Port Elizabeth - The Blue Bulls defence held firm to give them a second win over the EP Kings in the Currie Cup this season as they registered a 28-13 victory at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
In another hard-fought encounter between the two teams, the Bulls just held that edge on attack and their solidity in defence.
The Bulls led by a narrow 11-6 at half-time, but seized their chances after the break to surge ahead to a 28-6 scoreline.
The Kings were eventually rewarded for their endeavours when, after a series of attacks, lock Darron Nell barged over for a try next to the posts on full-time.
However, the Bulls were full value for their win and they gave themselves some breathing space in the 46th minute when wing Bjorn Basson chipped ahead to just beat Kings fullback Scott van Breda to the touchdown.
With Jacques-Louis Potgieter adding the conversion, the Bulls had a handy 18-6 lead.
They then increased their grip on the match via a Potgieter penalty and, as the game entered the final quarter, the Bulls went in search of the four-try bonus point.
They began to pile on the pressure in all phases and skipper Deon Stegmann suddenly found the gaps opening as he received the ball close to the line and darted through for their third try, converted by Potgieter.
Soon afterwards, the Bulls thought they had secured the bonus point when wing Akona Ndungane plucked a cross-kick out the air and fell over the line.
A television referral for an incident at the preceding ruck saw Stegmann receiving a red card for punching and the try was disallowed.
With Kings lock David Bulbring also with a yellow card, both sides were down to 14 men.
The Bulls remained on attack, at one stage having 71% of the possession and spending 65% of the second half in Kings' territory.
This was a change from the first half when the Kings enjoyed a territorial advantage, but battled to make that count.
However, the Bulls failed to cash in on the bonus point and finally the Kings found a way through their defence.
In the first half, a clever chip kick by Potgieter saw William Small-Smith race through for the Bulls' first try, while the flyhalf added two penalties.
The Kings' first-half points came from two penalties by Van Breda.