The Sharks scored five tries to beat the Reds 36-28 at Kings Park in 2006, recalls SIMON BORCHARDT.
Two years earlier, Natal had edged Queensland 6-5 in one of the worst Super Rugby matches ever. This game, though, was far more entertaining as the teams traded try for try in the first hour, with Deon Carstens, Henno Mentz and AJ Venter going over for the Sharks and Stephen Moore, Peter Hynes and Berrick Barnes hitting back for the visitors.
But John Smit's side took charge with tries from Warren Britz and Ruan Pienaar that gave them a 15-point lead with seven minutes to go.
Hynes then ensured the Reds would get something out of the game when he went over for their bonus-point try.
The Sharks went on to finish fifth on the Super 14 log, with the Bulls, who thrashed the Stormers 43-10 in their last league game, finishing fourth on points difference and sneaking into the semi-finals. The Reds finished 14th, with just four wins from their 13 matches.
Sharks – Tries: Deon Carstens, Henno Mentz, AJ Venter, Warren Britz, Ruan Pienaar. Conversions: Tony Brown (4). Penalty: Brown.
Reds – Tries: Peyer Hynes (2), Stephen Moore, Berrick Barnes. Conversions: Julian Huxley (4).
Sharks – 15 Percy Montgomery, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Adrian Jacobs, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Henno Mentz, 10 Tony Brown, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 AJ Venter, 7 Jacques Botes, 6 Warren Britz, 5 Johann Muller, 4 Johan Ackermann, 3 BJ Botha, 2 John Smit (c), 1 Deon Carstens.
Subs: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 Albert van den Berg, 19 Keegan Daniel, 20 Graig Davidson, 21 Waylon Murray, 22 JP Pietersen.
Reds – 15 Drew Mitchell, 14 Peter Hynes, 13 Ben Tune, 12 Julian Huxley, 11 Caleb Brown, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Sam Cordingley, 8 John Roe (c), 7 David Croft, 6 Tom McVerry, 5 James Horwill, 4 Mitchell Chapman, 3 Rodney Blake, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Greg Holmes.
Subs: 16 Sean Hardman, 17 Anthony Mathison, 18 Ben Mowen, 19 Mark Connors, 20 Josh Valentine, 21 Lloyd Johansson, 22 Henari Veratau.
Photo: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images