DURBAN – Loose forward Dan du Preez scored a brace of tries as the Sharks claimed an emphatic 37-21 win over the Golden Lions in Durban on Saturday.
It’s a result that will see the Sharks – at least temporarily – shoot to the top of the Currie Cup standings, and they certainly look well-placed to claim a home playoff with two pool games still to play.
This game was effectively won and lost in the first half, with the Sharks producing a dominant all-round performance in pouring rain to open up a commanding 30-7 lead.
With the return of Springbok Thomas du Toit at tighthead prop, the Sharks dominated at scrum-time, but it was also their handling and finishing that proved to be most impressive in the conditions.
Although the Lions did open the try-scoring when Sylvian Mahuza went over early on, but the Sharks responded with well-worked tries to Du Preez, Louis Schreuder and Luke Stringer.
To make matters worse for the Lions, they also saw lock Marvin Orie yellow-carded for an act of foul play, with Stringer scoring soon after to effectively send the Sharks into an unassailable lead.
Du Preez continued with his fine performance when he wrapped up his brace of tries soon after the restart.
And although the Lions did hit back on the hour mark through James Venter, there was always going to be too much ground to make up.
The Lions would add a little more respectability to the scoreline with a late, opportunistic try to Wandisile Simelane, but it would be the Sharks who celebrated a job well done.
Sharks 37 – Tries: Dan du Preez (2), Louis Schreuder, Luke Stringer. Conversions: Robert du Preez (4). Penalty: Du Preez (3).
Lions 21 – Tries: Sylvian Mahuza, James Venter, Wandisile Simelane. Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (2), Andries Coetzee.
African News Agency (ANA)