The Bulls moved top of the South African conference after defeating the Kings 34-0 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
The Bulls moved top of the South African conference after beating the Kings 34-0 with a bonus at a packed out Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
It had looked like the Pretoria franchise would be joining the Cheetahs and Sharks on 27 points until two late tries saw them fly up the standings.
The Bulls' win sees them jump from eleventh to third and sit pretty in a conference that is well-and-truly there for anyone other than the Kings to win.
Frans Ludeke's side needed to claim a bonus-point win to go above the men from Bloemfontein and they were halfway there at the break thanks to tries from Jan Serfontein and Jano Vermaak, with MornÃ© Steyn knocking over ten further points via two conversions, a penalty and a smart drop-goal.
The Kings were not in the game whatsoever in the first-half and it was not a happy return to action for Luke Watson, who was replaced on 45 minutes.
But what cannot be criticised is the amount of support packed into the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium as 45,649 fans were out in force for the fixture.
Unfortunately that home support had little to cheer as the Bulls went ahead with only six minutes played by Steyn put the ball back inside to Serfontein to cross. The conversion was good from Steyn and he added three more with just over a quarter of the match played.
The Bulls were over again on 24 minutes with a superb try seeing a breakout from their own 22 being shipped wide to Lionel Mapoe, who raced downfield before interchanging with Serfontein before the number 11 handed to Vermaak who used the conditions to slide in.
Vermaak's converted try made it 17-0 as the Bulls continued to turn the screw in Port Elizabeth, Steyn compounding matters with a drop-goal six minutes before the break.
The second-half was a drab affair and the sold-out venue was almost silenced – despite the best efforts of the in-stadium DJ – by a lack of enterprise from either side on Saturday.
However with four minutes remaining in the game the Bulls suddenly came to life and scored tries through replacement flank Jacques Potgieter and wing Akona Ndungane in a result that sets them up nicely for a home clash with the Waratahs next weekend.
For the Bulls:
Tries: Serfontein, Vermaak, Potgieter, Ndungane
Con: Steyn 2, Fouche 2
Kings: 15 George Whitehead, 14 Ronnie Cooke, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Sergeal Petersen, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Luke Watson (c), 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Hannes Franklin, 17 Grant Kemp, 18 Rynier Barnardo, 19 Jacques Engelbrecht, 20 Nicolas Vergallo, 21 Marcello Sampson, 22 Siviwe Soyizwapi.
Bulls: 15 JÃ¼rgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Lionel Mapoe, 10 MornÃ© Steyn, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Pierre Spies (c), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 JuandrÃ© Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 MornÃ© Mellet.
Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Paul Willemse, 19 Jacques Potgieter, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Louis FouchÃ¨, 22 Bjorn Basson.
Referee: Francisco Pastrana (Argentina)
Assistant referees: Ben Crouse (South Africa), Christie du Preez (South Africa)