Sharks bite back in Durban
Hosts overcome 17 point deficit to down Reds
Last Updated: 17/03/12 6:20pm
Riaan Viljoen: scored the decisive try
A remarkable second-half fightback saw the Sharks grab a 27-22 victory over Queensland Reds in their Super Rugby clash at Kings Parks on Saturday.
The Sharks trailed by 17 points late in the first half but battled back to inflict the first defeat of the season on the defending champions.
The Reds, missing first-choice kickers, centre Mike Harris and fly-half Ben Lucas through injury, looked on course to secure their fourth successive win when they scored on their first foray into Sharks' territory.
Hooker James Hanson burrowed his way through a ruck to touch down, and flanker Scott Higginbotham bagged a second for the visitors after the home side failed to clear their lines.
Ben Lucas converted both tries and then slotted a penalty to make it 17-0 after 32 minutes with the Reds dominating possession 70-30.
Replacement lock Jandre Marais finally halted the slide when he went over for a converted try and on the stroke of half time the Reds were reduced to 14 men.
Australia winger Digby Ioane was the guilty party, sent to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle, and Patrick Lambie duly stepped up to slot over the resulting penalty.
Lambie cut the gap to four points when he added another three pointer straight after the restart before Sharks captain Keegan Daniel put his team in front for the first time after 54 minutes.
The hosts were caught napping almost immedaitely, however, and were punished accordingly by Nick Frisby, who raced down the right to score in the corner.
But back came the Sharks again, full-back Riaan Viljoen cutting inside cleverly on the opposite end to score a converted try that took the gap to five.
Wallabies scrum-half Will Genia missed the conversion from Frisby's try and also a straightforward penalty early in the final 10 minutes, which ultimately came back to haunt the Reds.