Currie Cup finalists the Sharks continued their good form in their first outing in the Preparation Series with a 35-10 win against Griquas in Durban on Sunday evening.
Having produced an error-ridden first half and given coach Sean Everitt little to enthuse about, the Sharks clicked into gear in the second half and ran the men from Kimberley off their feet.
Everitt’s men scored 35 unanswered points after falling 10-0 behind after 33 minutes.
Griquas scored a converted try through flank Gideon van der Merwe in the 23rd minute and flyhalf George Whitehead slotted a 33rd minute penalty to give his side a deserved lead just after the 30-minute mark.
Sharks wing Anthony Volmink then crossed on the stroke of half-time to get the Sharks back in the contest and when Griquas scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer was sin-binned for a deliberate knockdown on 56 minutes with the Sharks poised to score a second try – which they were rewarded for with a penalty try – the game all but slipped away from the visitors.
At 14-10 up, the Sharks took charge and ran in further tries by impressive and always dangerous Aphelele Fassi, replacement wing Thaakir Abrahams and replacement No 10 Jordan Chait.
In the blink of an eye the Sharks had turned the game in their favour and there was no coming back from Griquas. They ended the game with 14 men, as had been the case midway through the contest, when replacement back Tinus de Beer was sin-binned for dangerous play.
Sharks: Tries: Manie Libbok, Penalty try, Aphelele Fassi, Thaakir Abrahams, Jordan Chait; Conversions: Libbok (2); Chait (2)
Griquas: Try: Gideon van der Merwe; Conversion: George Whitehead; Penalty: Whitehead