Cell C Sharks recorded their sixth United Rugby Championship victory from nine starts this season after they brushed aside the Vodacom Bulls 47-20 in Durban.
Siya Kolisi’s team produced a dominant first-half display, racking up 30 points through tries by scrum-half Grant Williams and hooker Bongi Mbonambi, while they were also awarded a penalty try and fly-half Curwin Bosch kicked three penalties and two conversions.
There was no way back for the Bulls, who did not help their cause by having two players yellow-carded in quick succession just before half-time.
Wing Canan Moodie, the first to be sin-binned, claimed a fine solo touchdown and full-back Johan Goosen also scored, with fly-half Chris Smith landing two conversions and two penalties.
Moodie then collected a second yellow two minutes from time for a high tackle, meaning that he was sent off as the Bulls’ afternoon ended in suitably-frustrating fashion.
The Sharks were in the mood to entertain a crowd of just under 26,000 as centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg touched down twice in the second period, while Bosch added two more conversions and a penalty to finish with 20 points.
Smith and Bosch exchanged early penalties, before a second Smith strike edged the Bulls ahead after prop Simphiwe Matanzima went close to a try but was denied by Kolisi’s superb tackle.
Bosch’s second penalty made it 6-6, and the visitors then struck with a fine solo try from Moodie, who won the race to claim his own kick ahead after bursting clear from just inside his Sharks’ half to touch down, with Smith converting.
Bosch completed his penalty hat-trick before Moodie went from hero to villain after he deliberately knocked on Kolisi’s try-scoring pass to number eight Sikhumbuzo Notshe.
Moodie was sin-binned and the Sharks awarded a penalty try, and they quickly went down to 13 players when flanker Cyle Brink received a yellow card.
The Sharks capitalised, with Williams rounding off a spell of concerted pressure, then just seconds after Moodie rejoined the action, Mbonambi crossed for another try, while two Bosch conversions put them 30-13 ahead at half-time.
The damage had been done, and Van Rensburg claimed the bonus-point try after just 44 minutes, although Bulls scored again after another Bosch penalty when Goosen claimed a consolation try, before Van Rensburg added his second and Bosch converted.
Player of the match
Siya Kolisi: The Sharks and Springboks skipper produced a world-class performance in all aspects of the game. He produced an early try-saving tackle, then featured in attack to set up a chance that resulted in a penalty try after Bulls wing Canan Moodie deliberately knocked on Kolisi’s pass. He played the full 80 minutes of a stamina-sapping contest, and his work-rate did not drop as his team cruised to victory.
Play of the match
The Sharks were irresistible at times, and they underlined their all-round excellence through centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg’s try early in the second half. Fly-half Curwin Bosch began a flowing move, before van Rensburg, wing Marnus Potgieter and full-back Botha Chamberlain took the move on at pace and Van Rensburg finished off. It was breathtaking quality.
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