at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Lwazi Mvovo scored two splendid breakaway tries as the Sharks produced their best performances of the Super rugby season with a 53-11 victory over the Force at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday.
The hosts led 20-6 at the break, thanks to scores from Steven Sykes and Paul Jordaan, before Mvovo’s double added to tries from Louis Ludik, Craig Burden and Jacques Botes sealed an emphatic win that moved them up to sixth on the overall standings.
The Force, who remained third bottom, went in front after five minutes when Marcell Coetzee was penalised for not releasing completely allowing David Harvey to pop over.
An offside against Salesi Ma'afu allowed Patrick Lambie to hit straight back and level the scores.
But the hosts did not have to wait long for their opening five-pointer, which came after the ball was recycled nicely on the right, with Sykes picking up and marauding his way over under the post.
Lambie converted comfortably, with the Force then enjoying a strong spell of possession close to the Sharks' line before the half-hour mark.
Their reward was another penalty for Harris after Keegan Daniel stuck out a hand illegally.
But the response was an emphatic one from the men in black as Lambie took full advantage of a penalty advantage and broke free through the middle, before offloading to Jordaan for his first Super Rugby try.
Lambie made no mistake with the conversion, but missed a straightforward penalty and then scored another after David Pocock erred as the Sharks lead by 14 at the break.
That lead was extended to 21 straight after when Daniel’s quick penalty saw him make 45 metres, before the ball made its way to Ludik, who cut inside expertly and ran in a third converted try.
And within five minutes of that score, Mvovo intercepted on his own 22-metre line and darted all the way down the left to grab the bonus-point try.
The Force momentarily threatened some points of their own after the kick-off, but Mvovo again haunted them as he controlled Alfie Mafi’s wayward pass with his feet, before regathering and this time running from close to the 15-metre mark to score his 12th career try.
Replacement flyhalf Frederic Michalak knocked over the extras, with the Force’s woes compounded on the hour after Locky McCaffrey was yellow carded for playing the man without the ball.
Burden and Botes then ran over converted tries from close-range against a tiring Australian outfit, who did manage a try of their own on the final whistle via winger Samu Wara, as the Sharks completed a comprehensive win.
Scorers: Sharks: Tries: Steven Sykes, Paul Jordaan, Louis Ludik, Lwazi Mvovo (2), Craig Burden, Jacques Botes. Conversions: Patrick Lambie (2), Frederic Michalak (4). Penalties: Lambie (2).
Force: Try: Samu Wara. Penalties: David Harvey (2). – Sapa