Flyhalf George Whitehead scored 23 points as the EP Kings produced a solid second half performance to beat the SWD Eagles 38-15 (halftime 12-8) in their Absa Currie Cup First Division match in Port Elizabeth on Friday night.
Whitehead kicked four penalties, three conversions and scored a try to help the Kings to their second victory in two starts this season.
But the Eagles made the brighter start to the game and looked far more structured in their early build-ups. They made good use of limited opportunities running the ball through numerous phases whenever the chance arose in the first half.
By contrast, EP looked disjointed for the majority of the first half and were a far cry from the side which beat the Boland Cavaliers, in Wellington, last weekend.
The Eagles drew first blood when flyhalf Curt Coleman slotted a penalty in the seventh minute following an EP infringement at a ruck.
Kings flyhalf George Whitehead struck back with three penalties and by the half-hour, the homeside had built a slight 9-3 lead.
SWD came back though and scored a try through left wing Alshaun Bock who took advantage of an overlap to touch down far out.
Whitehead added another penalty for the Kings just before the break to make the score 12-8 at halftime.
The Kings must have had a tongue-lashing from coach Alan Solomons during the break because they hit the ground running at the start of the second half.
They rattled up three tries within the first eight minutes after the break to streak ahead into a 31-8 lead.
The first try came after a number of phases and flank Wimpie van der Walt was on hand to take the last pass and score in the corner.
Four minutes later it was the fleet-footed fullback SP Marais who burst through SWD’s defence to score after some good driving play by the EP forwards. Whitehead converted to make it 24-8.
Flank Cornel du Preez fell just short of the tryline and stretched over to dot down the third. Whitehead added the two points.
That early blitz seemed take the wind out of SWD’s sails. And there was more to come from the Kings as Whitehead skipped past a couple of defenders to score a superb try in the 65th minute which also secured the bonus point. He converted his own try.
SWD scored a consolation try with seven minutes remaining through replacement Deroy Rhoode which Coleman converted.
EP Kings – Tries: SP Marais, George Whitehead, Wimpie van der Walt, Cornel du Preez; Conversions: George Whitehead (3); Penalties George Whitehead (4):
SWD Eagles – Tries: Alshaun Bock, Deroy Rhoode; Conversions: Curt Coleman (1); Penalties: Curt Coleman (1)