The Sharks scored an emphatic 82-14 win over the hapless Pumas in an utterly one-sided Absa Currie Cup match in Witbank on Friday night.
The Sharks led 33-0 at the break. The visitors scored 12 tries, while the Pumas managed just two, the second coming on the stroke of full-time.
Both teams displayed a willingness to play positive rugby, with the hard surface ideally suited to running rugby. The Pumas must be commended for never giving up, but it was obvious from early on that they had a battle on their hands, with the visitors in no mood to emulate Sharks teams of the past who have arrived as favourites, and left as losers.
Eleven different players scored for the visitors, with Wouter Moore dotting down twice. The win takes the Sharks to 35 points on the log and into third place, behind the Cheetahs (36 points) on points difference. Western Province are top of the log on 38 points, while the Bulls are fourth on 30, followed by the resurgent Lions on 26.
Pumas: Tries: Ashton Constant, Darryl Coeries. Conversions: Arno Coetzee (2).
Sharks: Tries: Gcobani Bobo, Ryan Kankowski, JP Pietersen, Scott Mathie, Dusty Noble, Wouter Moore 2, Bismarck du Plessis, Andries Strauss, Sandile Nxumalo, Mzwandile Stick, Johan Snyman. Conversions: Francois Steyn 4, Brent Russell 4, Andries Strauss 1, Mzwandile Stick 2.
By Andrew Hollely