The Sharks backed up their Super Rugby win at Newlands with a slender 25-23 Currie Cup victory over Western Province on Saturday.
The Sharks backed up their Super Rugby semi-final victory at Newlands with a 25-23 Currie Cup success over Western Province at the same venue.
In a see-saw final fifteen minutes in Cape Town, the lead changed hands three times but Province failed to capitalise on the chances that arrived.
The hosts enjoyed both a territorial advantage and a major share of possession at the outset and for the opening ten minutes they had a vice-like grip on the game. Desperate to lay their hands on the ball, the visiting Sharks infringed on several fronts to concede penalties, two of which were goaled by WP full-back Joe Pietersen for a 6-0 advantage.
In the ensuing minutes, there was some more fiery play from the home side, with scrum-half Dewaldt Duvenage leading the way with a fine break to transfer play from his own ten-metre to the Sharks 22. A line-out moments later provided the platform for Province to set off on a maul which was rounded off with a converted Tiaan Liebenberg try to take it out to 13-0.
Midway through the first-half, the Sharks got something for their efforts when Meyer Bosman sent over a penalty ten minutes ahead of the break to make it a 13-3 half-time scoreline.
When the teams returned the Sharks turned the match on its head with two tries in the first four minutes of play. First centre Paul Jordaan tip-toed his way past the defence after he set off from halfway and then hooker Craig Burden ran in unchallenged from 20 metres out. Bosman converted the second touchdown to give the Sharks the lead for the first time.
Pietersen succeeded with a 54th minute penalty to regain the lead at 16-15 for Province, but almost as soon as play was restarted hooker Burden was in for his second converted try.
With twelve minutes left, the Sharks had flank Jacques Botes yellow-carded for foul play.
This was the cue for Province to chase down the six-point deficit and again a five-metre line-out proved a handy launchpad as flanker Deon Fourie crashed over. Pietersen goaled the angled kick to give Province the lead again at 23-22, eight minutes from time at Newlands.
However, the home fans were silenced a minute later when Riaan Viljoen snapped over what proved to be a match-winning drop-goal a minute later for a repeat feeling of July 28.
For Western Province:
Tries: Liebenberg, Fourie
Con: Pietersen 2
Pen: Pietersen 3
For The Sharks:
Tries: Jordaan, Burden 2
Con: Bosman 2
Western Province: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 JP du Plessis, 12 Marcel Brache, 11 Gio Aplon, 10 Burton Francis, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Jebb Sinclair, 7 Tyrone Holmes, 6 Deon Fourie (captain), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Don Armand, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Deon Carstens.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Brok Harris, 18 JC Kritzinger, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Gary van Aswegen, 22 Damian de Allende.
The Sharks: 15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 S'bura Sithole, 10 Riaan Viljoen, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jean Deysel (capt), 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Jandre Marais, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Julian Redelinghuys, 18 Peet Marais, 19 Francois Kleinhans, 20 Conrad Hoffmann, 21 Marius Joubert, 22 Rosko Specman.
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe