Evans hat-trick helps Ospreys thump Southern Kings
A brilliant hat-trick from try hungry fullback Dan Evans set the Ospreys on their way to an emphatic 43-7 win over the Isuzu Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth on Friday night.
It was a win that allowed title-chasing Ospreys to keep their hopes of a Guinness PRO14 playoff berth alive and will have boosted their confidence ahead of their final two league games.
In a lopsided encounter the rampant Ospreys ran in seven tries against a Kings side who were left shell-shocked after a fierce first half onslaught by the visitors.
After a resounding 31-14 win over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last week, the Ospreys maintained their forward momentum on their two-match mini tour of South Africa.
It was another disappointing night for Kings head coach Deon Davids whose team have won only two of their 20 matches this season.
After running up a 33-0 first half lead, the Kings must have gone into the halftime break fearing the worst from an Ospreys side who started like a house on fire.
The Kings thought they had the first score of the second half when scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer dotted down, but referee Andre Brace ruled there had been a forward pass in the build-up.
The poor disciplinary record of the Kings reared its head in the 52nd minute when lock Stefan Greeff was shown yellow by referee Brace for a lineout infringement.
A rampant Evans notched his hat-trick in the 57th minute to put his side into a 38-0 lead put them out of reach of the home side.
The Kings were rewarded for their second half efforts in the 62nd minute when hooker Michael Willemse scored after a lineout drive.
For a short time after the opening whistle, it was a cat mouse tussle with both sides testing each other out as they as they hunted for the first points of the contest.
But it did not take the blue-shorted Ospreys to stamp their authority on the game.
Evans ended the deadlock after 13 minutes when he tore through the Kings defence to start a try avalanche for the visitors.
This opening try signalled a two try burst for the visitors, as the Kings defence wilted under early pressure from the Welshmen.
Evans was over for a second try after 17 minutes and then bustling centre Cory Allen dotted down two minutes later as the visitors raced into a commanding 19-0 lead.
At this point the Ospreys were running riot and Hanno Dirksen tore through the Kings defence to hand the Ospreys a 24-0 lead in the 26th minute.
An powerful Ospreys lineout drive put the Kings pack in reverse gear on the half hour mark, allowing lock Bradley Davies to crash over for his team’s fifth try.
Kings have now gone seven Guinness PRO14 games without a victory in a disappointing losing sequence of results that has left them second from bottom in Conference B.
They have a final chance to salvage something from their disappointing PRO14 campaign when they travel to Bloemfontein to face the Cheetahs on April 27.
Southern Kings 7: Try: Michael Willemse. Conversion: Masixole Banda.
Ospreys 43: Tries: Dan Evans (3), Cory Allen, Hanno Dirksen, Bradley Davies (2). Conversions: Luke Price (4).