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The Sharks ended their ten-match Currie Cup losing streak against the Cheetahs when they defeated the Bloemfontein-based team 22-10 at the Absa Stadium on Saturday evening.
The Sharks led 17-10 at halftime.
After an indifferent start, Cheetahs flank and captain Juan Smith capitalised on a crooked lineout throw by Sharks hooker Bismarck du Plessis.
Smith collected the ball just ten metres out and cantered over for the opening try of the match in the thirteenth minute.
Moments later, Sharks centre Frans Steyn broke through the Cheetahs defence from 30m out and fed the ball to Deon Carstens, who went over unopposed. Sharks scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar added the extra two to tie things up at 7-7.
With ten minutes on the clock until half-time, the
visitors edged into the lead after scrumhalf Tewis de Bruyn slotted an easy penalty.
However, this clearly had no bearing on the Sharks’ confidence as they patiently played percentage rugby with lock Steven Sykes eventually reaping the rewards when he barged over for the Sharks’ second try.
Pienaar converted to make it 14-10 and then, minutes
later, Steyn produced a moment of magic.
Collecting a Cheetahs clearance kick in his own half, he took a couple of strides forward and lined up a drop-goal from 55m out.
It sailed high, long and sweet to take the Sharks into a seven point lead.
After a dominant display in the third quarter, the
Sharks eventually turned their ascendancy into points with Keegan Daniel taking advantage of a massive overlap to score the Sharks’ third try midway through the second stanza.
The Sharks continued to control proceedings for the rest of the match and although they couldn’t secure the bonus point try it could not detract from a magnificent win that sees them go back to the top of the log.
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