A last-minute converted try denied Southern Kings only their second win of the PRO14 season as they lost out 31-30 to the Cheetahs at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
Rhyno Smith scored two tries in the last five minutes as the visitors claimed their fifth win from nine games to go third in Conference A.
The Kings led 13-0 after 27 minutes thanks to a converted Bader-Werner Pretorius try and penalty as they hunted the spoils in this derby.
But second-row Sintu Manjezi scored his first try for the Cheetahs in the 35th minute, then adding his second five minutes into the second half, two minutes after scrum-half Stefan Ungerer touched down for the Kings.
JT Jackson crossed for the hosts before Wilmar Arnoldi replied, but the drama was still to come with Smith scoring tries in the 75th and 80th minutes, with Ruan Pienaar’s second conversion proving the winning points.
The latest defeat leaves the Kings rooted to the bottom of Conference B on seven points, 16 points behind Benetton with a game in hand.