James Hook scored 14 points in Wales' resounding 34-12 win over the Eastern Province Kings on Tuesday.
The scoreline does not do the Welsh justice. They raced to a 14-0 lead inside the first quarter, and were only briefly contained thereafter. Prop Rhodri Jones was sin binned for a cynical infringement in the 21st minute, and yet Wales managed to keep the Kings scoreless during that period.
The Welsh rush defence troubled the Kings, although it must be said that the hosts have only themselves to blame. They failed to dominate the collisions, and their handling was unacceptably poor.
Hook scored shortly after the break, while Alex Cuthbert rounded off a great attacking movement moments later. Wales were physical, but they also showed an intent to keep the ball alive in the tackle and play some thrilling running rugby.
The Kings would score their first points in the 57th minute through winger Siviwe Soyizwapi, but by then the game as a contest was over. Reserve prop Simon Kerrod added a second try for the hosts at the death to lend some respectability to the scoreline.
EP Kings – Tries: Siviwe Soyizwapi, Simon Kerrod. Conversion: George Whitehead.
Wales – Tries: Josh Turnbull, Cory Allen, James Hook, Alex Cuthbert, Gareth Davies. Conversions: Hook (3). Penalty: Hook.
EP Kings – 15 Hansie Greeff, 14 Siviwe Soyizwapi, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Scott van Breda, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Kevin Luiters, 8 Paul Schoeman, 7 Devin Oosthuizen, 6 Thembelani Bholi, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Darron Nell (c), 3 Charl du Plessis, 2 Edgar Marutlulle, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Subs: 16 Albe de Swardt, 17 BG Uys, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 Steven Cummins, 20 Stefan Willemse, 21 Jaco Grobler, 22 Dwayne Jenner, 23 Ntabeni Dukisa.
Wales – 15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Steven Shingler, 11 Jordan Williams, 10 James Hook, 9 Rhodri Williams, 8 Dan Baker, 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Dan Lydiate (c), 5 Ian Evans, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Rhodri Jones, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Paul James.
Subs: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Aaron Jarvis, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 Aaron Shingler, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 George North, 23 Liam Williams.
Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images