Sharks miss out on home Super Rugby semifinal

Last updated 07:48 13/07/2014
Frans Steyn
Getty Images
HOT SHOT: Flyhalf Frans Steyn booted 19 points for the Sharks at Newlands.

Relevant offers

Super Rugby

Former Wallabies captain Phil Kearns wants ARU to 'show some cojones' Lima Sopoaga's brother set to make Super Rugby debut off the bench against Rebels Rapid rise of Whetu Douglas creates happy conundrum for Crusaders Locked in: Chiefs re-sign Dominic Bird and Michael Allardice May the Force be with us - All Blacks great Andrew Mehrtens backs Western Australia team Frustrated Crusaders vow to remedy scrum mess for match against Waratahs Highlanders hooker Liam Coltman re-signs with franchise for two more years 'Cut the Force and Rebels, not the Brumbies': Eddie Jones urges All Blacks captain Kieran Read on track to represent the University club next month Dave Rennie: Chiefs 'embarrassed' in review of ugly Rebels win ahead of Bulls clash

The Sharks returned to winning ways with a 34-10 victory over the Stormers to finish third in the Super Rugby standings this morning and set up a playoff qualifier against the Highlanders.

The Durban side needed to beat their South African counterparts by at least 35 points with a four-try bonus point to leapfrog the second-place Crusaders and earn a home semifinal, but were forced to settle for a more modest victory over the resurgent Stormers. 

After an even first half saw Stormers flanker Nizaam Carr's try overshadowed by four Francois Steyn penalties and a Paul Jordaan try, the Sharks spent the second period showing off their dogged defense before wing Sibusiso Sithole and substitute Stefan Ungerer scored in the final five minutes. 

The Sharks led the standings for most of the regular season to mark themselves as tournament favorites, but recent defeats dented their campaign and they will host the sixth-place Dunedin-based Highlanders in Durban next Saturday. 

They will at least do so buoyed by a return to form that saw them become the first South African side to beat the Stormers at home since 2012. 

The Stormers, winners of their last four games, were looking to give departing Newlands favorites Gio Aplon, Deon Fourie and Peter Grant a fitting send-off and therefore opted for an attacking game that paid early dividends. 

With Sharks flanker Willem Alberts sent to the sin-bin in the 15th minute, the hosts turned down a kickable penalty in favour of a lineout and were rewarded when Carr scored off the back of a rolling maul. However, Steyn's boot punished the Stormers for regular misdemeanours as the Sharks took shots at goal instead of pushing for the four tries. 

The visitors then took control of the game two minutes before halftime when a Stormers mistake from a scrum led to Jordaan's try, and Steyn extended the lead to 22-10 with a fifth penalty five minutes after the break.

 Although the Stormers spent the next 25 minutes camped in the Sharks' half, they were unable to crack the visitors' defence.

The Sharks then showed how clinical they could be as two forays into Stormers territory brought tries from Sithole and Ungerer. 

''It's the mark of a championship side - they created a few opportunities less than us but finished all of them,'' Stormers captain Schalk Burger said.  

Ad Feedback

Sharks 34 (Paul Jordaan, Sibusiso Sithole, Stefan Ungerer tries; Francois Steyn 2 conversions, 5 penalties), Stormers 10 (Nizaam Carr try; Kurt Coleman conversion, penalty). HT: 19-10

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

Which 2015 NZ Super Rugby team looks best?

Blues

Chiefs

Crusaders

Highlanders

Hurricanes

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content