The Sharks capped off their preparations for the Currie Cup with a 19-17 win against Bordeaux in Durban on Friday.
At a windy Moses Mabhida Stadium, where conditions certainly played their part, the Sharks put in an expansive showing to claim a solid win in the inaugural ‘Durban Challenge’.
After a scrappy start to the game where both sides showed plenty of ambition but little accuracy in running the ball, the Sharks drew first blood through a well-worked try by centre Jeremy Ward.
The home side had a number of opportunities. Some poor decision-making and handling errors, however, prevented them from extending their lead in the opening quarter.
Bordeaux flyhalf Matthieu Jalibert kicked a penalty to get his side on the board, but Sharks speedster Aphelele Fassi showed his pace, running 50m for an excellent try.
On the stroke of half-time, the Sharks turned defence into attack as a solid tackle by Ward dislodged the ball, with scrumhalf Grant Williams picking up and sprinting from his own 22 to score.
The Sharks made a number of changes in the second half, and were made to defend as Bordeaux camped in the home side’s 22.
Changes from both sides, as well as some driving rain, turned the match into a somewhat disjointed affair.
Bordeaux scored two tries in the final 10 minutes courtesy of wing Blair Conner and centre Ulupano Seuteni.
Sharks – Tries: Jeremy Ward, Aphelele Fassi, Grant Williams. Conversions: Rob du Preez (2).
Bordeaux – Tries: Blair Conner, Ulupano Seuteni. Conversions: Cyril Cazeaux (2). Penalty: Matthieu Jalibert.
Photo: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images