KIMBERLEY – The Sharks claimed an eighth successive Currie Cup win as they secured a bonus-point 40-22 win over Griquas in Kimberley on Friday.
Although this was far from a complete performance from the Sharks, they did enough to comfortably claim all five log points to move well clear at the top of the overall standings.
The Durban-based side now look certain to finish the pool stages in pole position – with just four more regular-season rounds of action remaining – while Griquas appear destined to end up with the wooden spoon
Griquas made an encouraging start to proceedings when centre Kyle Steyn scored early on, but the Sharks hit straight back as Marius Louw darted through a gap in the defence to dot down in the sixth minute.
Despite the frantic start to the encounter, errors crept into the contest from there, with both teams failing to make the most of opportunities with ball-in-hand.
However, the Sharks eventually strung an accurate sequence of play together, with some lovely interplay from Keegan Daniel setting up a try for Jeremy Ward just before the half-hour mark.
Despite some inaccuracy when it came to their finishing, the Sharks had dominated possession and territory during the opening stanza, and were duly rewarded just before the break when prop Ross Geldenhuys barged over to score.
That enabled them to lead into the second half with a handy 19-7 lead, and although George Whitehead drew three points back for Griquas soon after the restart, Louw secured his brace just moments later.
Just before the hour mark, Daniel dotted down under the posts for the Sharks’ fifth try, and although Griquas winger Enver Brandt showed great strength to score next, there was always going to be too much ground for the hosts to make up.
As it turned out, even when Wilmar Arnoldi scored for Griquas during the latter stages of the clash, it would be the Sharks who ensured they had the final say as Ward claimed his second try with the final play of the game.
Griquas 22 – Tries: Kyle Steyn, Enver Brandt, Wilmar Arnoldi. Conversions: George Whitehead (2). Penalty: Whitehead (1).
Sharks 40 – Tries: Marius Louw (2), Jeremy Ward (2), Ross Geldenhuys, Keegan Daniel. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (5).
African News Agency (ANA)