History was made when the rampant Southern Kings gained their first back-to-back Super Rugby wins by thrashing Melbourne Rebels 44-3 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium Saturday night.
There were six scintillating tries for the Kings who scored a stunning win over the Waratahs in Sydney in their previous game.
Ahead of the showdown inspirational Kings captain Lionel Cronje promised fans “plenty more wins” this season and he will be proud that his team were able to register their third victory of the campaign.
After playing a leading role for 48 minutes, however, a disconsolate Cronje left the field with what appeared to be a hand injury.
In the second half the Kings turned up the heat against a Rebels team who were wilting under the pressure as the home team gained in confidence.
The Kings’ fourth try came and after a flowing movement which had the 4 434 strong crowd on their feet when Pieter Steyn de Wet crossed the tryline after coming on the replace Cronje.
But there was more pain to come for Rebels.
Makazole Mapimpi, who has terrorised the Rebels defence all evening, crossed for a try of his own as the Kings continued to run rampant against the Australians.
After initiating a brilliant try in the first half, it was again the elusive Mapimpi who tore through the Rebels defence just after halftime.
This paved the way for hooker Martin Bezuidenhout to bulldoze his way over the tryline to give the Kings a healthy 18-3 after 43 minutes after the in-form Cronje slotted the conversion.
The Kings were over for the third try of the evening after 57 minutes, when rampaging loose forward Tyler Paul powered over to extend the Kings’ lead to 20 points.
It was a bit of magic from Cronje which set up a brilliant try for the Kings after nine minutes.
The move started when Mapimpi broke through the Rebels defence before Wandile Mjekevu latched on a pin point chip from Cronje to dive over for the opening five-pointer.
The Kings have been scoring tries at a rapid rate this season, and Mjekevu’s opening try was the 28th five pointer of the campaign for the Port Elizabeth side.
Southern Kings 44: Tries: Wandile Mjekevu, Martin Bezuidenhout, Tyler Paul, Pieter-Steyn De Wet, Makazole Mapimpi, Masixole Banda. Conversions: Lionel Cronje, Pieter-Steyn De Wet (3). Penalties: Lionel Cronje (2).
Rebels 3: Penalty: Reece Hodge.