Pro14: Southern Kings 12-45 Cardiff Blues

By Nick WebbBBC Wales Sport
Guinness Pro14: Southern Kings v Cardiff Blues
Southern Kings(0) 12
Tries: Dukisa, Welemu Con: Banda
Cardiff Blues:(33) 45
Tries: Cuthbert, Davies, Turnbull, Halaholo, Myhill (2), Scully Con: Evans (5)

Cardiff Blues secured European Champions Cup qualification with an emphatic 45-12 Pro14 win away to Southern Kings.

Alex Cuthbert, Seb Davies, Josh Turnbull, Willis Halaholo and Kirby Myhill all crossed in the first half.

Blaine Scully and Myhill's second added to the tally, Jarrod Evans converting five.

Ntabeni Dukisa and Lindokuhle Welemu replied for the Kings.

Cardiff Blues are now certain of finishing as the third best European team in their conference, and also face a Challenge Cup semi-final against Pau on Saturday 21 April.

After the nightmare of their delayed travel to South Africa and last-minute defeat against the Cheetahs, the Welsh side started with a bang in Port Elizabeth as Cuthbert's try came within 90 seconds.

Four more close-range tries followed in the first period, Halaholo's effort securing the bonus point inside 33 minutes.

Willis Halaholo
Blues centre Willis Halaholo scored against both South African sides

In contrast the Kings' efforts were marred by poor handling, while captain Schalk Ferreira was yellow-carded after 37 minutes as the penalty count against them rose.

Scully chased a Jarrod Evans grubber to score straight after the interval to make it 40-0 while Myhill got his second from an efficient driving maul.

Southern Kings, with just one win to their credit, were finally rewarded through fly-half Dukisa and replacement lock Welemu, whose try was the only score of a disjointed final quarter.

21-year-old fly-half Evans turned in another mature display, while Josh Turnbull was outstanding in the forward effort despite switching from lock to number eight at half-time.

Cardiff Blues were left regretting their defeat against the Cheetahs which looks likely to cost them a Pro14 play-off chance, but still have the carrot of a Challenge Cup final in Bilbao to inspire them.

Southern Kings: Masixole Banda; Michael Makase, Berton Klaasen, Luzuko Vulindlu, Yaw Penxe; Ntabeni Dukisa, Godlen Masimla; Schalk Ferreira (capt), Stephen Coetzee, Roussouw de Klerk, Bobby de Wee, Lubabalo Mtyanda, Lusanda Badiyana, Martinus Burger, Ruaan Lerm.

Replacements: Tango Balekile, Justin Forwood, Luvuyo Pupuma, Lindokuhle Welemu, Khaya Majola, Rudi Van Rooyen, Alshaun Bock, Harlon Klaasen.

Cardiff Blues: Gareth Anscombe; Alex Cuthbert, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Blaine Scully; Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams; Rhys Gill, Kirby Myhill, Scott Andrews, Seb Davies, Josh Turnbull, Josh Navidi, Ellis Jenkins (Capt), Nick Williams.

Replacements: Ethan Lewis, Brad Thyer, Anton Peikrishvili, Damian Welch, Olly Robinson, Lloyd Williams, Garyn Smith, Matthew Morgan

Referee: Sean Gallagher (IRFU)

Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman, Ruhan Meiring

TMO: Johan Greeff