The Sharks stayed in the hunt for honours when they beat Western Province 43-27 in their top-of-the-table clash in Durban on Saturday.
The Sharks stayed in the hunt for Currie Cup honours when they beat Western Province 43-27 in their top-of-the-table clash in Durban on Saturday.
The match was an ill tempered affair which saw four players receiving their marching orders.
Western Province's discipline led them down at crucial stages and two of their players – loose forwards Jebb Sinclair and Tyrone Holmes – received red cards for punching in separate incidents.
The other dismissals were yellow cards issued to Sharks flanker Jean Deysel, for provoking Sinclair, and WP replacement lock Wilhelm van der Sluys for an off-the-ball charge on Louis Ludik late in the match.
Van der Sluys' sin-binning meant that the visitors finished the match with 12 men after Sinclair and Holmes' dismissals earlier in the half.
The clash, played in wet conditions, was a dour spectacle with most of the exchanges confined to the forwards but the home side made better use of their chances which proved decisive in the end.
The Sharks' hero was inside centre Meyer Bosman, who contributed 23 points via five penalties and four conversions.
When there was rugby being played the Sharks were the more enterprising side and credit must go to their captain Keegan Daniel who led his troops well in trying circumstances.
The discarded Springbok was rewarded for his efforts with a try in the 61st minute when he broke through the middle of a ruck inside WP's 22 before scoring under the posts.
Earlier, Daniel's back row partner Jacques Botes scored the game's first try in the 17th minute after running onto a pass close to the try-line from Odwa Ndungane and he also notched up the hosts' third try, in the 69th minute, from a drive at a line-out deep inside WP's 22.
This followed shortly after Holmes was given a red card for punching Botes off the ball. Province were already under the cosh when Sinclair saw red, 10 minutes earlier, after a scuffle with Deysel near the Sharks' try-line.
Shortly before Holmes' sending off, WP had done well when Louis Schreuder scored their opening try from close quarters and the replacement scrum-half was rewarded again when he got in for a runaway try against the run of play, after capitalising on an error by the Sharks deep inside his own half.
The Sharks went in search of their bonus-point try after Van der Sluys' indiscretion in the 74th minute.
After WP – who were packing down with five men at a scrum on their own try-line – were punished for collapsing one too many set-pieces, the hosts achieved that goal in the dying moments when referee Lourens van der Merwe awarded a penalty try.
Tries: Botes 2, Daniel, penalty try
Cons: Bosman 3
Pens: Bosman 5
For Western Province:
Tries: Schreuder 2
Pens: Catrakilis 4
Yellow cards: Jean Deysel (provocation, 53rd minute), Wilhelm van der Sluys (late charge, 74th minute)
Red cards: Jebb Sinclair (punching off the ball, 53rd minute), Tyrone Holmes (punching off the ball, 68th minute)
Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Riaan Viljoen, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Keegan Daniel (c), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Jandre Marais, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Pieter Dixon, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Julian Redelinghuys, 18 Peet Marais, 19 Brynard Stander, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Marius Joubert, 22 S'bura Sithole.
Western Province: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 JP du Plessis, 12 Marcel Brache, 11 Damian de Allende, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Jebb Sinclair, 7 Tyrone Holmes, 6 Deon Fourie (c), 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Don Armand, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Deon Carstens.
Replacements: 16 Steven Kitshoff, 17 Tom Botha, 18 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 19 Helmut Lehmann, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Joe Pietersen.
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe