Port Elizabeth Police struggled to a 20-17 win over their East London counterparts in a Saru Gold Cup rugby fixture at Kemsley Park on Saturday.
The EL Police were looking for their first win in the Windy City against the PE bobbies, who had suffered defeat at the hands of the Pretoria Police last Friday in the capital city.
The home team were chasing the game as early as the first minute after the visitors displayed intent as right wing Sabelo Kolanisi scored after pouncing on a grubber by scrumhalf Loyiso Ndaba.
The conversion by scrumhalf Skhangela Mateza went wide.
The home team then had an opportunity to put points on the board through their flyhalf Ruan Allerston, but his attempt went wide as he continued to struggle with the boot.
The PE Police got on the board in the 13th minute through the boot of Allerston, after he slotted in a penalty.
Three minutes later, East London centre Eric Coates completed a set piece to score under the poles, with his try converted by Ndaba.
The visitors were cut down to 14 men after flanker Kuhle Thumana’s dangerous hit on Elton Loxton in the 23rd minute.
EL then stunned the home team by scoring on the stroke of half time through flanker Bonga Ntunjani, stretching their lead to 17-3.
The second half resumed with both teams playing some aggressive rugby but the PE side was the first to score through substitute prop Dwayne Kinghorn as they brought up their score to 17-8.
Allerston who was having a bad day with the boot, failed to convert the try.
The EL bobbies’ defence remained resolute as the home team came close on many occasions only to be kept out.
However, their persistence paid off as EL wing Kolanisi was sin-binned, and fullback Dwayne Kelly scored for the PE outfit, reducing the deficit to 17-13 with five minutes to play.
The PE Police left it late to score in the last minute of the game through hooker Stephan Deysel to secure a narrow 20-17 victory.