The Sharks XV continued their unbeaten run as they eased to a 54-24 (half-time 34-10) win over the Regent Boland Cavaliers in their Vodacom Cup South Section match at Kings Park in Durban on Friday.
The win was the Sharks XV’s fifth on the trot and they consolidated their position atop the South Section.
Flank Brynard Stander grabbed a brace of tries while flyhalf Fred Zeilinga finished with 24 points courtesy of four penalties and six conversions.
But the hosts were made to work hard for their victory, particularly in the second half, by a battling Boland outfit which held their own in the forward exchanges.
Boland opened the scoring in the second minute thanks to a penalty from veteran flyhalf Ricardo Croy but the Sharks XV struck back almost immediately when Stander rounded off a try that was set up by a scintillating break from left wing Sizo Maseko..
The hosts grabbed their second try, in the 14th minute, when right wing S’bura Sithole was on hand to take a scoring pass from fullback Gouws Prinsloo.
Zeilinga converted both of the early tries before adding two penalties before Stander forced his way over for another converted try as the home team surged in to a 27-3 lead after just 31 minutes.
Boland had competed well in the first half and they grabbed a hard-fought try four minutes before the break when hooker Ulrich Pretorius rumbled over for a converted score.
However, the hosts had the final say in the half and shortly before the half-time hooter inside centre Heimar Williams sliced his way through a gap to slide over for a converted try.
Boland had the better of the opening exchanges at the start of the second half and they grabbed their second try, 13 minutes after the restart, when fullback Jacquin Jansen slid over from close-range after the Cavaliers had opted to run a penalty five metres from the Sharks XV tryline.
The visitors had their tails up, while they were aided by the hosts' propensity to infringe at the breakdown, and Boland were awarded a penalty try in the 67th minute when the Sharks XV were adjudged to have collapsed a maul just short of their tryline.
Boland were rampant but Zeilinga settled the home team’s nerves with a 75th minute penalty before replacement’s Murray Bondesio and Jaco van Tonder went over for late tries.
Sharks XV – Tries: Brynard Stander (2), S’bura Sithole, Heimar Williams, Murray Bondesio, Jaco van Tonder; Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (6); Penalties: Zeilinga (4).
Regent Boland Cavaliers – Tries: Ulrich Pretorius, Jacquin Jansen, Penalty Try; Conversions: Ricardo Croy (3); Penalty: Croy.