 15 SP Marais, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Lappies Labuschagne, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Trevor Nyakane
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Pierre Schoeman, 18 Werner Kruger, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Roelof Smit, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Francois Brummer, 23 Dan Kriel
Date: Saturday, April 9
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kick-off: 19:15 local (17:15 GMT)
Referee: Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
Assistant Referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Archie Sehlako (South Africa)
TMO: Christie du Preez (South Africa)