Kings dethroned by bold Bulls

Getty Images     21 Apr 2013     Getty Images

A maiden Investec Super Rugby try to second five-eighths Jan Serfontein and Jano Vermaak shocked the crowd of over 45,000 as they took a 20-0 half-time lead.

The Kings showed some improvement in the second half by creating opportunities, but poor execution consigned them to a home defeat.

By contrast the Bulls were patient and scored two tries in the final six minutes of the match to seal a four-try bonus point win.

The victory sees the Bulls overtake the Cheetahs – earlier 12-6 winners over the Sharks in Durban – at the top of the South Africa conference and third overall. The Kings remain rooted to the bottom of the conference with 15 points.

The match was billed as a tight encounter, something all 45,649 people at Nelson Mandela Stadium were hoping for as they packed the Soweto stadium.

Instead it was the Bulls who dominated from proceedings to the delight of the travelling supporters.

Bulls first-five Morne Steyn dictated play superbly, finding space in behind with some clever tactical kicking to have the hosts struggling to get out of their own half.

Eventually errors told for the hosts and they were soon down 20-0 thanks to tries to Serfontein and Vermaak.

The physicality was also taking its toll on the Kings as they tackled their opponents to the ground. It resulted in overwhelming 74 percent of possession by halftime for the former champions.

Matt Sexton's men responded in the second half but were unable to break a resolute Bulls defence. First-five Demetri Catrakilis had limited opportunities to showcase the open style of rugby suited to his side as Chilliboy Rallepelle and Pierre Spies led the defensive effort.

Soon after holding the fort, the Bulls attacked with the goal of a four-try bonus point. When they scored through Dewald Potgieter after 75 minutes it looked as if the Bulls would have to be satisfied with three tries.

But Akona Ndungane's late try ensured the Bulls left Port Elizabeth with all five points.

Kings 0 Bulls 34 (Jan Serfontein, Jano Vermaak, Dewald Potgieter, Akona Ndungane tries; Morne Steyn 4 con, 2 pen) HT: 0-20.