The Sharks ended their Australasian tour on a high when they beat the Reds 33-23 in Brisbane on Saturday.
Sean Everitt’s side will head back to South Africa with three wins from their four matches on tour ahead of their next match against the Jaguares in Durban.
The Reds missed two conversions, had two tries disallowed and continuously gave the ball away in a dominant first half spoiled by continuous set-piece struggles.
Trailing by five with 10 minutes of the match to play, Queensland pushed forward again only for Sharks captain Lukhanyo Am to pick off Hunter Paisami’s short pass and run 60 metres untroubled.
Madosh Tambwe sealed it with another long-range try, before the Reds free-wheeled after the full-time hooter in a bizarre sequence that finished with a consolation try to Ed Craig and a Sharks yellow-card in the 88th minute.
Sharks No.10 Curwin Bosch was clinical from the kicking tee, nailing two penalties from close to 50m out and within 10m of the sideline.
Earlier Tate McDermott had burrowed over for the fourth consecutive game to put the Reds up 16-15 only for Jock Campbell to miss the conversion.
McDermott was duly replaced by Scott Malolua, while flyhalf James O’Connor, seen icing his ankle on the sidelines, had earlier been pulled for Isaac Lucas.
The hosts struggled to seize control of the contest and their scrum weakened noticeably once JP Smith was substituted and No.8 Harry Wilson left the field after a head knock.
Taniela Tupou thought he had put the Reds back in front in the second half when he finished a rolling maul in the corner. But, like O’Connor’s neat set play to finish the first half, his five-pointer was denied.
Four line-out turnovers and a disappointing scrum – all in attacking positions – cost the Reds, who must reset quickly ahead of a trip to play the Crusaders on Friday.
Man of the match: Sikhumbuzo Notshe was the most consistent player on the field and had a hand in one of his team’s tries.
Tries: Speight, McDermott, Craig
Pens: Campbell 2
Tries: Van Vuuren, Richardson, Am, Tambwe
Cons: Bosch 2
Pens: Bosch 3
Yellow card: Lwazi Mvovo (Sharks, 87 – repeated infringements, offside)
15 Jock Campbell, 14 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Hamish
Stewart, 11 Henry Speight, 10 James O’Connor, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Harry
Wilson, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Harry Hockings, 4 Izack
Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 JP Smith.
Replacements: 16 Ed Craig, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Josh Nasser, 19 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 20 Fraser McReight, 21 Scott Malolua, 22 Isaac Lucas, 23 Filipo Daugunu.
Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Madosh
Tambwe, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo,
10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Henco Venter,
6 Dylan Richardson, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du
Toit, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Le Roux Roets, 20 Phepsi Buthelezi, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Marius Louw, 23 Jeremy Ward.
Referee: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Graham Cooper (Australia), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: James Leckie (Australia)