Pro14: Connacht secure bonus point in 31-14 win over Southern Kings
|Pro14: Southern Kings v Connacht|
|Southern Kings: (7) 14|
|Tries: Banda, Dukisa Cons: Banda 2|
|Connacht: (24) 31|
|Tries: Kelleher, penalty try, Healy, Boyle Cons: Carty 2, Horwitz Pens: Carty|
Connacht leapfrogged Cardiff and Ospreys in Pro14 Conference A following an impressive bonus-point win over Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.
Masixole Banda and Cian Kelleher traded early scores before the visitors took control through a penalty try and Matt Healy's effort.
Paul Boyle's second half try secured the extra point after Ntabeni Dukisa had narrowed the deficit.
The Kings sit seventh in Conference B with just one win.
The victory is a welcome win on the road for Connacht who had before the game won only one away fixture this season.
The province were boosted by the return of their record try scorer Matt Healy, who slotted into to an exciting back three with Kelleher and Tiernan O'Halloran.
The wing's try with the clock in the red at the end of the first half places the western province firmly in the ascendancy and put a bonus-point in clear view.
Before that, Kelleher finished well in the corner from the influential Jack Carty's accurate cross-field kick.
Visitors dominate scrum battle
Connacht were able to set up camp in Kings territory as they put real pressure on the hosts at the scrum.
Lupumlo Mguca was eventually sent to sin-bin after referee George Clancy, who has already issued several warnings, judged that the Kings prop was responsible for pulling down the scrum.
The pressure at the set-piece continued to tell as Clancy awarded a penalty try on the next scrum allowing Connacht to regain the lead after Banda had found a gap in the Connacht defence to level the scores.
Boyle extended the lead after the break following good work from Caolin Blade and although the Kings did respond through replacement Dukisa, they were able to comfortably see out the win.
Southern Kings: M Banda; M Makase, H Klaasen, B Klaasen, Y Penxe; M du Toit, S Ungerer; L Mguca, A van Rooyen, N Oosthuizen, S Greeff, JC Astle (capt), CJ Velleman, J van Vuuren, R Lerm.
Replacements: T Balekile, A Tshakweni, L Pupuma, A van Schalkwyk, M Burger, G Masimla, N Dukisa, T Kruger.
Connacht: T O'Halloran; C Kelleher, K Godwin, T Farrell, M Healy; J Carty, C Blade; D Buckley, S Delahunt, C Carey; U Dillane, J Cannon, S O'Brien, C Fainga'a, J Butler (capt).
Replacements: T McCartney, P McCabe, D Robertson-McCoy, G Thornbury, P Boyle, J Mitchell, D Horwitz, D Leader.