The Sharks beat the Cheetahs 38-30 at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein making it four wins in five games to keep pace with the Lions in the Africa 2 Conference.
Kobus van Wyk scored either side of halftime as the Sharks fought back from 23-15 down and Curwin Bosch kicked 18 points to help secure the victory in the city of roses.
Earlier, the Cheetahs had stormed back from a 12-point deficit after half an hour, scoring two late tries from skipper Francois Venter and JW Jonker, to take a five-point lead at the break.
But the Sharks ground the home team down in a powerful second-half performance.
Bosch’s two conversions and three penalties after Daniel du Preez’s 67th-mintute try saw the Durbanites home.
Lwazi Mvovo opened the scoring with his 30th Super Rugby try. He took the ball to the advantage line and threw a dummy, sending the defenders the wrong direction, to score.
Van Wyk scored the sharks second after Oupa Mahoje was yellow carded.
Venter picked up from the ruck, looked left and right, noticed there was no pillar defence and ran through the space to score. Zeilinga’s conversion made it 12-7.
Coenie Oosthuizen was then sent to the bin and the Cheetahs took full advantage. The fullback ran over Clement Poitrenaud to score in the corner.
Venter passed to Raymond Rhule, who had joined play from his left wing and took out two defenders to sent the right winger over.
It started when captain Venter, passed to Raymond Rhule, who had joined play from his left wing and took out two defenders out for the right winger. Zeilinga slotted the two and the home team led at the break.
He extended the lead to eight with a 44th-minute penalty but Van Wyk’s second reduced the scores to a point when Bosch kicked the conversion.
Another two Bosch penalties after some costly errors by fullback Clayton Blommetjies and, Du Preez’s try, effectively, ended the game as a contest. The Sharks led 38-23 going into the final moments of the game.
The Cheetahs would not give in and scored at the death. A penalty was taken quickly and Rhule scored.
The hosts still had time after the siren but they passed the opportunity at a losing bonus-point when they decided to run another penalty, instead of kicking the three.
Strange call by the Free Staters, who lose again.
Final score Cheetahs 30 (20) Sharks 38 (15)
Tries – Venter, Jonker, Rhule
Pen – Zeilinga (3)
Con – Zeilinga (3)
Cards – Yellow (Mahoje, 24th minute)
Tries – Mvovo, Van Wyk (2), Daniel du Preez
Pen – Bosch (4)
Con – Bosch (3)
Cards – Yellow (Coenie Oosthuizen, 35th minute), Yellow (Etienne Oosthuizen, 80th minute)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Ref 1: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant Ref 2: Lourens van der Merwe
TMO: Johan Greeff
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 JW Jonker, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Nico Lee, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche
Replacements: 16 Elandré Huggett, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Carl Wegner, 20 Niell Jordaan, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Niel Marais, 23 Ryno Benjamin/Clinton Swart
15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Tera Mtembu (captain), 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Daniel du Preez, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Garth April
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