Leinster hold out for PRO14 win in 11-try carnival

Leinster try-scorer Adam Byrne with Ross Molony Sam Barnes/Sportsfile via Getty Images

PRO14 holders Leinster bounced back after conceding an early try to beat the Southern Kings 38-31 on a blustery day in Port Elizabeth on Sunday, adding a bonus point as they scored five first half tries and six overall.

The Dublin side were depleted by call-ups for the Ireland side that beat Italy in Chicago on Saturday, but still too strong for their South African hosts, who stay bottom of their conference table with seven defeats from eight games. But five tries for the Kings in an 11-score fest will be seen as an improvement in form

Leinster's seventh win of the competition came after tries from Adam Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park, Daniel Leavy, Max Deegan, Bryan Byrne and a penalty try, and keeps them top of the standings.

Noel Reid struck over three conversions as the wind at the Madibaz Stadium played havoc with the kicking.

Kings scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer scored twice for their hosts after Yaw Penxe had gone over in just the third minute, with a fortunate bounce eluding the Irish defence and allowing him to dot down after Martin du Toit's clever grubber behind the Leinster defence.

But the Kings had three players yellow carded in the first half and finished the half with just 13 men as Leinster rolled over their depleted scrum and scored three tries in three minutes at the end of the opening stanza.

Before that, Reid's grubber had set up Adam Byrne for the visitors' first score in the 16th minute followed by the penalty try as the Kings gave up the contest in the scrum.

But despite two men - Stephan Greeff and Schalk Ferreira -- in the sin bin, the Kings got a second try as Ungerer intercepted to run half the pitch to bring the score back to 12-12.

That was as close as it got, however, as Leinster's superiority quickly tolled against the 13-man Kings with Gibson-Park, Leavy and Deegan all scoring before the half-time whistle went with Leinster 33-12 ahead and the bonus point in the bag.

Ungerer got another breakaway try to reduce the deficit and give the home side some hope, especially playing with the wind behind their backs in the second half.

But substitute hooker Bryan Byrne scored a sixth try for Leinster to end those hopes, although the 21-year-old front rower Lupumulo Mguca barreled over for the Kings' fourth try in the 71st minute.

Former Italian International Dries van Schalkwyk got another near the end to make it a seven-point game despite the Kings finishing the game down to 14 after another yellow card when Berton Klaasen went off five minutes from time after a deliberate knock down.

Leinster return to Ireland to host the Ospreys in their next match on Friday, November 23 while the beleaguered Kings have Connacht as their next visitors on Sunday, November 25.