Cape Town - The Cell C Sharks XV secured a 24-16 (halftime 10-11) victory over DHL Western Province in a provincial tournament clash at Growthpoint Kings Park in Durban on Saturday evening.
Province, who had won their opening three games of the campaign, were looking to make it four from four but the Sharks put up a strong second half performance, outscoring the visitors by two tries to one in the second stanza.
WP flyhalf, Grant Hermanus opened the scoring with two penalties before scrumhalf Godlen Masimla dotted down for the first try of the match, which was unconverted by Hermanus as the visitors opened up an 11-point lead midway through the first half.
But the Sharks began to compose themselves and took control of the remainder of the opening half, with flyhalf Tristan Tedder slotting his only penalty of the game before centre Marius Louw flew over the line for the Sharks’ opening try which Tedder converted as the teams entered the change-room with just a single point separating them.
Tedder then opened up the game early in the second stanza when the flyhalf scored his try and converted it to take the Sharks into the lead for the first time. But with 15 minutes left in the game, WP right wing Khanyo Ncgukana dived over in the corner to leave the visitors just a point behind as Hermanus missed the conversion.
But a late try from fullback Alwin Eksteen secured the win and the conversion from Eksteen denied Western Province a losing bonus-point as well as inflicting a first defeat on the men from Cape Town.
Cell C Sharks XV – Tries: Marius Louw, Tristen Tedder, Alrin Eksteen; Conversions: Tedder (3); Penalty: Tedder.
DHL Western Province – Tries: Godlen Masimla, Khanyo Ngcukana; Penalties: Grant Hermanus (2).