Kings 30-34 Scarlets: Defending champions survive scare from winless South Africans

Dan Jones celebrates his try in Port Elizabeth

The Scarlets survived a huge scare against Southern Kings to record a 34-30 Guinness PRO14 victory in Port Elizabeth.

Kings, without a win all season, were 23-10 ahead just after half-time when centre Martin du Toit burst through some weak tackling from the visitors.

But the Scarlets, whose outside-half Dan Jones contributed 19 points, fought back to make it eight wins from nine PRO14 games.

Irish lock forward Tadhg Beirne crossed to put the Scarlets ahead early in the game, but tries through Michael Makase and Yaw Penxe, and the boot of Oliver Zono, gave the Kings a 16-10 lead at the break.

Scarlets' Tom Prydie runs at Berton Klaasen of the Kings
Scarlets’ Tom Prydie runs at Berton Klaasen of the Kings

That advantage was extended by Du Toit’s try within a minute of the restart to make the Welshman sweat at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, but Ioan Nicholas and Werner Kruger then went over in the space of six minutes, and Jones’ boot gave the Scarlets a 27-23 lead.

The Kings secured a bonus point with their fourth try to take a late lead, but Jones spotted a gap in the defence and picked up from the base of a ruck to race over for the match-winning score.

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