Sharks eye play-offs with win
Cheetahs slump at home as Sharks bag bonus win
Last Updated: 19/05/12 6:37pm
Cheetahs' Adrian Strauss is brought to a halt in Bloemfontain
The Sharks' recent resurgence continued when claimed a deserved 34-20 win over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
The visitors started the match brilliantly when they scored a try from the kick off, taking the ball through 12 phases from deep inside their 22 before JP Pietersen rounded off in his opponents' left-hand corner.
Cheetahs fly-half Riaan Smit, who came into the side as a replacement for Sias Ebersohn, replied with two penalties for the home side before their captain Adriaan Strauss rounded off a brilliant team effort in the right-hand corner in the 32nd minute.
This gave the home side a 11-7 lead but the Sharks struck back with tries by Frederic Michalak in the 35th minute and Lwazi Mvovo on the stroke of half-time.
Michalak's effort was freakish as he beat Phillip van der Walt to a bouncing ball after the Cheetahs failed to deal with an up-and-under from Riaan Viljoen.
Mvovo's try came after fine leadership from Sharks skipper Keegan Daniel, who opted to run a ball close to the Cheetahs' try-line after the hooter had sounded to signal the break.
The Springbok speedster dotted down after the ball went through several pairs of hands in the men in black's back-line.
The 21-14 scoreline at the half-time was a fair reflection on the match but after a penalty in the second half from Michalak, things almost came unstuck for the Sharks when Bismarck du Plessis was sent to the sin bin for a shoulder charge on an opponent.
During the Springbok hooker's time off the field Sias Ebersohn, who was on as Smit's replacement, slotted two penalties but the Cheetahs could not get over the visitors' try-line during this period.
After defending resiliently during Du Plessis' time of the field, the Sharks went in search of their bonus point for scoring four tries and were rewarded in the 73rd minute when Meyer Bosman crossed over.
This knocked the wind out of the home side's sails and the Sharks have now moved into the play-off positions with this victory.