A knockout match between old foes, the Bulls and the Sharks is always guaranteed to be a nail-biting affair. It was exactly that when the two teams clashed in their United Rugby Championship quarter-final match at Loftus. A drop goal at the death by centre Chris Smith handed the Bulls a 30-27 victory and a ticket to the semi-finals.
The Bulls had to make a last team change as Lizo Gqoboka had to be withdrawn from the match, following the passing of his father on Saturday morning.
There was little to separate the two sides though out the match. Winger Madosh Tambwe drew first blood for the first try of the match in the 12 minute. However the visitors were quick to respond with a try of their own in the 15th minutes courtesy of Bongi Mbonambi. The scoreboard was kept ticking through the boots of Curwin Bosch and Chris Smith as the teams when into half-time at 13-all.
Bulls let lead slip
With a team heavy laden with Boks the Sharks were expected to be in control of proceeding. However the Bulls came charging in the second half to take a 27-13 lead thanks to tries from captain Marcel Coetzee and Cornel Hendricks. This lead was squandered as the visitors replied with two tries of their won to draw level at 27-all in the 75th minute.
With the horn having already sound, a match winning drop goal from Chris Smith gave the Pretoria side the crucial three points and a spot in the semi-final and a ticket to the UK.