KINGS SLAY WELSH DRAGONS
Beleaguered PE franchise hunt down visiting Dragons
AROAR of triumph mixed with relief echoed around Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium when the Southern Kings finally broke their PRO14 duck by thrashing the Dragons 45-13 last night.
Prior to this do-or-die rugby scrap between the competition’s two worstperforming teams the Kings had lost 16 consecutive matches.
Buoyed on by a loyal home crowd of 4 574 fans, the Kings came out with all guns blazing to outscore the Welshmen by six tries to one.
There were jubilant scenes at the end when a relieved Kings head coach Deon Davids joined his players out on the field to celebrate the victory.
Davids had told his team he wanted them to bring a dog-fight mentality into the battle and they responded with a fighting display which slew the Dragons.
It was a sweet moment for the Kings players to savour after a tough start to life in the enlarged European league.
After leading 14-13 at the break, the Kings went straight onto the offensive when the second half kicked off.
Elusive flyhalf Kurt Coleman carved open the Dragons defence before offloading to centre Luzuko Vulindlu, who went over for his second try of the evening.
Coleman nailed the conversion to leave the Kings with a 21-13 lead after 42 minutes.
There was no stopping the Kings now and No 8 Ruaan Lerm was over for the Kings’ fourth try just four min- utes later to give them a 26-13 lead.
The cool-headed Coleman then nailed a penalty after 51 minutes to make it 31-13.
The Kings could start their celebrations after 66 minutes when wing Anthonie Volmink put the icing on the cake with a fifth try for the home side.
A sixth Kings try came after 77 minutes when Bobby de Wee piled on more agony for the visitors.
After a lively opening spell in the first half, the Dragons were the first to score when flyhalf Dorian Jones kicked a penalty from near the halfway line after five minutes.
Kings wing Michael Makase had the crowd on their feet when he broke free of the Dragons defence, but he was brought to ground by the scrambling Welsh defenders.
After absorbing the Kings pressure, the Dragons were suddenly on the front foot and went through several phases before Jones went over for a try in the 26th minute. He added the conversion to make it 10-0.
This stung the Kings into action and they piled on the pressure in a bid to get themselves back in the game.
Playing with new purpose, Vulindlu sliced his way through the Dragons defence for the Kings’ first try.
This invigorated the Kings and they scored a second five-pointer when fullback Masixole Banda won a foot race to the tryline after 39 minutes.
Coleman made no mistake with the conversion to leave the Kings with the slender 14-13 lead at the break.
Scorers: Southern Kings 45: Tries: Luzuko Vulindlu (2), Masixole Banda, Ruaan Lerm, Anthonie Volmink, Bobby de Wee. Conversions: Kurt Coleman (6). Penalty: Kurt Coleman Dragons 13: Try: Dorian Jones. Conversion: Dorian Jones. Penalties: Dorian Jones (2)
GETTING AWAY: Southern Kings player Bobby De Wee goes on the attack as he is challenged by Dragons opponent Rynard Landman during their Guinness PRO14 game at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium last night