Sharks fullback Curwin Bosch contributed 21 points to help the home side beat the Vodacom Blue Bulls 26-19 in their Currie Cup clash in Durban on Saturday.
The Sharks consolidate their position at the top of the log with this hard fought win at home as they continued their unbeaten run in the competition.
The visitors will be disappointed, but they weren't clinical enough, especially in the second half, to snatch a win. It was a scrappy game for the most part with both teams making plenty of handling errors.
It was the visitors who started the game brightly when Jamba Ulengo exploited some poor Sharks defence to dive over under the posts. Tian Schoeman added the conversion and a penalty while Bosch kicked two penalties as the visitors took a 10-6 lead.
Ruan Steenkamp's yellow card in the 32nd minute for a tip tackle swung the momentum in favour of the Sharks. They initially struggled to take advantage of their numerical advantage when first Bosch failed to convert a penalty before a poor pass killed a promising attaking move in the Bulls 22 after Philip van der Walt exploited a gap.
The try eventually came courtesy of Ruan Botha who powered over the line after a sustained periof of pressure on the Bulls defence. Bosch added the extras to make it 13-10 before he slotted a drop goal on half time to give his side a 16-10 lead at the break.
Schoeman closed the gap to 16-13 shortly after the second half resumed but Bosch further stamped his mark on proceedings when he finished off a move which was started by Lwazi Mvovo, who broke the line before going to ground. The ball was recycled quickly before Inny Radebe put Bosch away for a well deserved five-pointer.
The Bulls never gave up and another Schoeman penalty reduced the deficit to just four points. Bosch had an opportunity in the 72nd minute to extend the lead but he pushed the penalty kick wide. However, when he got another chance a few minutes later he made no mistake.
The Bulls threatened to score a try in the dying minutes and went for the lineout after receiving a penalty deep in Sharks territory, but the home side turned the ball over to kill off the game.
Cell C Sharks - Tries: Curwin Bosch, Ruan Botha. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (2). Penalties: Curwin Bosch (3). Drop Goal: Curwin Bosch.
Vodacom Blue Bulls - Try: Jamba Ulengo. Conversion: Tian Schoeman. Penalties: Tian Schoeman (4).
Mixed results for juniors
Earlier in the day the Cell C Sharks Under-21 team edged out the Vodacom Blue Bulls Under-21, beating them 23-21 in the SA Rugby Under-21 Provincial Championship. The home side lead 12-17 at the break.
Cell C Sharks U21 23 (12). Tries: Michael Meyer, Tristan Blewett (2). Conversion: Jaywinn Juries. Penalties: Ruben de Vos (2)
Blue Bulls Under-21 21 (7). Tries: Dewald Naude, Mervano Da Silva, Ruben van Heerden. Conversions: Tinus de Beer (3).
In their match against the Cell C Sharks Under-19 team in the SA Rugby Under-19 Provincial Championship, the Vodacom Blue Bulls Under-19 team won 28-22.
They had a 21-7 lead at the break.
Sharks U19 22 (7). Tries: Donovan Du Randt, James Tedder (2), Taigh Schoor. Conversion: Gareth Simpson
Blue Bulls U19 28 (22). Tries: Ciaran Dayaram, Nico Peyper (2), Stedman Gans. Conversions: Manie Libbok (4).