The Sharks came from behind to beat the Southern Kings 19-17 in a tight game in Durban at Kings Park.
The visitors scored two first half tries to lead their illustrious hosts 14-8 at the interval.
Lourens Adriaanse’s try and a Curwin Bosch penalty were all the Sharks could muster in the opening stanza.
The Kings were in front 17-16 going into the final 10 minutes until the 19-year-old kicked a third penalty in the 71st-minute to keep the PE men winless against South African teams.
Bosch opened the scoring in the third minute with a simple penalty, but the Sharks found themselves behind when Ruaan Lerm charged down Bernhard Janse van Rensburg’s clearance to give the visitors a shock lead on 20 minutes.
Ross Geldenhuys was then yellow carded. The Sharks kicked to touch and, from the lineout, shoved their way over. Adriaanse standing up from the bottom of the heap. Bosch missed but it was 8-7.
Five minutes later, a mistake by the Sharks gifted Mapimpi a try. Cronje added the extras to put the visitors ahead with the break looming.
Cronje and Bosch traded early second-half penalties. It was the home team who beginning to get frustrated, their mistakes raising the prospect of an upset loss. Cool heads were needed.
Kobus van Wyk scored to bring the hosts within one. The conversion was missed by the young flyhalf who must have left his boots at home. He was accurate the week before in the win over the Waratahs.
His profligacy was proving costly but, the Sharks were in touching distance at 16-17. Chris Cloete was then sent to the bin for a dangerous tackle.
It should have provided the impetus to punish weary legs, however, the visitors clung on, looking for a derby-day upset.
It was not to be. Bosch found his range with a late penalty and the Sharks ground out an ugly win over the east coast neighbours. This was not a game that will live long in the memory.
The final score is Sharks 19 (8) Kings 17 (14)
Tries – Adriaanse, Van Wyk
Pen – Bosch (3)
Tries – Lerm, Mapimpi
Pen – Cronje
Con – Cronje (2)
Cards – Yellow (Geldenhuys, 26th minute), (Cloete, 66th minute)
Referee: Egon Seconds
Assistant Ref 1: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 2: Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO: Shaun Veldsman
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Odwa Ndungane, 10 Bernhard Janse van Rensburg, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu (captain), 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Daniel du Preez, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Garth April.
15 Masixole Banda, 14 Makazole Mapimpi, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Waylon Murray, 11 Alshaun Bock, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Andisa Ntsila, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Michael Willemse, 1 Schalk Ferreira (captain).
Replacements: 16 Kurt Haupt, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Justin Forwood, 19 Tyler Paul, 20 Stefan Willemse, 21 Johan Steyn, 22 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 23 Johann Tromp
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