The Sharks beat the Cheetahs 18-15 in Bloemfontein.
The hosts led 15-13 at halftime and could not add to their score in the second 40.
The Sharks, who trailed 15-6 late in the first half, scored in the last movement of the first half and then resisted a late Cheetahs attack after the hooter to record their second successive competition win.
Jean Deysel was named man of the match.
The Sharks now top the Currie Cup log with two wins from three starts.
Cheetahs – Tries: Lappies Labuschagne, Raymond Rhule. Conversion: Riaan Smit. Penalty: Smit.
Sharks – Tries: Jean Deysel, Louis Ludik. Conversion: Fred Zeilinga. Penalty: Zeilinga. Drop goal: Zeilinga.
Cheetahs – 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Riaan Smit, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Boom Prinsloo (c), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Teboho Mohoje, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Subs: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Rossouw de Klerk, 18 Freddie Ngoza, 19 Davon Raubenheimer, 20 Kevin Luiters, 21 Willie du Plessis, 22 Joubert Engelbrecht.
Sharks – 15 SP Marais, 14 Sizo Maseko, 13 Louis Ludik, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Jacques Botes (c), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Edwin Hewitt, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Subs: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Rayno Gerber, 18 Peet Marais, 19 Lubabalo Mtembu, 20 Cobus Reinach, 21 Butch James, 22 Jaco van Tonder.
Run of play
80 CHEETAHS 15-18 SHARKS
80 Sharks lineout again struggles so the Cheetahs have one last chance as the hooter goes. Wide passes but not making much ground but the Cheetahs win a penalty. Tap and go, du Plessis stepping as the Cheetahs reach halfway. Van der Walt carries but the ball is lost forward – the Sharks win! Gutsy second half from the visitors but the Cheetahs let a 15-6 lead slip away. Vital win for the Sharks.
79 Sadie looks to have pushed Ludik as he went past chasing the kick, and the TMO has deemed that to be a penalty. Sharks breathe again with only a minute to go!
78 Drama as the Cheetahs steal the ball and Sadie chips and chases, hacking on right into the Sharks 22. Huge opportunity is then blown in the worst manner as Luiters throws a forward pass. The referee is coming back to see if there was any illegal contact when the kick went through, upstairs to the TMO we go…
76 Ball lost forward by Liebenberg and the Sharks will now have the scrum. Sharks dominating territory as Reinach nudges beautifully into the corner.
74 Raubenheimer flattens Reinach into touch as the Sharks nine looked to use the blindside, so the Cheetahs get the lineout. Building the phases they might be but the ball is going backwards, Cheetahs have to show patience here. Ebersohn gets over halfway.
72 Cross-field kick from Watts but that’s a poor attempt at a catch by Daniller, so the Sharks now get that scrum inside their own half. Time running out on the hosts.
70 Sadie runs well as the Cheetahs start to click, but the ball is lost and the Sharks clear long. Rhule has time but the ball is touched so it’s play on, Deysel the man to clear things up. Kick through from the Sharks rolls dead so we come back for a Cheetahs scrum.
68 Cheetahs winning the penalty inside their own 22, great work by captain Prinsloo at the breakdown. Lineout now for the hosts inside the Sharks half.
65 TRY, SHARKS, LUDIK! 15-18: Butch James on for Zeilinga to try and close out the match for the visitors. Huge error from the Cheetahs under the high ball and Mvovo pounces in the 22, but the ball is too slow at the ruck. Beautifully then worked by Reinach, onto Mvovo to Ludik for the try! Great play down the left by the Sharks who are back in front.
61 Sharks scrum beginning to rule here, winning another penalty as Prinsloo seeks answers. Another driving maul though is held up, the Cheetahs disrupting that area of the match but their lead is under threat.
58 Sharks rolling maul from the resulting lineout is held up as the Sharks fail to use it, Cheetahs scrum well in their own half. Forward they go showing great promise but, as has been the norm in this half, that ball is knocked on. Sharks scrum.
56 Cheetahs pinged for deliberately wheeling the scrum, so Zeilinga will have a long-range shot at goal. He misses, his first of the season, so the Cheetahs keep their slender lead.
53 Defences very much on top as the Sharks kick more, Cheetahs have the lineout their side of halfway. Knocked on, so that’s a Sharks scrum. Major drop off in tempo so far in this half but the Cheetahs still lead.
51 Yet another poor lineout from the Sharks, Ebersohn kicking but only as far as Mvovo. Big tackle by Watts on Ludik, Sharks still with the ball though but the defences are holding. Poor pass from Van Tonder puts Zeilinga under pressure so Rhule can counter, up to halfway.
49 Sharks penalty and Zeilinga tries to quickly find territory with a kick to touch, but Daniller fields out and the Cheetahs slowly secure the ball and clear through Watts.
46 Long lineout from the Cheetahs who are in a good position here. Watts to Sadie, around five metres out, but the ball is stolen by Burden who runs away into the Cheetahs half. Good counter-rucking from the Cheetahs and they win the ball back. Knocked on by Sadie in midfield, Sharks scrum 40 metres out.
45 Ball lost forward by the Sharks so the Cheetahs have a scrum inside the Sharks half. Macleod disrupting but the Sharks are penalised, Watts kicking into the corner.
45 Burden on momentarily but the Sharks lose the ball at the lineout, their execution letting them down. Pair of kicks ends with the Cheetahs having a lineout on their own ten-metre line.
43 Sharks enjoying the majority of territory so far, winning a lineout on the Cheetahs 22 but Cooper is down so questions over who will throw the ball in. Played stopped as the hooker receives treatment but in a very promising attacking position.
40 Second half underway as Zeilinga kicks off, Smit finding touch with the response.
40 CHEETAHS 15-13 SHARKS
40 TRY, SHARKS, DEYSEL! 15-13: First scrum is reset, Sharks desperate for a try before half-time. Steady scrum with the ball at the base, another advantage as the hooter sounds. Deysel taps and look at the power! Over the big flanker goes from short-range and the Sharks get that try. Zeilinga converts. Excellent first half with both sides dominating phases of play. Two points in it.
40 Zeilinga hits a huge gap and looks all but over, but that is some heroic work from Ebersohn to hold him up over the line. Five-metre scrum to the Sharks then with time running out.
38 Daniller skips a tackle and goes over the halfway line. Labuschagne in space, Cheetahs looking very fluid in attack. Great steal by Deysel at the breakdown so the Sharks now in possession. Quick hands from left to right as Maseko steps. De Jager penalised as the Sharks get the advantage.
36 Sharks not hanging around as Deysel carries up, around 10 metres out from the Cheetahs line. Ludik stepping, poor pass to Mvovo and the Cheetahs counter! They kick long and Von Tonder is under enormous pressure at the back, but the Sharks do get the ball away.
34 On their fourth maul attempt, the Sharks are penalised for accident obstruction. Scrum to the Cheetahs, who only have seven men on the park. Nyakane received treatment but is staying on. First scrum is reset, the second one is messy for the Cheetahs who somehow get the ball into touch from Watts.
32 YELLOW CARD, SHARKS, PRINSLOO! Jason Jafhta has had enough and Boom Prinsloo heads to the bin – the Cheetahs without their captain after another penalty was conceded close to the line.
31 Second penalty for the Sharks and a second kick into the corner from Zeilinga. Driving maul from the visitors then collapsed five metres out, another penalty advantage. Strong blast on the whistle from the referee, Prinsloo spoken to and the Sharks again go for the maul.
29 Deysel, now wearing number 24, making a nuisance of himself around the fringes as the Sharks attack in the Cheetahs 22. Penalty won as Rhule goes off his feet, Zeilinga kicks into the corner.
26 Cheetahs showing great aggression at the breakdown, turning over the ball just inside the Sharks half. Wide pass to Rhule who is clipped round the ankles, Cheetahs still in possession. Ball lost by De Jager as the Sharks counter.
23 TRY, CHEETAHS, RHULE! 17-6: Sharks lineout is loose from Cooper and Nyakane hacks on, Sharks forced to scramble back and Mvovo kicks into touch. Lineout secured as the Cheetahs press forward – advantage being played. Watts, Ebersohn and Daniller combine in narrow space by the right, smart play. Loose pass but Rhule clears up, jinks and scores! Well taken try and Smit converts.
21 TRY, CHEETAHS, LABUSCHAGNE! 8-6: Macleod clears with a box kick into touch, but not many metres made there. Effective maul from the Cheetahs now, back to five metres out from the Sharks line. De Jager carries strongly… Labuschagne is in! Brushed off the first tackler and got low to the line. Cheetahs back in front. Smit’s conversion hits the post.
18 Cheetahs then in a great position down the middle of the pitch. They come left through Watts, another penalty and Pretorius goes quickly once again, van der Walt held short. Nyakane doesn’t make enough ground, Leibenberg just short of the try line. Wide to Daniller but the pass was poor and he is well stopped, Rhule then bundled into touch. Good play by the Sharks defence there.
16 Cheetahs then with a great attacking scrum here. Deysel off to the blood bin, Mtembu on momentarily. Penalty Cheetahs, Pretorius taps and Watts looks to be over… no, he is held up. Scrum five again to the Cheetahs.
13 Awful kick off attempt from Smit, Sharks get the scrum in midfield on halfway. Cheetahs back in possession as Deysel receives treatment – big centres making yards for the Cheetahs now as they enjoy some possession. Smit goes through the gap! Skips round two but brought down, Nyakane rumbling forward. Wide ball to Watts who is stopped, Prinsloo held up just short of the line. Scrum to the hosts, excellent passage of play.
12 DROP GOAL, SHARKS, ZEILINGA! 3-6: Williams pressing forward for the Sharks, back into the Cheetahs 22. Back to Zeilinga in the pocket… the drop goal goes over! Sharks into the lead for the first time.
10 Try for Chadwick on his second carry ruled out for an accidental obstruction, so the Cheetahs have a five-metre scrum. Cheetahs with the heavier pack, 572kgs to 565kgs. Reset, van der Walt runs away and then Watts finds touch.
8 Poor chip from the Sharks but Watts is forced to carry it into touch, so the Sharks have a dangerous lineout on the edge of the 22. Strong run from Chadwick up to five metres out… Deysel with a charge. One metre short, and we’re going upstairs to the TMO.
7 Macleod’s box kick clears the danger so the Cheetahs start from their own half. Two Sharks kicks charged down so Prinsloo takes the Cheetahs forward. Pretorius loses the ball at the breakdown so the hosts go backwards, Watts kicking long for territory.
5 PENALTY, SHARKS, ZEILINGA! 3-3: Scores level as Zeilanga lands the long-range shot at goal.
3 Good clearance from Watts from the restart – Sharks lineout by halfway. Taken by Wentzel, Marais breaking the line briefly as the Sharks build up. Cheetahs not rolling away, Ebersohn penalised, so the Sharks have a penalty 40 metres out.
1 PENALTY, CHEETAHS, SMIT! 3-0: Opening points coming from the right winger Riaan Smit. The 20-year-old knocks over the penalty from out on the left on the edge of the 22. Cheetahs lead.
0 Jason Jafhta gives the ok – we’re off! Sharks slow to react as the Cheetahs pressure them, sealing off at the breakdown and that’s a penalty to the hosts.
0 A clear, dry night in Bloemfontein with not much wind to worry about.
0 The Sharks are boosted by the return of Keegan Daniel. Jacques Botes will retain the captaincy playing at number eight. The loss of Odwa Ndungane with a hamstring strain means last week’s debutant SP Marias shifts back to his preferred position at full-back while Sizo Maseko, who missed last week’s match, returns to the wing.
0 Free State Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has named Springbok prop Trevor Nyakane in his starting XV. Lock Teboho Mohoje comes into the starting line up as a replacement for the injured Waltie Vermeulen. Freddie Ngoza had been included as lock cover on the replacement bench. Sarel Pretorius will again start at scrum-half with Kevin Luiters coming onto the bench in the place of Piet van Zyl, who has been called up to the Springboks.
0 Hello and welcome to Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein as the Cheetahs host the Sharks to begin this weekend’s Currie Cup action.