The Cheetahs scored two second-half tries to beat the Kings 21-11 in their pre-season match in Port Elizabeth on Friday night.
The visitors led just 7-6 at the break and only sealed the win after the hooter.
Kings flyhalf Elgar Watts opened the scoring in the eighth minute with a penalty, and the hosts' resolute defence then kept the visitors out.
But the Cheetahs eventually broke through when flanker Boom Prinsloo opened their account in the 23rd minute and flyhalf Sias Ebersohn added the extras.
Watts slotted another penalty just before the break to reduce the Cheetahs lead to just one point at half-time.
The Kings started strongly after the break and regained the lead in the 43rd minute when Shane Gates crossed for his side’s first try. Watts missed the conversion, though.
The Kings held onto their lead deep into the second half until eventually the Cheetahs found a way through with winger Sergeal Peterson crossing for their second try. Replacement flyhalf Fred Zeilinga added the extras to give his side a 14-11 lead with 15 minutes to play.
The hosts went on the attack in the dying minutes as they searched for the win, but it was the Cheetahs who had the last say, scoring their third try well into additional time.
Kings – Try: Shane Gates. Penalties: Elgar Watts (2).
Cheetahs – Tries: Boom Prinsloo, Sergeal Peterson, TBC. Conversions: Sias Ebersohn (2), Fred Zeilinga.
Kings – 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Luzuko Vulundlu, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Shane Gates, 11 Malcolm Jaer, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Ntando Kebe, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 JC Astle, 4 Steven Sykes (c), 3 Tom Botha, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Subs: Sithembiso Sithole, Martin Ferreira, Vukile Sofisa, Cornell Hess, CJ Velleman, Stephan Willemse, Sipato Pokomela, Leighton Eksteen, Theuns Kotze, JP du Plessis, Siyanda Grey.
Cheetahs – 15 Sergeal Petersen, 14 Maphutha Dolo, 13 Francois Venter (c), 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Nicolaas van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais.
Subs: Jacques du Toit, Danie Mienie, Luan de Bruin, Reniel Hugo, Hilton Lobberts, Paul Schoeman, Henco Venter, Tian Meyer, Fred Zeilinga, Michael van der Spuy, Clayton Blommetjies.
Photo: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images