Cape Town - Sharks coach Robert du Preez has backed the decision to red card Lions hooker Robbie Coetzee in Saturday night's Currie Cup clash between the sides in Johannesburg.
With the Lions 31-12 up, Coetzee was shown a straight red after television replays revealed that he had kicked Jacques Vermeulen in the face after the Sharks flank had scored a try.
It looked unintentional, but referee Egon Seconds was left with no choice.
That moment changed the game, and with a one-man advantage the Sharks turned around to secure a 47-31 win and their first win at Ellis Park since Du Preez took over.
Commenting on the red card, the Sharks boss believed it was the right decision.
"Jacques has already scored the try. I don't know ... it looked bad on TV ... it looked really bad," said Du Preez.
"It's a kick in the face, so I don't think it's going to go down well.
"That definitely changed the way the game was going ... it's always tough to play with 14 players."
Du Preez said the win in Johannesburg, following three losses there in the last two Super Rugby seasons, would go a long way towards inspiring this group of Sharks players.
"It's fantastic ... there are a lot of guys that have never won here before. A guy like Franco Marais, I don't think he's ever won here," said Du Preez.
"In the last two or three years we haven't won here, so that's very pleasing and it will give the team a lot of belief."
In this weekend’s action, the Lions travel to Cape Town to face Western Province (Friday, August 18), while the Sharks have a bye.