The Sharks became the first local team to win a Super Rugby match outside South Africa this season when they beat the Blues 63-40 in Auckland New Zealand.
In a massively entertaining encounter both teams scored six tries apiece while the goal kicking of Sharks flyhalf Robert Du Preez made the difference.
It was action packed from the start and enjoyable for most rugby fans but maybe not so much for the two team’s defensive coaches.
The Sharks dominated the first half and were 26-7 in front at the break.
It was especially the Sharks’ loose forwards Tera Mthembu, Phillip van der Walt and Jean-Luc Du Preez who provided an attacking and defensive platform for their team.
Du Preez was also named man of the match.
In the second half it looked like the Blues might turn the game around, as so many New Zealand sides are able to do. And a yellow card for the Sharks early in the second half contributed to a comeback by the home side.
Poor defending from the Sharks also helped the Blues, and the home side took the lead early in the second half.
The Sharks however deserve credit for not panicking. And for once a South African team managed to dominate the last quarter of a game against a New Zealand side.
The Sharks also showed improvement in their off-loading skills in contact situations while the handling skills of support runners were also a step in the right direction.
Flyhalf Robert Du Preez didn’t miss a single attempt at goal; he converted all six tries, slotted seven penalties and scored a try for a personal total of 38 points.