The Sharks and Vodacom Bulls drew their pre-season match in Ballito 7-7 after a scoreless second half.
With 22 Springboks across the two match-day squads, both sides went in search of a confidence-building win ahead of the Vodacom Super Rugby season. Neither would achieve it.
In extremely hot conditions the encounter got off to a slow and sloppy start as the teams battled to hang on to possession. The Bulls struck first though, when hooker Schalk Brits powered over after a 5m scrum. Handré Pollard converted.
The Sharks replied shortly after when scrumhalf Cameron Wright took an inside pass from Jacques Vermeulen to score. Curwin Bosch kicked the conversion, although it was only after the game that the match officials confirmed that it had, in fact, gone over.
Neither side was able to add to its tally in the second half.
In the 60th minute, the Sharks set an attacking lineout on the Bulls 5m line, but the chance went abegging when the hosts knocked on and conceded a scrum.
Moments later the Sharks had another lineout inside the opposition 22, but the Bulls’ defence remained composed, and they came away with another scrum from where they cleared the ball.
The Bulls will host the Stormers next Saturday in their Super Rugby opener, while the Sharks kick off their campaign against the Sunwolves in Singapore.
Sharks – Try: Cameron Wright. Conversion: Curwin Bosch.
Bulls – Try: Schalk Brits. Conversion: Handré Pollard.
Sharks – 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 S’bu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder (c), 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Hyron Andrews, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Beast Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Juan Schoeman, 17 Fezo Mbatha, 18 Khutha Mchunu, 19 Ruben van Heerden, 20 Gideon Koegelenberg, 21 Wian Vosloo, 22 Luke Stringer, 23 Phepsi Buthelezi, 24 Cameron Wright, 25 Robert du Preez, 26 Lwazi Mvovo, 27 Andre Esterhuizen, 28 Jeremy Ward, 29 Leolin Zas, 30 Courtney Winnaar, 31 Kerron van Vuuren, 32 Grant Williams, 33 Rhyno Smith. 12.
Bulls – 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Dylan Sage, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Lood de Jager (c), 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Schalk Britz, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Subs: 16 Johan Grobbelaar, 17 Matthys Basson, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Hanro Liebenberg, 20 Paul Schoeman, 21 Jannes Kirsten, 22 Tim Agaba, 23 André Warner, 24 JT Jackson, 25 Jade Stighling, 26 Divan Rossouw. 10.
Photo: Steve Haag/Steve Haag Sports