The Sharks struggled to get their United Rugby Championship campaign off the ground on Saturday, falling in a convincing 42-17 defeat to Munster in their first match of the competition in Limerick, Ireland.
Fullback Curwin Bosch had a chance to put the Sharks on the board in the opening few minutes, but his penalty attempt sailed wide.
Shortly afterwards the hosts got off the mark when wing Simon Zebo scored their first try, and they never looked back.
Munster flyhalf Joey Carbery went on to knock over a penalty, and while Bosch managed to pull three points back on the half-hour mark, the home side then took control.
Munster scrumhalf Craig Casey scored after a dummy move from the scrum, before their pack managed to drive over the line, with eighthman Gavin Coombes touching down to give the Irish team a 20-3 lead at half-time.
And they gained further momentum after the break, with Coombes barging over for the side’s fourth try and his second.
Showing some fight, the Sharks turned the tables for a short but explosive period with two tries in the space of 11 minutes.
First flyhalf Boeta Chamberlain scored from an intercept, and then winger Yaw Penxe went over. Bosch converted both five-pointers, narrowing the gap to 30-17.
That was the last of their points, however, while Chris Cloete and Zebo both dotted down in the last 10 minutes, as Munster scored six tries in what was virtually a shut-out for the South African outfit.
Sharks – Tries: Boeta Chamberlain, Yaw Penxe. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (2). Penalty: Bosch
Munster – Tries: Simon Zebo (2), Craig Casey, Gavin Coombes (2), Chris Cloete. Conversions: Joey Carbery (2), Ben Healy. Penalties: Carbery, Healy.