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Super Rugby: Rampant Bulls crush Kings
The Bulls moved top of the South African conference after defeating the Kings 34-0 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
It had looked like the Pretoria franchise would be joining the Cheetahs and Sharks on 27 points until two late tries saw them fly up the standings.
The Bulls' win sees them jump from eleventh to third and handily placed in a conference that is wide open.
Frans Ludeke's side needed to claim a bonus-point win to go above the men from Bloemfontein and they were halfway there at the break thanks to tries from Jan Serfontein and Jano Vermaak, with Morné Steyn knocking over ten further points via two conversions, a penalty and a smart drop-goal.
The Kings were not in the game whatsoever in the first-half and it was not a happy return to action for Luke Watson, who was replaced on 45 minutes.
The Bulls went ahead with only six minutes played as Steyn put the ball back inside for Serfontein to cross. The conversion was good from Steyn and he added three more with just over a quarter of the match played.
The Bulls were over again on 24 minutes with a superb try seeing a breakout from their own 22 being shipped wide to Lionel Mapoe, who raced downfield before interchanging with Serfontein before the number 11 handed to Vermaak to slide in.
Vermaak's converted try made it 17-0 as the Bulls continued to turn the screw in Port Elizabeth, Steyn compounding matters with a drop-goal six minutes before the break.
The second half was a drab affair and the sold-out venue was almost silenced - despite the best efforts of the in-stadium DJ - by a lack of enterprise from either side on Saturday.
However with four minutes remaining in the game the Bulls suddenly came to life and scored tries through replacement flank Jacques Potgieter and wing Akona Ndungane in a result that sets them up nicely for a home clash with the Waratahs next weekend.
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|06:35||Crusaders vs Melbourne Rebels|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Reds|
|17:10||Lions vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 14th February|
|06:35||Blues vs Chiefs|
|15:05||Sharks vs Cheetahs|
|17:05||Bulls vs Stormers|
|Sunday 15th February|
|06:05||Waratahs vs Western Force|
|Friday 20th February|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Brumbies|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Waratahs|
|17:10||Bulls vs Hurricanes|
|Saturday 21st February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Crusaders|
|08:40||Reds vs Western Force|
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|17:10||Sharks vs Lions|
|Friday 27th February|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Reds|
|11:00||Western Force vs Hurricanes|
|17:10||Cheetahs vs Blues|
|Saturday 28th February|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Crusaders|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Brumbies|
|15:05||Bulls vs Sharks|
|17:10||Lions vs Stormers|
|Friday 6th March|
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|Saturday 7th March|
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|08:40||Reds vs Waratahs|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com