EP KINGS director of rugby Alan Solomons has issued a stern warning ahead of his team's crunch Absa Currie Cup First Division semifinal against the Leopards at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium tonight (kick-off 7:10pm).
"There are no second chances in playoff games," Solo- mons, who has played a key role in masterminding his team's 14-match unbeaten run in the competition,said.
"The difference between a league game and a knockout clash is that in the league match there is always the bonus points factor.
"In sudden death it is about winning the game."
Kings vice-captain Tiger Mangweni has also warned that knockout matches can be unpredictable affairs and that his teammates had prepared for a tough showdown.
Though the Kings will start tonight's game as big favourites, they can expect a fierce onslaught on their unbeaten record by a Leopards team aiming to pull off an upset.
Victory tonight will pit the Kings against the winners of the other semifinal, between the Pumas and Griffons, which will also be played today.
The Kings have brought out all their big guns for tonight's clash and the rotation policy they have used to great effect will be put on ice as the season reaches the business end.
"We feel this is the best team we can put forward at this point," said Solomons when he named a starting line-up that includes skipper Luke Watson and explosive Samoan international wing Paul Perez.
Perez, who received a red card against the Pumas, returns to the Kings's lineup after being handed a one-week ban.
EP backline coach David Maidza said Perez, who is a potential match-winner, had been looking sharp on the ball in training this week as he prepared for his comeback.
A win over the Leopards will guarantee the Kings a home final before a double-header promotion match for entry into the Currie Cup Premier Division.
If the teams are level at the end of normal time tonight, 20 minutes of extra-time divided into two 10-minute halves will be played.
Should extra-time fail to produce a winner then the team scoring the most tries in the semifinal, including extra-time, will advance to the final.
If this fails to determine a winner then the team with the highest log position immediately prior to the semifinal will advance to the final.
The last First Division match played at the stadium ended in a thrilling 26-26 draw between the Kings and the Pumas and tonight's semifinal could be another nailbiter.
When the Kings played the Leopards in Potchefstroom last Friday, EP just edged the home team 23-20 after surviving a fierce onslaught on their unbeaten record.