The Sharks secured top spot in the Currie Cup standings with a comprehensive 42-3 victory over a sloppy Griquas side at Kings Park on Friday.
Griquas put themselves in good scoring positions but could not take advantage as crucial errors let them down, so they will have to rely on some results going their way on Saturday if they are to qualify for the semifinals.
The home side got their noses in front early when scrumhalf Cobus Reinach linked well with JP Pietersen down the blindside to go over for an early try.
The teams then traded penalties, but a basic error from Griquas fullback Willie le Roux handed the Sharks an opportunity which they took well.
Le Roux took his eye off the ball and lost it forward on his tryline which handed the Sharks an unexpected attacking scrum, and they made the most of it when Louis Ludik dived on a well-weighted grubber from Pat Lambie to stretch their lead to 15-3.
The Griquas fought hard for some territorial dominance, and were given a boost when Sharks skipper Keegan Daniel was shown a yellow card for collapsing a maul, but the team from Kimberley could not take advantage of the extra man as the Sharks managed to hold them out.
The Durban side increased the pressure when Lambie put a flying Lwazi Mvovo in space with a neat inside ball, and the replacement wing finished well to score a try which put the Sharks in complete control at 22-3.
Griquas were dealt a further blow when wing Jannie Boshoff was shown a yellow card on the stroke of half-time for a dangerous tackle on Paul Jordaan and they certainly had it all to do in the second half.
The second half was a much tighter affair as the Sharks held the determined Griquas out and two further penalties from Lambie put them in complete control before late tries from replacements Lubabalo Mtembu and Charl McLeod put the icing on the cake for the home side.
More to follow...
Tries: Reinach, Ludik, Mvovo, Mtembu, McLeod
Cons: Lambie 4
Pens: Lambie 3
Yellow cards: Daniel (Collapsing maul, 31 mins) Boshoff (Dangerous tackle, 40 mins)
Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Jandré Marais, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Jannie du Plessis, 18 Peet Marais, 19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Lwazi Mvovo.
Griquas: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 Jean Stemmet, 12 Walter Venter, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Leon Karemaker, 7 Justin Downey, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Martin Muller, 4 Rynard Landman, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Ryno Barnes (captain), 1 Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dobson, 17 Ivann Espag, 18 Edwin Hewitt, 19 Wesley Wilkins, 20 Jacques Coetzee, 21 Marnitz Boshoff, 22 Richard Lawson.
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistants: Ben Crouse, Reuben Rossouw
TMO: Shaun Veldsman
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