Port Elizabeth - The EP Kings ended the Sharks XV unbeaten season thanks to a fine 27-23 (half-time 3-15) win in their Vodacom Cup South Section match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
The hosts turned around a 12 point half-time deficit as they ran in three second-half tries with the Sharks only able to answer with a single try as they slipped to defeat despite 18 points from the boot of flyhalf Fred Zeilinga.
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 quarter-finals.
Zeilinga kicked five penalties during a first half dominated by the boot while the hosts were only able to reply with a penalty from fullback Ntabeni Dukisa.
But the Kings began the second half in a dominant mood and a fine break by outside centre Tiger Mangweni allowed 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 when an attacking line-out led to a try for eighthman Guy Alexander.
The Kings, with 17 minutes left in the contest, then struck again when right wing Siyanda Grey scooted over for a try that was later converted 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.
Scorers: EP Kings:
Tries: Ntabeni Dukisa, Siyanda Grey, Stefan Willemse
Conversions: Dukisa, Kayle van Zyl (2)
Penalties: Dukisa, Van Zyl
Try: Guy Alexander
Penalties: Fred Zeilinga (6)