THE Dragons hit an all-time low in Port Elizabeth after not only becoming the Southern Kings’ first Guinness PRO14 scalp but being hammered by them.

The Rodney Parade region have endured plenty of tough times in recent years but they hadn't bottomed out; they are now at their lowest after shipping six tries at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

The Kings, so hapless throughout their first season in European competition, were rampant on home soil to stretch head coach Bernard Jackman’s streak without success in the league that goes back to September.

The hosts were fantastic, the visitors were pathetic.

There will be more talk about next season being better but the Dragons are in a horrendous place at the moment and if it’s a rebuilding job then there have been no foundations laid in the first year under the control of the Welsh Rugby Union.

It's hard to say they've got better in any department apart from their driving lineout.

The Dragons looked like a rabble, making errors galore, missing tackles, kicking horrendously and creating precious little. A Kings side that had not won all season had a four-try bonus in the bag before the clock hit 50 minutes.

The most worrying aspect is that the majority of the players on the pitch in Port Elizabeth will be on the books next terms; this was not a case of a team that is heading for pastures new having clocked off.

Lock Rynard Landman tried manfully on home soil but other than that it was grim viewing and the nightmare means they return from Port Elizabeth with some unwanted baggage.

They haven’t won in the PRO14 since beating the Kings in Newport while their league losing streak on the road will now go past three years.

Since Treviso in March, 2015 it has been 31 games of woe in Cork, Galway, Dublin, Glasgow, Llanelli, Edinburgh, Swansea, Belfast, Treviso, Limerick, Cardiff, Parma, Belfast, Treviso, Llanelli, Swansea, Dublin, Cardiff, Cork, Galway, Glasgow, Parma, Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff, Swansea, Cork, Dublin, Llanelli and now Port Elizabeth.

The tourists were comfortably second best and outplayed in every facet of the game. If anything it was the hosts that were to lament missed opportunities that hurt them on the scoreboard.

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The Dragons went into a sixth minute lead when Dorian Jones banged over a superb penalty strike but they soon had a lucky escape.

Zane Kirchner put a kick out on the full and a move from the resulting lineout saw forward Bobby De Wee go on the charge into the 22 only to bomb the chance.

The Kings kept pressing in Dragons territory and there was another lucky escape in the 21st minute when Michael Makase went through opposite number Jared Rosser and jinked inside where ex-Springbok Kirchner saved the day with a cover tackle five metres out, his compatriot unable to find his supporting man.

The visitors made the most of that escape to stretch clear in the 27th minute with the first try of the game thanks to a patient attack.

A penalty was kicked to the corner and the Dragons stayed patient even when the driving lineout was stopped, hammering away at the line. The Kings eventually cracked with number eight Lewis Evans carrying hard then finding a lovely offload for Jones to go under the posts.

He converted but the comfort of a 10-point lead didn’t last long.

The Dragons enjoyed a third escape when Martinus Burger went for the line from close range only for lock Rynard Landman to dislodge the ball.

However, the South Africans were playing with penalty advantage and went to the corner, a decision that paid off when centre Luzuko Vulindlu cut a glorious line to score a try that Kurt Coleman converted.

The Dragons moved 13-7 up when Jones knocked over a 39th minute penalty but they went into the break a point down after poor restart work.

The Kings claimed their drop out and went on the attack through livewire full-back Masixole Banda, who jinked past Jarryd Sage, chipped over Zane Kirchner and prospered from good fortune from the bounce.

Coleman converted for a 14-13 lead and the Dragons had plenty of thinking to do over the break.

Yet it was an eight-point deficit inside a minute of the second half after some woeful defensive alignment that allowed the Kings to go the distance from their 22, Coleman racing clear and then putting Vulindlu under the posts for a seven-pointer.

It got worse with the hosts soon helping themselves to a four-try bonus point, although there must be question marks about its legality.

The Dragons were forced to scramble after a kick through and were counter-rucked inside their 22 – although it looked like the Kings played scrum-half Dan Babos – for number eight Lerm to go over.

Coleman converted and then added a penalty as the scoreboard looked embarrassing at 31-13 after 52 minutes.

Amazingly things could still get even worse.

The Dragons were playing for a consolation score inside the 22 but the ball was turned over and the Kings went the length, Anthonie Volmink finishing well.

The visitors were saved by a foot in touch that denied try number six but it came at the death when lock Bobby De Wee reached over from a ruck.

The end of the season can’t come quick enough for the rudderless Dragons.

Southern Kings: M Banda, M Makase, B Klaasen (J Nel 63), L Vulindlu, A Volmink, M du Toit (K Coleman 32), R Gouws (G Masimla 41), S Ferreira (J Smith 76), M Willemse (captain, S Coetzee 68), P Scholtz (L Pupuma 68), S Greeff (L Welemu 68), B De Wee, A Ntsila, M Burger, R Lerm (D van Schalkwyk 47).

Scorers: tries – L Vulindlu (2), M Banda, R Lerm, A Volmink, B De Wee; conversions – K Coleman (6); penalty – K Coleman.

Dragons: Z Kirchner, A Hewitt (R Dyer 58), J Sage, J Dixon (C Edwards 21), J Rosser, D Jones, D Babos, S Hobbs (G Ellis 47), L Belcher (E Shipp 11), L Brown (L Fairbrother 42), J Davies, R Landman, H Keddie (M Williams 47), J Benjamin (A Wainwright 52), L Evans (captain).

Scorers: try – D Jones; conversion – D Jones ; penalties – D Jones (2)

Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)

Argus star man: Rynard Landman