Sharks on track for home semi

GARETH DUNCAN reports on the Sharks’ 41-14 bonus-point win over the Leopards in Rustenburg.

The Sharks achieved their mission at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, finishing with the full-house of log points. This leaves them with the task of beating the Lions at home next weekend to seal second place on the log, which can still be taken by the Cheetahs.

Despite a scrappy first half, the floodgates opened for John Plumtree’s men in the second half as they rallied in six tries – two of them coming in the final three minutes of the match. It was also a special moment for Stefan Terblanche, who came off the bench to play his 100th Currie Cup game after making his debut for Boland in 1994.

The Sharks started the first half strongly, rushing into a 15-0 lead in the first quarter. After flyhalf Frederic Michalak’s penalty, centre Adi Jacobs ran a perfect angle from close range to dart over while flanker Jacques Botes capitalised from a strong driving maul. It was errant finish to the half from both teams, plagued with handling errors and ill-discipline. This saw the visitors fail to add to their 15-point advantage heading in the break.

The Leopards and Sharks traded tries in the third quarter. Scrumhalf Johann Laker and wing Danie Dames touching down for the former while wing Lwazi Mvovo and scrumhalf Conrad Hoffman crashed over for the latter. The games became loose at the death, which made it an easier task for the Sharks as they ran in another two tries through flanker Keegan Daniel and wing Sibusiso Sithole for the win.