Wing Makazole Mapimpi scored a brace as the Sharks beat the Bulls 31-14 in their pre-season warm-up in Polokwane on Saturday.
While the Bulls split their squad into two groups for this game and the clash against the Lions earlier in the day, the Sharks utilised their entire playing squad in this encounter.
Coach Robert du Preez fielded a strong XV for the first half and a makeshift lineup for the second.
It was a closely fought affair in the opening 15 minutes, with neither side able to breach the opposition’s defence. But the Sharks would take the lead eventually through a converted try by scrumhalf Cameron Wright after the Bulls conceded two scrum penalties.
With half-time approaching, flyhalf Manie Libbok flummoxed the Sharks’ defence and crashed over for a self-converted effort to draw the Bulls level at 7-7.
The second half belonged to the Sharks and in particular their new recruit Mapimpi, who played in his first match for the Durban-based side.
Scores by Mapimpi and centre Marius Louw pushed the Sharks out to a 12-point advantage before the game went into a scoreless period despite end-to-end action by both teams.
The last 10 minutes were explosive as Jacques Vermeulen and Mapimpi crossed the tryline for the Sharks, who finished strongly.
The Bulls’ only other try was courtesy of hooker Jaco Visagie.
Bulls – Tries: Manie Libbok, Jaco Visagie. Conversions: Libbok, Marnitz Boshoff.
Sharks – Tries: Cameron Wright, Makazole Mapimpi (2), Marius Louw, Jacques Vermeulen. Conversions: Curwin Bosch, Rob du Preez (2).
Bulls – 15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Burger Odendaal (c), 11 Jade Stighling, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Aston Fortuin, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Frans van Wyk, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Subs: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Pierre Schoeman, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Eli Snyman, 20 Jano Venter, 21 Roelof Smit, 22 Andre Warner, 23 Marnitz Boshoff, 24 Franco Naude, 25 Jamba Ulengo, 26 Duncan Matthews.
Sharks (first half) – 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Jeremy Ward, 11 S’busiso Nkosi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Keegan Daniel, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha (c), 4 Hyron Andrews, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Sharks (second half) – 15 Garth April, 14 Makazole Mapimpi, 13 Tristan Blewett, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Courtney Winnaar, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Wian Vosloo, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Gideon Koegelenberg, 3 John-Hubert Meyer, 2 Franco Marais (c), 1 Mzamo Majola.
Extra players: Chiliboy Ralepelle, Khuta Mchunu.
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images