5-try Leinster cut loose to leave Kings pointless
THREE tries in a devastating 12-minute spell after half-time eased Leinster to their third bonus point win of the season as they went back top of the PRO14 Conference B with victory over Southern Kings at Port Elizabeth.
Noel Reid, Rory O’Loughlin, Jack Conan, Joey Carbery and Dave Kearney all touched down for Leo Cullen’s side who continued their brilliant start to the season.
But Jacques Nel was the only try scorer for Southern Kings, who suffered their third defeat from three, and they are yet to register even a losing bonus point in the competition.
Cullen had sympathy for his hosts, who improved from their opening two games, but were still dominated by last season’s semi-finalists.
“It must be an unbelievably tough challenge for them, to think they only got a team together a couple of weeks before the tournament starts without any pre-season effectively,” said Cullen.
“They’re definitely making good progress week by week from what I saw two weeks ago against Scarlets to what I saw today.”
The former Super Rugby outfit made a fast start and full-back Masixole Banda kicked an early penalty, but Leinster hit back in the ninth minute. Reid touched down on his return from injury and Ross Byrne’s conversion gave Leinster a 7-3 half-time lead.
But Leinster exploded into the second-half – O’Loughlin scored after just three minutes and Conan quickly added a third try.
Southern Kings were reeling and Carbery took full advantage when he forced his way over in the 52nd minute for the crucial bonus point try.
Dave Kearney scored a fifth Leinster try eight minutes from time and Southern Kings dotted down a consolation through replacement Nel in the 76th minute.
Southern Kings’ coach Deon Davids admitted his side were well beaten. “Obviously you’ve got to give accolades to Leinster, they really kept us behind the advantage line and put us under huge pressure,” said Davids
“Our goal next week is to put on a good show, and to ensure that we just build on the stuff that we need to improve on.”