The Sharks moved provisionally top of the Currie Cup standings after recording a 13-12 win over the Blue Bulls in Durban.
The Sharks moved provisionally top of the Currie Cup standings after a 13-12 win over the Blue Bulls in Durban.
The match was played in atrocious weather conditions with heavy rain and a strong wind restricting most of the exchanges to the two packs.
When the ball was played to the backs, however, the Sharks were the more enterprising side.
The first half was a cagey affair with both sides cautious in their approach but the match came alive in the 22nd minute when Paul Jordaan scored a runaway try after dispossessing JÃ¼rgen Visser just outside the Bulls' 22.
Earlier Bulls fly-half Louis FouchÃ¨ opened the scoring with a well-taken drop goal in the fourth minute and he added two penalties in the half which meant the visitors led 9-5 at the break.
Five minutes after the restart, Sharks captain and number eight Keegan Daniel rounded off in the right-hand corner after combining well with scrum-half Cobus Reinach.
The number nine made a break from inside his half and when his progress was halted just outside the Bulls' 22 he offloaded to Daniel who despite the attentions of CJ Stander and Visser burrowed his way over the try-line to regain the lead for the home side.
Meyer Bosman failed with the conversion but added a crucial penalty five minutes later to extend his side's lead to four points.
The Sharks almost threw all their good efforts away when veteran hooker Pieter Dixon was red carded in the 70th minute for a kick on an opponent at a ruck in front of his try-line.
FouchÃ¨ added a penalty after Dixon's indiscretion and although the Bulls held a numerical advantage for the last 10 minutes they failed to add to their points tally.
The win means the Sharks are on top of the table with 25 points but they could relinquish that position if the Golden Lions beat Western Province in Cape Town tomorrow.
The Bulls earned a bonus point with this loss but are still one place off the bottom of the table.
Tries: Jordaan, Daniel
For Blue Bulls:
Pens: FouchÃ¨ 3
Drop goal: FouchÃ¨
Red card: Pieter Dixon (kicking a player, 70th minute)
Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Paul Jordaan, 10 Riaan Viljoen, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Keegan Daniel (c), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Pieter Dixon, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Julian Redelinghuys, 18 Jandre Marais, 19 Lubalalo Mtembu, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Marius Joubert, 22 S'bura Sithole.
Blue Bulls: 15 JÃ¼rgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Louis FouchÃ¨, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Dewald Potgieter (c), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Willie Wepener, 1 MornÃ¨ Mellett.
Replacements: 16 Bongo Mbonambi, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Warwick Tecklenburg, 20 Ruan Snyman, 21 Lionel CronjÃ¨, 22 Ulrich Beyers.