DURBAN – The Sharks sealed top spot on the Currie Cup standings with a 24-10 win over the Golden Lions in Durban on Friday night.
It’s a 10th win in a row for the Sharks, who now move into an unassailable position at the top of the log and will earn the right to host the final should they progress to the title decider.
In stormy weather conditions the Sharks made the ideal start to proceedings in driving rain, with Curwin Bosch slotting an early penalty to set the tone.
Big Sharks prop Thomas du Toit then burrowed over the tryline in the eighth minute after the Lions failed to exit accurately, while Bosch slotted a second penalty in the 18th minute.
That enabled the Sharks to open up a handy 11-point lead, but in a rather unique set of circumstances, referee Stuart Berry opted to halt the game due to safety concerns over the lightning and thunder.
Although there was a possibility that the game could be called off and the log points shared, the match was able to resume just minutes later after the inclement weather suddenly subsided.
However, the break seemed to be a disservice to the Sharks, who appeared to lose momentum after that, with Keegan Daniel shown a yellow card in the 32nd minute for an off-the-ball act of foul play.
Despite the one-man advantage, though, some aimless kicking meant the Lions were unable to take full advantage, with the Sharks holding on to the 11-point lead heading into halftime.
The Lions’ Jaco van der Walt eventually opened the visitors’ account when he slotted a 55th-minute penalty, but this was quickly cancelled out by another three-pointer from Bosch.
As it was, the Sharks effectively sealed the result when veteran wing Odwa Ndungane superbly finished off a try just past the hour mark after Lions centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg had coughed up possession.
Bosch then slotted a simple drop goal in the 70th minute to extend the Sharks’ advantage, and while Anthony Volmink did score one late try for the Lions, it was scant consolation.
Sharks 24 – Tries: Thomas du Toit, Odwa Ndungane. Conversion: Curwin Bosch (1). Penalties: Bosch (3). Drop goal: Bosch (1).
Golden Lions 10 – Try: Anthony Volmink. Conversion: Jaco van der Walt (1). Penalty: Van der Walt (1).
African News Agency (ANA)