Port Elizabeth - Eastern Province Kings coach Carlos Spencer has said he was proud of his team after they registered their first win in the Currie Cup Premier Division this season by beating the Pumas 26-25 in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
The Kings had been desperate for a win to avoid being blanked 10-0 in their return to the Premier Division after a 12-year absence.
"You just don't know how much it meant to them until we got out there in the middle of the field and had a talk afterwards," said Spencer.
"Although it was out last game, and it was the Pumas, it meant so much to them, and to see the emotion and the see the smiles on the guys' faces just made me proud. It meant a lot to them."
In their 10th match of the season, it was a welcome relief to break the losing trend said Spencer.
The Kings coach was also delighted that his team had pulled through for the crowd of 4584 fans who watched the match at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
"It was important to get that win because the supporters have stuck with us throughout the season.
"We showed this team is not a bunch of quitters because we stuck with it right until the end, and we did everything right until the final minute."
Spencer said hard work lay ahead of his young team.
"In parts we played really well and then in parts we let ourselves down, and it's still things that we have spoken about, like turnovers, which were costly.
The Kings' victory left Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse a disappointed because the result ended slim hopes that his team could sneak into the semi-finals.
"The game could have gone either way and if we had got that kick in front of posts we could have won it," Stonehouse said.
"But good luck to the Kings who could at least win one out of the ten. It's not what I wanted, but the Kings pulled it through in the end."