The Waratahs humiliated the Kings in Port Elizabeth, handing them their worst defeat of their short history.
The Waratahs were ruthless in scoring eleven tries as the match was over as a contest before half time, winning 72 – 10 after leading 46 – 10 at the break.
The first of the tries were scored as early as 38 seconds into the match, setting the tone for what was to follow. The bonus point try was scored in the 18th minute of the match, and one would have expected the Waratahs’ intensity to drop. That was not the case as they went on to score another seven tries in putting a record score past the Kings.
Sergeal Petersen did save some blushes for the Kings, scoring their lone try before half time to at least record double figures on the scoreboard. The second half saw an improved performance from the hosts, who simply did not pitch for the first forty. Luke Watson was one of the half time changes and looked in much better shape than his start two weeks ago. He got the Kings on the front foot, while Petersen looked dangerous with ball in hand. Their downfall was simply a team that did not play as an unit, their defensive effort being the biggest area of concern.
The Waratahs backline players might have scored most of the tries, but it was the loose trio that were simply magnificent. Their efforts got the team on the front foot at all times, giving the backline space to work with. Israel Folau was a menace with ball in hand, along with his wings, getting over the advantage line and breaking tackles at will.
Looking at the Australian conference, the Waratahs might still be in third spot but they are playing the most attractive rugby at the moment, which stems from a back three that is given free reign. The Waratahs now head home to host a struggling Stormers team and should they be able to put half the performance together that we saw today, will certainly pick up more log points.
The Kings next host the Highlanders in what is a battle that will determine the bottom finisher. Should the Kings be able to pick themselves up and get a win over the Highlanders, they will almost certainly finish above the New Zealand team.
Kings: 10 (10)
Tries: Sergeal Petersen
Conversions: Demetri Catrakilis (1)
Penalties: Demetri Catrakilis (1)
Waratahs: 72 (46)
Tries: Cam Crawford (3), Israel Folau, Kane Douglas, Michael Hooper, Peter Betham (2), Dave Dennis, Ben Volavola, Tom Kingston
Conversions: Brendan McKibbin (5), Matt Lucas (2)
Penalties: Brendan McKibbin (1)
By Richard Ferguson