French star Freddy Michalak won the kicking contest as the Sharks edged Western Province 21-19 in their Currie Cup encounter at a wet Newlands on Friday.
In a replay of the 2010 Currie Cup Final the Sharks outmuscled the WP pack for most part of the game, but the real difference was the French flyhalf - Michalak.
He kicked three drop-goals in a crucial 10-minute period just before and after the half-time break to go with his four penalties as he scored all the points for the visitors.
On the flipside - for Province - there was the cool as cucumber rookie Demetri Catrakilis, who kicked a drop-goal of his own, along with two penalties and a conversion. Brok Harris scored the only try of the match.
Michalak's drop-goal blitz gave the Sharks a 15-3 lead with just on half-an-hour to go, before the home lead launched a blistering fightback to take a 19-18 lead with 10 minutes to go.
However, a late Michalak penalty sealed the win for the visitors.
For Western Province:
Pens: Catrakilis 3
For the Sharks:
Pens: Michalak 4
DGs: Michalak 3
Western Province: 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 JJ Engelbrecht, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nick Köster, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Rohan Kitshoff, 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Hilton Lobberts, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Deon Fourie (captain), 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 Adriaan Fondse, 19 Pieter Louw, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Berton Klaasen, 22 Marcel Brache.
Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Stefan Terblanche, 12 Patrick Lambie, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Keegan Daniel (captain), 5 Ross Skeate, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Eugene van Staden, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Jan Andre Marais, 19 Jacques Botes, 20 Conrad Hoffmann, 21 Adrian Jacobs, 22 Marius Joubert.
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe
Assistant referees: Christie `du Preez, Rasta Rashivenga
TMO: Gerrie Coetzee
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