Kings thrashed by rampant Lions

FINE FORM: Kwagga Smith, of the Lions, is tackled by Martin Bezuidenhout, of the Southern Kings, during their Super Rugby encounter yesterday

Eight scintillating tries seal the game

The Lions rugby juggernaut continued down its destructive path with a crushing 54-10 win over the Southern Kings at Ellis Park yesterday. Though they played for most of the game with 14 men, it was the Lions’ 12th win from 13 games and reinforced their status as South Africa’s premier franchise.

For the Lions it was the ideal way to celebrate the first time that a Super Rugby match had been played on a Sunday at Ellis Park.

The novelty of Sunday rugby certainly boosted attendance, with 17 000 fans at the stadium to cheer their team’s eight scintillating tries.

The Kings had been looking to become the first team to beat the Lions at Ellis Park since April last year.

Last week, the Lions thrashed the Bulls 51-14 and this time it was the Kings who were on the receiving end of a mauling.

The Lions kept coming at the Kings with their fast tempo style of play wearing down the visitors’ defence.

The Kings have lost their past two matches after a winning streak that included victories over the Waratahs, Melbourne Rebels and Sharks.

Last week, the Kings went down 19-10 against the Brumbies at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

After enjoying a healthy 19-3 advantage at the break, the try-hungry Lions were on the front foot straight after the resumption.

Dynamic hooker Malcolm Marx drove over for his team’s third try after 42 minutes as the Kings started to feel the heat.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, the Lions were rampant and powerful prop Jacques van Rooyen was on hand to put the finishing touches to a slick movement.

There was more pain for the Kings minutes later when, after some freeflowing play, Kwagga Smith went over for his second try which put the Lions 38-3 ahead.

There was a consolation try for the Kings when centre Luzuko Vulindlu scored an intercept try in the 60th minute.

The Kings got off to a bad start when lock Irne Herbst was sent to the sin bin by referee Jaco Peyper after only nine minutes following intense Lions pressure.

Almost immediately the Kings were made to pay when Lions lock Andries Ferreira crashed over for the first five pointer of the game after a driving maul. Then, nine minutes later, a brilliant cross kick by Elton Jantjies paved the way for Lions flyer Courtnall Skosan to go over for the home team’s second try.

Lions skipper Warren Whiteley latched onto the cross-kick and passed to Skosan, who charged over to make the score 10-0.

The Kings had to wait until the 30th minute for their first points of the game when flyhalf Pieter-Steyn de Wet kicked a penalty.

Both teams were down to 14 men after Peyper yellow-carded Kings loose forward Chris Cloete and red-carded Lions hooker Robbie Coetzee in the 31st minute.

It looked like the Kings might have a try just before the half-time hooter, but Ntabeni Dukisa was hunted down by Skosan with the tryline in sight.

There was a killer blow for the Kings just before break when Smith ran through their defence to score the Lions’ third try.

The scorers: Lions 54: Tries: Andries Ferreira, Courtnall Skosan, Kwagga Smith (2), Malcolm Marx, Jacques van Rooyen, Faf de Klerk, Andries Coetzee. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (5), Andries Coetzee (2) Southern Kings 10: Try: Luzuko Vulindlu. Conversion: Pieter-Steyn de Wet. Penalty: PieterSteyn de Wet

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