Boeta Chamberlain struck three successful drop goals to inspire the Sharks to their first Vodacom United Rugby Championship victory as they dominated Ospreys in Swansea on Friday.
The Sharks overcame a frustrating first half – marred by contentious officiating and unforced errors – to clinch a 27-13 victory courtesy of a clinical second-half display.
Chamberlain was front and centre of the Sharks’ maiden win, knocking over three drop goals while Werner Kok and Marnus Potgieter dotted down and veteran scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar added eight points with the boot.
With the result, the Sharks break their two-game slump in the United Rugby Championship and also end a run of seven straight losses for the South African franchises.
The Sharks had conceded 77 points in losing their two opening fixtures, but the lethargic Ospreys held no answers to the visitors’ energy and enterprise.
For Ospreys, Gareth Anscombe kicked two penalties to add to Gareth Thomas’ try, which Stephen Myler converted.
Alun Wyn Jones made his first appearance since returning from the British & Irish Lions tour, but Wales international prop Tomas Francis was a late withdrawal with a stomach bug.
The Ospreys overcame this setback by taking an early lead thanks to an Anscombe penalty before the visitors suffered an injury blow when wing Thaakir Abrahams was helped off.
Pienaar missed a long-range penalty for the Sharks before Anscombe extended the hosts’ lead with a second straightforward kick.
The Sharks were regularly penalised in the opening quarter but they still matched their opponents during that period and deservedly picked up their first score when Chamberlain dropped a simple goal from close range.
Six minutes later, Chamberlain fired over an impressive second, this time from 40 metres, to bring the scores level 6-6 at the interval.
Within 90 seconds of the restart, the visitors took the lead for the first time. A well-judged kick ahead from Chamberlain was collected by lively lock Hyron Andrews, who provided the scoring pass for Ward.
Volmink sailed through the defence at the end of the third quarter to provide Potgieter with an easy run-in before Chamberlain slammed over his third drop goal and Pienaar kicked a pair of penalties for the win.