Sharks win moody clash over Bulls as Stormers beat Lions

Both teams had one player sent off as the Sharks sealed a 29-22 bonus point win over the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.

The Bulls lost veteran former Springbok fly-half Morne Steyn in the 11th minute for a high tackle on Lukhanyo Am before Grant Williams was shown a red card on the hour mark for his part in a header clash that ended replacement center Chris Smith’s involvement.

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Henco Venter and Bongi Mbonambi scored tries for the Sharks before Am picked up his own grubber kick to score one of the tries of the season.

Am’s five-pointer came immediately after a Cornal Hendricks score that threatened to drag the Bulls back into the game before halftime.

Marcell Coetzee scored early in the second half with the Sharks themselves reduced to 14 men thanks to Venter’s yellow card, but Makazole Mapimpi then secured the Sharks bonus point before Williams was sent off.

The Bulls fought to the finish and hit the ground twice in the last 10 minutes to secure a pair of bonus points, with Simphiwe Matanzima and Madosh Tambwe both going past.

The result puts the Sharks three points clear of the Bulls and remain within two of South African Shield leaders Stormers.

Stormers move past Lions in Johannesburg

The Stormers cemented their position atop the South African United Rugby Championship shield with a 32-10 bonus point triumph over the Lions.

The Cape Town men were two points clear of the Sharks and Bulls before kick-off and secured their stay at the top of the table with victory in Johannesburg.

Former Lions fullback Hacjivah Dayimani crossed to give the Stormers a 10-3 half-time lead before Seabelo Senatla and Sergeal Petersen added a pair of exceptional second-half tries and that Deon Fourie gets their fourth in the closing stages of the game.

Manie Libbok scored 12 points for the visitors at Emirates Airline Park as the Lions looked set to settle for a single penalty from Tiaan Swanepoel’s boot until Morne van den Berg produced a late consolation try, converted by the return of Jordan Hendrikse.

The Lions remain anchored at the foot of the South African shield and two places from the bottom of the general table.

Both sides travel to Ireland in a fortnight, with the Stormers visiting Connacht and the Lions taking on Leinster in Dublin.

READ MORE: United Rugby Championship: Leinster too good for Edinburgh as Glasgow edge ahead of Munster

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Chester T. Johnson