Pro14: Southern Kings 25-21 Edinburgh
|Southern Kings (13) 25|
|Tries: Basson, B Pretorius, Penxe Cons: Banda Pens: Banda 2|
|Edinburgh (7) 21|
|Tries: Dean, Penalty try, Ford Cons: Van der Walt 2|
Edinburgh missed the chance to go second in Pro14 Conference B after being floored by two late Southern Kings' tries in two incredible minutes.
The visitors looked to be safe after Ross Ford's converted score, their third of the match, put them eight points up with seven minutes to play.
But Bader Pretorius then Yaw Penxe raced over in the scintillating final throes to stun Edinburgh.
It is a first defeat in eight games for Richard Cockerill's men.
And just Kings' second victory of the Pro14 season.
Their first also came against Scottish opposition, a 38-28 home triumph over Glasgow Warriors in September.
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Error-strewn Edinburgh count cost of mistakes
Against a team with the most barren of records, Edinburgh had enough possession and territory to win comfortably, but a truly colossal error count made for an exhausting and ultimately gut-wrenching afternoon. They made 44 more carries than the lowly Kings yet almost 100m fewer.
Their day began with a quick-fire blow. The Kings' form may be bleak but they are capable of blockbuster moments, especially from broken field. Edinburgh learned that after five minutes and failed to heed the warning.
With typical gusto, Bjorn Basson scampered up an inviting blind-side, chipped the covering Henry Pyrgos and flopped on the ball to score, Masixole Banda converting.
Edinburgh's counter-punch, for once, was swift and ruthless. Just two minutes after falling behind, Chris Dean zipped on to a tidy inside ball from Pyrgos and surged over. Jaco van der Walt added the extras to put Edinburgh level.
Banda booted the Kings back in front in the 11th minute after Pierre Schoeman was penalised for not rolling away.
Then came the first of a maddening glut of Edinburgh mistakes. George Taylor shimmied and darted his way to the corner flag, but lost control of the ball as he stretched for the whitewash.
Edinburgh had the Kings' reverse lights flashing in the scrummage. Referee Dan Jones didn't go to his pocket after a spree of penalties on the home 5m line and the attack yielded nothing when Viliame Mata was grappled to deck short.
Time and again Edinburgh battered and bludgeoned their way into the Kings 22. Time and again they coughed up the ball.
And at the end of the half, Banda sickened them further, nudging Kings into a 13-7 lead at the break after being impeded by Van der Walt.
The second half followed the established pattern. Edinburgh utterly dominant - yet totally incapable of breaching the Kings line.
They went through an astonishing mountain of possession in pursuit of a breakthrough. On 55 minutes, they racked up 31 phases in one slow, inexorable march towards the home posts. It ended, predictably, with Pietro Ceccarelli losing the ball as he plunged towards the line. Richard Cockerill might have been 9,000 miles away, but you could almost hear the coach's cries of fury from Port Elizabeth.
The onslaught continued. Edinburgh assembled their bruisers and went after Kings up front. CJ Velleman was sin-binned for hauling down a maul five metres out. Edinburgh scrum. Penalty try.
Unbreakable Kings deliver grandstand finale
Still, the 14-man Kings would not die. Edinburgh spilled the restart then talisman Mata, of all people, inexplicably knocked-on in his own 22. Kings would have scored but for a howler from their own number eight, Andisa Ntsila, who dropped the ball when he had a huge overlap.
Edinburgh looked, at long last, to have buried them when Ford barrelled over from another rumbling maul and Van der Walt's conversion ensured a two-score lead.
But Kings were unbreakable. They rose again and struck with devastating precision. The home side regathered the restart, James Johnstone was binned for killing the ball in his own 22, and over scurried Pretorius.
Banda converted. It was a three-point game with two minutes left. Edinburgh kicked the restart deep but even from the depths of their own 22, Kings were deadly, sauntering their way to a wondrous coast-to-coast match-winner.
Meli Rokoua slalomed past two defenders and galloped out of the 22. After being tap-tackled, he flung out a ridiculous back-handed off-load in mid-air, Penxe gathering and searing past the cover defence from 55m out to snatch a remarkable triumph.
The pass might have been forward and although Jones' decision not to consult his TMO will anger Edinburgh, they had largely themselves to blame for a sickening defeat.
Southern Kings: Banda; Penxe, Klaasen, Kruger, Basson; Dukisa, Ungerer; Ferriera, Willemse, Pupuma, Van Schalkwyk, Astle, Velleman, Burger, Ntsila.
Replacements: A Van Rooyen, Mguca, Tshakweni, Greeff, Brown, S Pretorius, B Pretorius, Rokoua.
Edinburgh: Fife; Brown, Taylor, Dean, Johnstone; Van der Walt, Pyrgos; Schoeman, Cherry, Ceccarelli, McKenzie, Hunter-Hill, Crosbie, Miller, Mata.
Replacements: Ford, Marfo, McCallum, Hodgson, Mason, Fowles, Hickey, Socino.