Edinburgh eventually routed the Kings and went top of their conference in the Guinness PRO14, but the result and the outcome were far better than the performance from the capital side.
The hapless Kings were down to 12 men at one point in the game after an early red card to prop Pieter Scholtz, a series of front row injuries and a yellow card, but Edinburgh still made heavy weather of it until the brave visitors simply ran out of bodies and of puff.
Five of the capital club’s nine tries came in the final 15 minutes after the resistance of the Kings finally wilted, but before that it was a laboured performance by Edinburgh against their beleaguered and depleted visitors.
Eventually Edinburgh’s class and weight of numbers told, and the points haul will help considerably, so even if it wasn’t the most cohesive performance by Edinburgh it did the job to put them in charge for a play-off spot in the PRO14, their primary target for the New Year.
Edinburgh were scrappy and listless in the first half but for a burst of two tries in three minutes which gave them a platform, helped by the red card to Scholtz.
Kings led 5-0 from a neat try, by wing Eric Cronje from a chip behind the defence by stand-off JT Jackson, when their tight-head went elbow first to the throat of John Barclay on the carry.
Referee Joy Neville had no choice after seeing the replays but to give a straight red to the South African, and the Kings took the odd choice to take off a centre to allow the replacement tight head to come on.
Edinburgh struck immediately, kicking the penalty to the corner and a textbook Grant Gilchrist take and drive ended with ex-Kings hooker Mike Willemse going over, Jaco van der Walt converting.
Kings kept playing positively and got a penalty in front of the posts as Edinburgh still struggled to get going, Jackson kicking them back in the lead.
But two quick tries taking advantage in the open spaces in the depleted Kings backline allowed the home side to take easy control.
Duhan van der Merwe came off his wing at pace from solid scrum ball and cut an arc through the gap left by the missing centre to make the line for an unconverted try.
Edinburgh moved it quickly at pace again from the kick-off and simple numbers and good hands opened up space for Eroni Sau to find Matt Scott running free inside all the way to the line, van der Walt making the conversion this time.
However Edinburgh sat back again, the Kings continued to scrap to stay in the game and from a stalled lineout drive hooker du Toit spun out and fed Jackson all along at the corner for his side’s second try.
No doubt with Richard Cockerill’s harsh words ringing in their ears, Edinburgh came out of the sheds and scored the bonus point try almost immediately, again working patiently through phases to make the extra man count out wide, James Johnstone the man with the easy run-in this time.
Kings had to go down to 13 men when injuries and a concussion meant they ran out of front rowers and the game went to uncontested scrums, and with 25 minutes still to play.
It took ten of those minutes for the fifth score, Kings’ brave defence finally hauling down a maul headed for the line and a penalty try awarded, with a yellow card reducing the Kings to just 12 as lock Fortuin was yellow-carded for being the miscreant.
Eroni Sau scored the sixth straight from the restart as replacement scrum-half Charlie Shiel made the break, and the seventh came from another sub, Dave Cherry scoring in his comeback from injury.
Shiel, who enjoyed himself in the open spaces when he came on, scored the eighth try to take Edinburgh over 50 in support of Sau and Scott, and another replacement, Mark Bennett, jogged 70 metres for the final score after Edinburgh won a turnover in their own 22.
Edinburgh: B Kinghorn; E Sau, J Johnstone, M Scott, D van der Merwe; J van der Walt, H Pyrgos; J Bhatti, M Willemse, WP Nel; L Carmichael, G Gilchrist; M Bradbury, J Barclay, N Haining.
Replacements: D Cherry for Willemse 58, P Schoeman for Bhatti 52, S Berghan for Nel 52, B Toolis for Gilchrist 70, L Crosbie for Haining 38, C Shiel for Pyrgos 65, S Hickey, M Bennett for van der Merwe 65.
Kings: C Winnaar; Y Penxe, S Sithole, H Mnisi (Capt), E Cronje; JT Jackson, S Ungerer; S Ferreira, J du Toit, P Scholtz; J Sexton, A Fortuin; R Lerm, T Bholi, E Louw.
Replacements: A van Rooyen for Terblanche 54, X Vos for Ferreira 54, D Terblanche for Sithole 20, J Astle for Sexton 61, T Maree for Ungerer 57, B Pretorius for Mnisi 47, A Loubser for Penxe 61.