MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 02: Lwazi Mvovo (c) and Odwa Ndungane (R) of the Sharks celebrate a try during the round 12 Super Rugby match between the Rebels and the Sharks at AAMI Park on May 2, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

The Sharks held off the Melbourne Rebels 22-16 in a tight Super Rugby match on Friday to remain top of the standings and become the first South African side to win in Australia or New Zealand this year.

The Durban-based team, who beat the Rebels 64-7 last year, were forced to rely on a single second-half try from winger JP Pietersen and 17 points from the boot of flyhalf Frans Steyn to record their eighth win of the year.

The try came in the 67th minute when the Sharks won a turnover deep in their own half and fed the ball down the backline for the Springbok flyer to touch down.

The Rebels charged back, though, and replacement hooker Pat Leafa crashed over to score after a tap penalty on 69 minutes, narrowing the deficit to six points and setting up a nervous last 11 minutes for the visitors. – Reuters