The Sharks delivered an error-strewn and heartless performance that was a far cry from the bonus-point hammering many were expected them to hand the Lions. In the final analysis, it was the home side who came away with 5 log points, winning 38-28.
A stunning opening display saw the Lions with all the possession, running through lacklustre Sharks defence at will. Three tries were scored faster than you could blink, before a good score by Lwazi Mvovo gave the Sharks some hope.
That was to be short-lived, however, with winger Deon van Rensburg scoring his side’s fourth just before half time to take his team into a 32-11 halftime lead. The Sharks threatened to stage an unlikely comeback, as JP Pietersen and Odwa Ndungane scored within seconds of each other to get their side within 7 points, at 25-32 down. The Lions, to their credit, weathered that storm and as the teams traded penalties, it was Elton Jantjies who had the last laugh.
An increasingly-desperate Sharks side threw everything into attack in the final minutes, but were ultimately denied any log points, despite Louis Ludik coming close to a fourth try for them at the end. It was the Lions who lead throughout, though and who ultimately deserved the win.
The Sharks have now slipped back into 7th position on the overall log and are currently out of the play-off race in Super Rugby.
Lions (38). Tries Hattingh, Minnie, Mapoe and van Rensburg, 3 conversions and 4 penalties by Jantjies.
Shakrs (28): Tries Mvovo, Pietersen and Ndungane, 2 conversions and 3 penalties by Lambie