EASTERN Province's emphatic nine-try scoring spree against the Griffons in an Absa Currie Cup First Division rugby clash on Friday could not have come at a better time for skipper Luke Watson and his title-chasing team.
With their decisive showdown against the second-placed Pumas looming at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday, the Kings' impressive try-fest has given them a huge boost ahead of their biggest game of the season.
Ironically both the Kings and Pumas have scored 58 tries in their opening 12 matches in a two- horse race for the title between two well- matched sides.
Watson has proved to be an inspirational figure for the Kings and his impressive hat-trick of tries against the Griffons took his tally for the season to 10.
This leaves Watson just one try behind the First Division's leading try scorer, Allister Kettledas of the Pumas.
In their first-round encounter, the teams fought out a thrilling 30-30 draw at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit and fans can anticipate another massive showdown when the First Division's top sides square off on Friday. There will be no room for a repeat of that slackening of the pace and EP's director of rugby Alan Solomons and head coach Matt Sexton will want their side to hit the ground running on Friday.
"Victory on Friday would earn us a berth in the Premier Division playoffs at the end of the season and also secure a home semifinal and then potentially a home final in the First Division playoffs," Solomons said.
While the Kings might be level-pegging with the Pumas in the try scoring stakes, their defensive record is far more impressive than that of their rivals and that might give them a vital edge on Friday.
Statistics show the Kings have only given away 200 points in 12 games while the Pumas have leaked 300 which indicates the Kings will go into the game with a defence solid enough to thwart anything their rivals might throw at them.
The Kings, who have shown more continuity in their team selection policy recently, are expected to name their team to play the Pumas tomorrow.