The Bulls secured a narrow 16-12 pre-season win over the Kings in Port Elizabeth on Saturday to open their 2012 season on a winning note.
The three-time champion Bulls held a 16-7 lead at the break, after controlling proceeding in the first half, with lock Wilhelm Steenkamp in fine form.
However, the Kings worked hard to keep the visitors scoreless after the break and will take heart from this performance - despite the Bulls resting numerous front line players for this clash.
Flyhalf Louis Fouche opened the scoring for the visitors with a drop-goal, while tries from Jean Cook and Sampie Mastriet saw the Bulls race into a 13-0 lead.
The Kings sensed an opportunity when Cook was sin-binned toward the end of the first half, and hit back with a try of their own.
However, the Bulls managed to add another three points and finish the half with a healthy lead.
The Kings, despite scoring the only points of the second half, could not make up the deficit.
For the EP Kings:
Tries: Stick, Watson
For the Bulls:
Tries: Mastriet, Cook
EP Kings: 15 Mzwandile Stick, 14 Norman Nelson, 13 Monty Dumond, 12 Wayne Stevens, 11 Marcello Sampson, 10 Louis Strydom, 9 Danie Faasen, 8 Luke Watson (captain), 7 Devin Oosthuizen, 6 Mpho Mbiyozo, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Darren Nell, 3 Clint Newland, 2 Hannes Franklin, 1 Jaco Engels.
Replacements - from: Andre Schlechter, Bobby Dyer, Zane Kilian, Wayne van Heerden, Jacques Engelbrecht, Dustin Jinka, Earl Rose, Tiger Mangweni, Jaco Bekker, Shane Gates.
Bulls: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Sampie Mastriet, 13 Ulrich Beyers, 12 Lionel Cronjé, 11 JJ Engelbrecht, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Jean Cook, 5 Wilhelm Steenkamp (captain), 4 Gerrit-Jan van Vélze, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 Dawie Steyn.
Replacements - from: Bongani Mbonambi, Louis Alberts, Daniel Adonga, Franco Mostert, Cornell Hess, Ruan Snyman, Francois Venter, Courtnall Skosan, Adri Jacobs, Clayton Blommetjies.
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant referees: Phillip Bosch, Christie du Preez
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