HONG KONG – The Sharks scored five tries as they clinched a comfortable 31-14 win over Racing 92 in a Super Rugby warm-up game in Hong Kong on Saturday.
Sharks coach Robert du Preez had selected what looked to be close to a first-choice side for this contest, and he would have been pleased by this effort from his troops, who clinically dispatched Racing without much trouble.
The Sharks got off to a flying start when new recruit Makazole Mapimpi scored early on, while big lock Stephan Lewies then produced a lovely offload to put Marius Louw away for a try under the posts just before the quarter-hour mark.
The first half action petered out from there as neither side was able to find any real rhythm to their play, although the Sharks would have been encouraged by their organisation on defence, which enabled them to hang on to a handy 12-0 lead at halftime.
Soon after the restart, the Sharks produced a beautiful backline move for Louw to complete his brace of tries, while the excellent conversion from Rob du Preez sent his side into a commanding 19-0 lead.
Racing hit back soon after through So’otala Fa’as’o, but impressive scrumhalf Cameron Wright darted over for the Sharks’ fourth try just before the hour mark as the Durban-based side re-established their ascendancy.
Xavier Chauveau scored a late try, but it would be the Sharks’ Curwin Bosch who had the final say on proceedings as he went over for a converted try.
That score completed a productive hit-out for coach Robert du Preez’s team ahead of their Super Rugby opener against the Lions on February 17.
Racing 14 – Tries: So’otala Fa’as’o, Xavier Chauveau. Conversions: Antoine Gibert (2).
Sharks 31 – Tries: Makazole Mapimpi, Marius Louw (2), Cameron Wright, Curwin Bosch. Conversions: Rob du Preez (2), Bosch.
African News Agency (ANA)