Pat Lambie kicked the Sharks to victory in Port Elizabeth but the visitors failed to score a try.
The Sharks won 21 – 12 after leading 12 – 3 at half time.
Pat Lambie scored all 21 points while Demetri Catrakilis’ boot kept the Kings in the match with four penalties of his own.
The Kings surprised all and sundry with yet another hearty performance, not allowing the Sharks to settle into any rhythm whilst defending with great success. At one point, the Kings had made more than 90 tackles and missing only one, a show of great commitment when they could have simply thrown in the towel.
The Sharks got off to a good start with possession deep in the Kings 22m, Jean Deysel being the man to get them the go forward ball. Once Deysel left the field though, things fell apart for the Sharks as nobody quite knew which way to go.
With all the ball the Sharks had one would have expected more points. There is a distinct lack of creativity in the backline, with neither of the potent wingers able to run into space. What is important though is that another away win was achieved, and a team that wins whilst playing poorly, is a sign of a Championship team. Overall though, the Sharks look for from a championship winning team.
Defence kept the Kings in the match, Louis Ludik and Lwazi Mvovo were both held up over the line, two instances where the match could have been put away. The scoreline was very close in the end and the Kings might just rue a few chances at goal that were not taken. The importance of taking the points when on offer ran true for the Sharks particularly, as a different attitude on the night could have cost them dearly.
Sharks coach John Plumtree was correct in stating the Kings will be no easy match, and deserve to be in this competition. On another night, the bounce of the ball would have meant a victory for them, something Alan Solomons and his team will take great heart from.
For John Plumtree and his charges, there is a very strong Brumbies awaiting them at Kings Park next week, while the Kings stay in Port Elizabeth and host the Chiefs.
By Richard Ferguson