The Sharks under 21 side set up a home semi-final this weekend as they beat the visiting Leopards by 44 points to 21 at Kings Park on Friday afternoon.
First-half tries by flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit, lock Stephan Lewies and centre Heimar Williams (after a great break by hooker Franco Marais) were a great testament to the Sharks’s forward dominance and while the Leopards hit back with two of their own in the opening period to keep the game close, the Sharks remained in control throughout.
Defending a 24-14 lead at the start of the second half, the Sharks at first extended that via a Gaving Hauptfleisch penalty, before conceding a third try which brought the Leopards closer than they would have liked at just 21-27 behind. The home team had more in the tank, though with first Khaya Majola and then Brendon Groenwald scoring the tries that sealed the result.
Another penalty by Hauptfleisch put the finishing touches on a fine win.
The Sharks will host the third-placed Western Province in Saturday’s semi-final.
Sharks under 21 (44): Tries by du Toit, Lewies, Williams, Majola and Groenewald. Conversions by Hauptfleisch (5). Penalties by Hauptfleisch (3).
Leopards under 21 (21): Tries by van der Merwe, Heyns and Strydom. Conversions by Gilbert (3)