Akker van der Merwe and Stedman Gans scored two tries apiece as the Vodacom Bulls hammered the Sharks in the Vodacom URC in Pretoria on Saturday afternoon.
Van der Merwe and Stedman Gans dotted down either side of the break for the Bulls while Johan Goosen kicked 14 points in a 44-10 bonus-point win in sweltering conditions at Loftus Versfeld, following a round 6 hammering of Connacht on the Highveld last week.
Sharks flyhalf Curwin Bosch opened the scoring in the third minute from the kicking tee, but first-half tries from Gans, Kurt-Lee Arendse and Van der Merwe, and two conversions and a penalty from Goosen, powered the hosts into a commanding 27-3 lead at the interval.
Outside centre Gans dotted down either side of a yellow card for Sharks hooker Fez Mbatha, who earned 10 minutes on the naughty chair for an indirect shoulder-on-head tackle to Arendse.
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Right winger Arendse cut in from the left touchline to add his name to scoresheet in the 33rd minute, before hooker Van der Merwe powered over for the bonus-point try on the stroke of half time.
The Sharks drew first blood soon after the restart via a penalty try – Bulls loosehead prop Gerhard Steenekamp shown yellow for collapsing the maul – but the home side did well in the face of a relentless attacking period from the visitors inside the third quarter of the match.
Van der Merwe notched up his brace while skipper Elrigh Louw also featured among the tries in the final 20 minutes as Jake White’s men completed an emphatic win.
The Bulls will be back at Loftus next weekend to launch their second season in the Champions Cup with a visit from the English Premiership champions, Saracens, while the Sharks kick off their maiden campaign in the Challenge Cup against French outfit Pau in Durban.