The EP Kings turned around a 12-point half-time deficit on their way to a 27-23 (half-time 3-15) win over the Sharks XV in their Vodacom Cup South Section match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
The hosts ran in three second-half tries as they handed the Sharks XV their first loss of the season.
The win meant that the EP Kings consolidated their fourth place in the South Section, just four points behind the log-leading Sharks XV with only one group match to go before the quarterfinals.
Sharks XV flyhalf Fred Zeilinga, the tournament's leading points-scorer, ended with 18 points courtesy of six penalties.
Zeilinga, who began the match with a competition leading 100 points, kicked five penalties during a first half dominated by the boot necessitated, in some part, by the damp conditions the game was played out in.
The hosts were only able to reply with a Dukisa penalty during the first half but they found their mojo in the second stanza.
The Kings began the second half as the stronger as the two teams and a fine break by outside centre Tiger Mangweni allowed fullback Ntabeni Dukisa to cross for a try in the 47th minute which he converted himself.
However, the score spurred the Sharks XV into action and they hit back almost immediately when they opted to turn down a kickable penalty in order to set up an attacking line-out and their industry was rewarded when eighthman Guy Alexander went over for an unconverted try to make the score 20-10.
But the Kings’ forwards were beginning to assert some dominance and, with 17 minutes left in the contest, right wing Siyanda Grey scooted over for a converted try to leave the hosts trailing by just three points before Zeilinga nailed his sixth penalty.
The home team hit the lead with 13 minutes left in the match when replacement forward Stefan Willemse barrelled his way over for a converted try before replacement fullback Kayle van Zyl made sure of the win with a late penalty.
EP KINGS – Tries: Ntabeni Dukisa, Siyanda Grey, Stefan Willemse; Conversions: Dukisa, Kayle van Zyl (2); Penalties: Dukisa, Van Zyl.
SHARKS XV – Try: Guy Alexander; Penalties: Fred Zeilinga (6).