Wales start tour with Kings win

Wales scored 17 points in each half to cruise to a comfortable 34-12 victory over the EP Kings in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.Results

The tourists, who play the Springboks in Durban on Saturday in the opening Test, led 17-0 at half-time and crossed three more times in the second half to complete a satisfactory outing against an out-gunned but spirited Kings outfit.

Darron Nell’s home team, who probably made too many handling errors and missed too many tackles for their own liking, never gave up the fight and were rewarded with tries by wing Siviwe Soyizwapi in the 57th minute and replacement prop Simon Kerrod in the 79th minute. Flyhalf George Whitehead added a conversion.

While the Kings had their moments, they battled to break down a committed Welsh defence, and when they coughed up the ball, the tourists were quick to take advantage. EP kicked several penalties for five-metre lineouts, but only managed to force their way over in the dying moments of the game.

The Welsh, led by flank Dan Lydiate, were strong up front and dangerous from the back where fullback Matthew Morgan often showed his balanced and elusive running, rather than kicking the ball back to the home side.

A strong forward surge from a five-metre line-out led to the first try by Josh Turnbull. This was followed by a period of complete territorial dominance and it was no surprise when the gaps eventually opened and centre Cory Allen crossed for their second try. Flyhalf James Hook added two conversions and a penalty to make it 17-0 at the break.

The second half started with a burst of Welsh scoring as Hook gathered a chip to score under the crossbar and then wing Alex Cuthbert outpaced the cover defence after the visitors made good use of turnover possession to take the score to 29-0 in the 47th minute.

The Kings then gave the home fans some cheer when Soyizwapi darted over in the right-hand corner, but Gareth Davies confirmed Wales’s class when he crossed for their fifth try five minutes later.

In all, it was a solid performance by the Welsh, but they know they face a far more daunting prospect in Durban.

Man of the match: Welsh flyhalf James Hook controlled the game well, scoring 14 points on his own.

The scorers:

For EP Kings:
Soyizwapi, Kerrod
Con: Whitehead

For Wales:
Turnbull, Allen, Hook, Cuthbert, Davies
Cons: Hook 3
Pen: Hook

Yellow card: Rhodri Jones (Wales, 23 mins – Cynical infringement)

The teams:

Eastern Province Kings: 15 Hansie Greeff, 14 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Scott van Breda, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Kevin Luiters, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Devin Oosthuizen, 6 Thembelani Bholi, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Darron Nell (captain), 3 Charl du Plessis, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Replacements: 16 Albe de Swardt, 17 BG Uys, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 Steven Cummins, 19 Stefan Willemse, 20 Jaco Grobler, 21 Dwayne Jenner, 22 Ntabeni Dukisa.

Wales: 15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Steven Shingler, 11 Jordan Williams, 10 James Hook, 9 Rhodri Williams, 8 Dan Baker, 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Dan Lydiate (captain), 5 Ian Evans, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Rhodri Jones, 2 Scott Baldwin, Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Aaron Jarvis, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 Aaron Shingler, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 George North, 23 Liam Williams.

Referee: Lourens van der Merwe
Assistant referees: Christie du Preez, Rodney Boneparte
TMO: Jason Jaftha


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