Connacht prove too street smart for battling Kings
Cape Town - Irish side Connacht proved too strong for a game Southern Kings side in a PRO14 encounter played in Galway, running out easy 32-10 winners.
Both teams took the first 10 minutes of the match to feel each other out before the Kings were down to 14 men after Sibusiso Sithole was sent to the bin for lifting a Connacht player in the tackle.
The home side took advantage of their extra man in the 15th minute when centre Tom Farrell crossed the whitewash to open the scoring. Flyhalf Jack Carty added the conversion for a 7-0 lead.
Carty added a penalty in the 27th minute to extend Connacht's lead to 10-0 before the Kings managed to get onto the scoreboard with a well worked unconverted try for centre Berton Klassens in the 32nd minute to cut the lead to 10-5.
For the final eight minutes of the half, however, Connacht took control. They managed two tries through Eoghan Masterson in the 34th minute and Ultan Dillane on the stroke of half-time. Both were converted by Carty to see the home side comfortably leading 24-5 at the break.
Carty's unerring boot extended Connacht's lead to 27-5 in the 47th minute after the Kings conceded a penalty. Connaught were down to 14 men in the 53rd minute when Finlay Bealham received a yellow card for a shoulder charge.
The Kings thought they had managed to bring themselves back into the match after replacement prop Luvuyo Pupuma forced his way over. After initially awarding the try, the decision was overturned when it was found that Pupuma had lost the ball in his attempt to get over the line.
Connacht secured their bonus point try with 10 minutes left in the game when winger Darragh Leader scored an unconverted try in the right-hand corner to put the home side into an unassailable 32-5 lead.
Papuma then scored a consolation try for the Kings with two minutes to go, this time making sure he held onto the ball as he crashed over the line.
Next week the Kings return home to take on Leinster at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on September 16.
Tries: Farrell, Masterson, Dillane, Leader
Conversions: Carty (3)
Penalties: Carty (2)
Tries: Klassen, Papuma
15 Tiernan O’Halloran, 14 Darragh Leader, 13 Tom Farrell, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Jack Carty, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 John Muldoon, 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Sean O’Brien, 5 James Cannon, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 Tom McCartney, 1 Denis Buckley
Substitutes: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 Denis Coulson, 18 Conor Carey, 19 Quinn Roux, 20 Eoghan Masterson, 21 Caolin Blade, 22 Steve Crosbie, 23 Eoin Griffin
15 Masixole Banda, 14 Yaw Penxe, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Luzuko Vulindlu, 11 Sibusiso Sithole, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Victor Sekekete, 6 Khaya Majola, 5 Dries van Schalkwyk, 4 Jurie van Vuuren, 3 Rossouw de Klerk, 2 Michael Willemse (captain), 1 Schalk Ferreira
Substitutes: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Luvuyo Pupuma, 18 Entienne Swanepoel/Martin Dreyer, 19 Bobby de Wee, 20 Siyabulela Mdaka, 21 Rudi van Rooyen, 22 Oliver Zono, 23. Jacques Nel