The Eastern Province Kings rallied from behind to secure an unlikely 40-37 victory against the Griquas at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
Tim Whitehead and Paul Schoeman both scored a pair of tries for the home team and none was more critical than the one scored by the former in the 80th minute of the match, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
Scott van Breda, who kicked the final conversion for the Kings, was prolific with the boot throughout the afternoon, slotting three critical conversions and three penalties. His efforts could very well have been the difference between a win or a loss for the home team.
Kings left wing Luther Obi was the only other scorer for the hosts, in what was an absolute thriller between the two bottom teams in the Currie Cup Premier Division.
The result means that the Griquas are now entrenched at the bottom of the Currie Cup Premier Division standings – a bitter pill to swallow after what had looked like a commanding performance from the visitors in Port Elizabeth.
Griquas centre Clinton Swart scored 17 points for his team on the afternoon, when he contributed to the unsuccessful outing with a first-half try, two penalties and three conversions.
The centre's efforts were supplemented by tries from Carel Greeff, Danie Dames, Ntabeni Dukisa and AJ le Roux, whose 67th minute try looked like it had clinched the result.
For much of this fixture, it looked like Griquas would secure the win, even in the dying moments of the match.
For EP Kings:
Try: Schoeman 2, Obi, Whitehead
Con: Van Breda 2
Pen: Van Breda 3
Try: Greef, Dames, Swart, Dukisa
Con: Swart 3
Pen: Swart 2
EP Kings: 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Phillipus du Plessis, 12 Tim Whitehead (captain), 11 Luther Obi, 10 Karlo Aspeling, 9 Dwayne Kelly, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Cornell Hess, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 Thembelani Bholi, 20 Tim Agaba, 21 Enrico Acker, 22 Elgar Watts
Griquas: 15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Danie Dames, 13 Michael Van Der Spuy, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Ntabeni Dukisa, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Tian Meyer(c), 8 Carel Greeff, 7 Jonathan Janse Van Rensburg, 6 RJ Lebenberg, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Jonathan Adendorf, 3 Ewald Van Der Westhuizen, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16 AJ Le Roux, 17 Stephan Kotze, 18 Stephan Greeff, 19 Wendal Wehr, 20 Dylon Frylink, 21 Jonathan Francke, 22 Ederies Arendse.
Date: Saturday, September 26
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kick-off: 15.30 (13.30 GMT)
Referee: Quinton Immelman
Assistant referees: Renier Vermeulen, Jabian Jeftha