The Sharks booked a home semi-final in this year’s Currie Cup when they registered a 41-11 victory over Griquas in Kimberley on Saturday.
As the scoreline suggests, the Sharks were in control of proceedings for long periods and they eventually outscored their hosts by seven tries to one with Lwazi Mvovo and Leolin Zas both bagging a brace.
Griquas made the brighter start and opened the scoring courtesy of a George Whitehead penalty in the third minute but the Sharks struck back shortly afterwards when Jeremy Ward cantered in for an easy try, after the visitors were camped inside Griquas’ 22.
The Durban-based outfit continued to dominate and in the 15th minute Mvovo gathered a long pass from Robert du Preez before rounding two defenders on his way over the try-line.
Griquas battled to contain the Sharks’ onslaught but narrowed the gap to four points in the 26th minute when Whitehead slotted another penalty.
However, the Sharks finished the half stronger and three minutes later they went on the drive from a lineout, close to Griquas’ try-line. The home side did well to halt the maul’s momentum but from the resulting ruck Akker van der Merwe barged over the whitewash with two defenders on his back.
After failing to convert the first two tries, Curwin Bosch added the extras which gave the Sharks a 17-6 lead.
And two minutes before half-time, Mvovo found himself in space out wide again and he had an easy run-in for his second try which Bosch also converted to give the Sharks a 24-6 lead at the interval.
Five minutes into the second-half, the visitors went further ahead when Van der Merwe got a pass out to Zas, who shrugged off a challenge from AJ Coertzen before dotting down.
And the visitors pulled further ahead in the 50th minute when Aphelele Fassi offloaded to Sbu Nkosi, who outsprinted the cover defence before crossing for his side’s sixth try.
The Sharks continued to attack from all areas of the field and in the 63rd minute Zas went over for his second try after good work from Bosch in the build-up.
Despite having the game in the bag, the Sharks pressed on in the game’s closing stages although Griquas were rewarded when Kyle Steyn scored a consolation try in the 77th minute.
Pens: Whitehead 2
Tries: Ward, Mvovo 2, Van der Merwe, Zas 2, Nkosi
Cons: Bosch 3
Griquas: 15 AJ Coertzen, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Kyle Steyn (c), 12 Andre Swarts, 11 Enver Brandt, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Conway Pretorius, 7 Sias Koen, 6 Wendal Wehr, 5 Pieter Jansen van Vuuren, 4 Sintu Manjezi, 3 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 2 Khwezi Mkhafu, 1 Devon Matinus
Replacements: 16 Liam Hendricks, 17 Nicolaas Oosthuizen, 18 Jonathan Janse van Rensburg, 19 Eital Bredenkamp, 20 Louis Venter, 21 Stephan Janse van Rensburg, 22 Edwin Sass
Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Robert du Preez, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder (c), 8 Tyler Paul, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Luke Stringer, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Gideon Koegelenberg, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Juan Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 John-Hubert Meyer, 18 JJ van der Mescht, 19 Jean-Luc du Preez, 20 Grant Williams, 21 Marius Louw, 22 Leolin Zas
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: Ben Crouse, Jaco Kotze
Television match official: Lourens van der Merwe