The Sharks suffered a shock 23-22 Absa Currie Cup defeat to Griquas at Absa Park in Kimberley on Saturday afternoon.
Griquas led 14-7 at half-time.
Griquas started impressively using the width of the field to good effect as they kept the ball alive. The opening try of the match went to Griquas’ Vuyani Dlomo as he capitalised on a wild pass, with the kick and chase just beating the deadball line.
The home team were a lot more adventurous than they are known to be, and it brought them good reward, scoring two first half tries. The Sharks could manage just a solitary try by Steven Sykes to trail by seven points at the interval.
The second half saw Conrad Barnard stretch the lead with two penalties and one by Herkie Kruger – and the 13 point margin started to look ominous for the Sharks as they battled to get into their stride at 20-7 down.
However a try to Warren Britz narrowed the gap to 20-12, before a penalty by Ruan Pienaar closed the deficit further to 20-15. However, Barnard then kicked the crucial three-pointer to extend the lead to eight point.
And Andries Strauss’s last minute try was just reward for the team after sustained pressure, but it was too little too late with Griquas having done enough to score a hard-fought victory – their second in four games.
Sharks: Tries: Steven Sykes, Warren Britz, Andries Strauss. Conversions: Steve Meyer 1, Ruan Pienaar 1. Penalties: Pienaar 1.
Griquas: Tries: Vuyani Dlomo, Eugene van Staden. Conversions: Herkie Kruger 1, Conrad Barnard 1. Penalties: Herkie Kruger 1, Conrad Barnard 2.