The Sharks moved to the top of the Currie Cup standings on Saturday with a 27-16 victory over Western Province at the ABSA Stadium.
The Sharks moved to the top of the Currie Cup standings on Saturday with a 27-16 win over Western Province at the ABSA Stadium in Durban.
WP went into the clash as the only unbeaten team in the competition but were outscored two tries to one and now trail the Durbanites by three points on the championship table.
There was nothing to pick between the sides at half time as Willem de Waal's third penalty just before the break gave Western Province a 9-8 lead.
Sharks wing Odwa Ndungane scored the only try of the first half, burning down the touchline after Keegan Daniel had bust through the WP defence one a rare occasion when the visitors' line was broken.
Number eight Ryan Kankowski put the Sharks back in front early in the second half however with a fabulous effort, stepping and jinking his way past three defenders to score a try any backline player in the world would be proud of.
Sharks fly-half Patrick Lambie added three more penalties to his score-opening kick in the first period to gradually move the home side out of striking distance.
By the time the match reached the hour mark the Sharks held the upper hand and Province needed to stage a dramatic recovery if they were to successfully defend their unbeaten record.
A late drop goal from skipper Stefan Terblanche made sure the hosts would not be overhauled.
A last-minute consolation try for WP replacement loose forward Nick KÃ¶ster saved some face for the Capetonians, but was not enough for a losing bonus point.
For the Sharks:
Tries: Ndungane, Kankowski
Pens: Lambie 4
For Western Province:
Pens: De Waal 3
Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Stefan Terblanche (c), 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Eugene van Staden, 18 Ross Skeate, 19 Jacques Botes, 20 Rory Kockott, 21 Monty Dumond
Western Province : 5 Conrad Jantjes, 14 JJ Engelbrecht, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Paul Bosch, 11 Frikkie Welsh, 10 Willem de Waal, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Pieter Louw, 5 Anton van Zyl (c), 4 Adriaan Fondse, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Wicus Blaauw.
Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Buhle Mxunyelwa, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Nick KÃ¶ster, 20 Conrad Hoffmann, 21 Lionel CronjÃ©, 22 Morgan Newman.
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe