Bulls pull in last minute penalty to beat Sharks

SABC News Bulls Sharks Twitter @SuperRugby - Bulls pull in last minute penalty to beat Sharks

The Blue Bulls bounced back from last weekend’s Super Rugby defeat by beating the Sharks in Durban on Saturday afternoon. The visitors won the hard fought match 16-19 in the dying minutes of the fixture.

A penalty from Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard gave the Bulls maximum points with only two minutes remaining on the clock, after the game was deadlocked at 16-all.

The marquee match for South African rugby viewers was the North v South derby where the Sharks hosted the Bulls in an important clash at Kings Park.

The Sharks needed a win to replace the Lions at the top of the South African conference, but the Sharks do not have a good track record against the men from Pretoria, winless in eight meetings since 2014.

The Sharks went into the match with a lot of confidence after beating the Rebels at home last weekend, with the Bulls having lost at home to the Chiefs.

The visitors led 6-3 at half time, after a disappointing first half. Sharks eighth-man Daniel Du Preez scored the first try of the match in the opening minute of the second half.

However, it did not take long for the Bulls to score a try of their own through centre Jesse Kriel. The game reached boiling point when Sharks hooker Akker van der Merwe and his opposite number Schalk Brits were involved in an off-the ball incident. Both players were eventually sent off after the scuffle.

Then the game came to life with centre Andre Esterhuizen getting the second try for the Sharks to make it 16-all. Then with only two minutes remaining on the clock, the visitors got a late penalty.

Bulls captain Handre Pollard stepped up and converted his kick to give his side a 16-19 victory.

Meanwhile, the Stormers were far from convincing when they lost 24-9 to the Blues in Auckland. In a game that never lived up to expectations, the Stormers were let down by handling errors and had to rely on three penalties by Jean-Luc du Plessis for the points they registered in the match. The home team led 10-6 at half-time.

Although the Blues were reduced to fourteen men for the final 12 minutes of the match, the Stormers were unable to capitalise on their numerical advantage.

Playmaker Quade Cooper enjoyed a victorious return with a leading role in the Rebels’ dominant Super Rugby win over the Reds. Cooper set up two tries as the Rebels secured a 32-13 win at Suncorp Stadium.

The two sides were evenly matched until Jack Maddocks gave the Rebels an 11-6 advantage at half-time. Rob Leota’s try in the final minute secured a bonus point for the Rebels.

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