Sharks cement top spot
CURRIE CUP MATCH REPORT: The Sharks cemented their place at the top of the standings with an impressive 40-22 demolition of Griquas in Kimberley on Friday.
Outscoring the home team by six tries to three the Sharks took a full-house five points back with them to Durban.
Griquas had their opportunities - despite the Sharks dominating possession - but they were simply not clinical enough and coughed the ball up far too often.
However, they must be applauded for when they got it right, they scored some special tries.
Matches in Kimberley have not always ended so happily for the Sharks and while it was tough early on, the visitors showed their pedigree to record their eighth win of the season.
Griquas drew first blood with a Kyle Steyn try, exploiting space out wide in the third minute.
An attacking line-out five minutes later turned into a maul, before quick hands from Curwin Bosch led to Marius Louw going over for the Sharks' first try - Curwin with Bosch levelling matters with the conversion.
Louw's centre partner Jeremy Ward scored the visitors' second try - following some good interplay between Bosch and Keegan Daniel. Bosch added the conversion.
With the game headed for half-time, a low, flat pass was sent to Odwa Ndungane out wide, but in the process of dotting down, the TMO review showed that the tackler had managed to push him into touch.
The Sharks were playing on a penalty advantage and this time Ross Geldenhuys was awarded a try after TMO review.
The Sharks took a 19-7 lead into the half-time break.
Like the first half, Griquas scored first after the break - having enjoyed rare ball possession in the early stages of the second half - a 45-metre penalty.
However, the home team's joy was short-lived. A penalty in Griquas' half was sent to touch, then the Sharks forwards drove the ball up from the line-out and Marius Louw hit the line straight and hard yo power over for his second try and the Sharks' bonus point.
Bosch converted for a 26-10 lead.
The Sharks added a fifth try after pushing Griquas off their own scrum ball. Tristan Blewett, with his first touch of the ball on debut, sprinted through the disorganised defence, unselfishly offloaded and Keegan Daniel was on hand to run in the try.
With a quarter of the game remaining and a 33-10 lead, the result looked to be locked down.
However, Griquas weren't going to just give up and struck back almost immediately with a second try - Enver Brandt showing great skill to get the ball to ground before being dragged into touch.
With two minutes remaining, Griquas put a very good passage of play together for Wilmar Arnoldi to score their third try.
Jeremy Ward scored a minute later after a strong break by Nkosi, to seal the win.
Man of the match: Adriaan Coertzen, George Whitehead and Jonathan Adendorf certainly did not harm their reputations. Jeremy Ward and Sibusiso Nkosi were constant threats with ball in hand. Scrumhalf Louis Schreuder had another standout game. Ruan Botha and Keegan Daniel also worked very hard. In a game of great excitement it was Springbok discard Curwin Bosch who showed most class - winning our award.
Tries: Steyn, Brandt, Arnoldi
Cons: Whitehead 2
For the Sharks:
Tries: Louw 2, Ward 2, Geldenhuys, Daniel
Cons: Bosch 5
Griquas: 15 Adriaan Coertzen (captain), 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Kyle Steyn, 12 Johnathan Francke, 11 Enver Brandt, 10 George Whitehead, 9 Renier Botha, 8 DeWet Kruger, 7 Sias Koen, 6 Wendal Wehr, 5 Pieter Janse van Vuren, 4 Jonathan Adendorf, 3 Stephan Kotze, 2 Abraham le Roux, 1 Nicolaas Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Wilmar Arnoldi, 17 Liam Hendricks, 18 Sintu Manjezi, 19 Shaun McDonald, 20 Tiaan Dorfling, 21 Andre Swarts, 22 Eric Zana.
Sharks: 15 Garth April, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Sibusiso Nkosi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Jean Droste, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Juan Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Hyron Andrews, 19 Wian Vosloo, 20 Michael Claassens, 21 Tristan Blewett, 22 Inny-Christian Radebe
Referee: Anselmi Federico (Argentina)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs, Mpho Matsaung
TMO: Shaun Veldsman