Sharks thrash Waratahs
The Sharks consolidated their lead at the summit of the Super Rugby standings on Saturday with a 32-10 win over the Waratahs at Kings Park in Durban.
It was far from an advertisement for entertaining rugby but the Sharks will be happy to take the four points ahead of their bye next week.
The result leaves Jake White's side six points clear of the Brumbies, meaning they will keep top spot for at least another fortnight.
The home side outscored the 'Tahs two tries to one thanks to touchdowns from loose forwards Willem Alberts and Keegan Daniel while Bernard Foley scored a consolation try for the visitors.
A bad-tempered and unentertaining first-half came to an end with the Sharks leading 12-3 thanks to penalties from Fred Zeilinga and Frans Steyn.
Highlights from the first half were few and far between as both sides looked for territory with the boot.
Both Steyn and Rob Horne were lucky not to see yellow cards for late and high tackles respectively as constant niggle threatened to boil over and made for a poor spectacle.
Foley's kicking was below-par and there were handling errors aplenty in the humid conditions.
The second half wasn't much better as the Sharks continued to grind their visitors down.
When the home pack crashed over from a driving maul on the 50 minute mark, the result looked settled.
Zeilinga's fourth penalty and Daniel's try - from a penalty taken quickly from short range - secured the win as it took the scores to 27-3.
Pat McCutcheon broke to put Foley over in the dying minutes but it was too little, too late for the Waratahs.
Tries: Alberts, Daniel
Cons: Zeilinga 2
Pens: Zeilinga 5, Steyn
Yellow card: Dennis
Sharks: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 S'bura Sithole, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (c), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Keegan Daniel, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Heimar Williams, 23 SP Marais.
Waratahs: 15 Jono Lance, 14 Rob Horne, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Peter Betham, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis (c), 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Jacques Potgieter, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Venue: Kings Park Stadium, Durban
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Marius Jonker (South Africa)