Heidedal - The Sharks XV remained unbeaten in the Vodacom Cup with a 23-22 victory over Free State XV at the Clive Solomon Stadium in Heidedal just outside Bloemfontein on Friday.
The Sharks were 13-22 behind with 13 minutes left, when Free State winger Sino Ganto was sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knock-down.
In this period the Sharks regained the lead, and ultimately held on for the win.
The Sharks scored the first points of the encounter - a try by scrumhalf Hanco Venter in the 10th minute. Fullback Jaco van Tonder grubbered the ball through and gathered it again before offloading to Venter on his inside who went over untouched.
Trailing 13-3 Free State brought back a couple Varsity Cup stalwarts. Scrumhalf Renier Botha tapped quickly from a penalty from close range and darted over for a try.
Wing Don Mlondobozi scored next to gain the lead for the first time for his side. Marais converted for a 17-13 lead.
It was extended in the 52nd minute when centre Nico Lee handed off the final Sharks defender to make it 22-13 to the hosts.
Justin Downey scored what proved to be the deciding try for the Sharks in the encounter with little time remaining.
Free State XV
Tries: Renier Botha, Don Mlondobozi, Nico Lee
Conversions: Niel Marais (2)
Tries: Hanco Venter, Justin Downey
Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (2)
Penalties: Zeilinga (3)