What a night for Eastern Cape rugby. The popular train of thought was that the Southern Kings would give the more-favoured Sharks a good run for their money. But not too many would have believed that they could actually pull off an historic win. It just was not part of the script.
Well, it is a good thing coach Deon Davids and his troops believed. And as the game progressed into the darkness of the cold autumn evening, the contagious and evident belief they could engineer a win grew stronger within the 22 000-plus crowd. And, so they did.
The Eastern Cape franchise, often mocked by those outside the region and by some from within, has not bothered with following scripts in recent times.
First they skinned the Waratahs in Australia. Then they wiped the floor with the Rebels and on Saturday evening they collected their most famous scalp yet.
Robert du Preez’s Sharks came to Port Elizabeth as favourites and he warned his team of possible impending disaster.
They should have listened more intently to their coach as the never-say-die mongrel in the Kings was there for all to see as replacement Pieter-Steyn de Wet went over in the corner to put the Kings ahead with only two minutes remaining.
When the final hooter sounded even the haters would not have begrudged the Kings their greatest moment. It was the first time they had beaten a South African franchise in Super Rugby. It was a feat to savour.
But, back to the elephant that has been sitting in the room for some weeks now.
SA rugby chiefs have decided to cut two of the six South African franchises and it is no secret the Kings and Cheetahs are the teams facing the axe.
If Saru were hoping the Kings would merely fade out of the picture without a murmur, they were horribly mistaken.
This Kings squad is intent on making Saru squirm in making a decision as to who they send packing.
That decision was made even more difficult as Nelson Mandela Bay rugby fans voted with their feet on Saturday night. Those of you who were at the game deserve a pat on the back for your contribution to the victory.
Let us now make sure to continue the campaign to #Fillourstadium as the Kings push for a fourth consecutive win when they face the Brumbies this weekend.