The Bulls all but wrapped up the South African conference on Saturday after recording a 48-18 victory over the Kings at Loftus Versfeld.
The Bulls all but wrapped up the SA conference on Saturday after picking up a clinical 48-18 victory over the Southern Kings at Loftus Versfeld.
Frans Ludeke's side had the bonus-point in the bag with 35 minutes on the clock as they enjoyed the lion's share of ball and territory in Pretoria.
Tries came via Louis Fouche, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Jan Serfontein, Francois Hougaard before the Kings responded through Wimpie van der Walt's brace. Jacques Potgieter halted any possible momentum for the Port Elizabeth franchise however with a score on the hour mark before Deon Stegmann's pushover try was the icing.
The Bulls play host to the Cheetahs next week before ending the regular-season with a trip to Cape Town where they will face the Stormers.
Having started the brighter, the hosts were duly rewarded for their fine form, setting up Fouche in the sixth minute to break through the defence and dot down for the Pretoria-based side's first try.
The visitors replied through Demetri Catrakilis, who slotted two penalties to get within a point of the Bulls, before Fouche was forced off the field due to injury and replaced by Springbok fly-half Morne Steyn after just 17 minutes.
Steyn took over the kicking duties and while he sent his first effort wide, he made a contribution with the boot midway through the half to take the Bulls four points clear.
The hosts maintained the pressure as the Kings conceded several penalties inside their own half, and the Bulls managed to burst over the line as Ralepelle sprinted for the line.
Things went from bad to worse for the visitors when centre Serfontein scored the Bulls' third try from the restart, after Akona Ndungane's enterprising play allowed him to crash over.
And the half was far from over, as Hougaard secured the four-try bonus point, darting through the Kings' defence and coasting home for the Bulls, who looked rampant.
A quieter second period followed as the Kings mounted a fightback, with Van der Walt scoring his second of the night in the 54th minute, after the visitors had mauled over.
But the home side would not stay down for long, as Potgieter rounded off a sustained period of pressure from the Bulls, crossing the line on the hour mark and restoring the advantage.
The Kings had no answer and Stegmann was sent over the line from a Bulls rolling maul, before falling on the ball to hand the conference leaders their sixth five-pointer of the game.
The win lifted the Bulls to 59 points, level with the Brumbies, but they move ahead of the Australian side due to a higher number of victories in the Super Rugby competition.
Tries: Fouche, Ralepelle, Serfontein, Hougaard, J Potgieter, Stegmann
Con: Fouche, Steyn 5
Pen: Steyn 2
Tries: Van der Walt 2
Pen: Catrakilis 2
Bulls: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Louis Fouche, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Dewald Potgieter (capt), 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 JuandrÃ© Kruger, 19 Jono Ross, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 MornÃ© Steyn, 22 JJ Engelbrecht.
Kings: 15 SP Marais, 14 Marcello Sampson, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Andries Strauss (capt), 11 Michael Killian, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Darron Nell, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Grant Kemp, 17 Hannes Franklin, 18 Rynier Bernardo, 19 Devin Oosthuizen, 20 Nicolas Vergallo, 21 George Whitehead, 22 Shane Gates.
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco van Heerden (South Africa), Cobus Wessels (South Africa)
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee (South Africa)