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Cheetahs suffer Shark bite
Five points keep Sharks' play-off hopes alive
The Coastal Sharks kept their Super 14 semi-final hopes alive with a 33-14 win over the Central Cheetahs in Durban Saturday.
Two late tries by winger Odwa Ndungane secured the vital bonus point for the Sharks, keeping them in contention for a last four place going into the final round of matches next week.
Flanker Jacques Botes scored a hat trick for the home side as they moved into fourth place in the table with 37 points.
Botes opened the scoring in the 14th minute after lock Albert van den Berg won the lineout and set up the drive to the line.
Rory Kockott added the extras and minutes later Botes scored his second, with Kockott again on target to take the score to 14-0.
Moments before the end of the first period though, and against the run of play, the visitors opened their account, winger Jongi Nokwe crossing and Conrad Barnard's kick making it 14-7 at the break.
The Sharks continued to dominate after the restart and after just a few minutes were rewarded with their third try.
Frans Steyn found JP Pietersen with a long skip pass out on the wing. He in turn fed Botes who was charging through on his inside to touch down for his hat-trick.
The visitors hit back with 15 minutes remaining when centre Meyer Bosman caught Sharks No 8 Kankowski napping at the back of a ruck.
The big midfielder picked up the ball and dashed over the line for an easy score and the kick by replacement Tewis de Bruyn closed the gap to just five points.
But it was Ndungane who would have the last word, grabbing two at the death to ensure the Sharks a vital win.
They now meet high-flying Waikato Chiefs next weekend, in what looks to be a semi-final deciding game.
Captain AJ Venter said: "We live to fight another day. It wasn't easy, but we got the five points and that's all that matters."
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|Friday 27th March|
|06:35||Hurricanes vs Melbourne Rebels|
|09:00||Reds vs Lions|
|Saturday 28th March|
|05:30||Chiefs vs Cheetahs|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Stormers|
|08:40||Waratahs vs Blues|
|15:05||Sharks vs Western Force|
|17:10||Bulls vs Crusaders|
|Friday 3rd April|
|07:35||Hurricanes vs Stormers|
|09:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Reds|
|Saturday 4th April|
|07:35||Chiefs vs Blues|
|09:40||Brumbies vs Cheetahs|
|14:00||Sharks vs Crusaders|
|16:05||Lions vs Bulls|
|Friday 10th April|
|08:35||Blues vs Brumbies|
|Saturday 11th April|
|08:35||Crusaders vs Highlanders|
|10:40||Waratahs vs Stormers|
|12:45||Western Force vs Cheetahs|
|14:00||Bulls vs Reds|
|16:05||Lions vs Sharks|
|Friday 17th April|
|08:35||Crusaders vs Chiefs|
|Saturday 18th April|
|05:30||Hurricanes vs Waratahs|
|08:35||Highlanders vs Blues|
|10:40||Brumbies vs Melbourne Rebels|
|12:45||Western Force vs Stormers|
|16:05||Sharks vs Bulls|
|Sunday 22nd March|
|Waratahs 28 - 13 Brumbies|
|Saturday 21st March|
|Sharks 12 - 11 Chiefs|
|Bulls 25 - 24 Western Force|
|Crusaders 57 - 14 Cheetahs|
|Friday 20th March|
|Melbourne Rebels 16 - 20 Lions|
|Highlanders 13 - 20 Hurricanes|
|Saturday 14th March|
|Cheetahs 10 - 27 Sharks|
|Stormers 19 - 28 Chiefs|
|Reds 0 - 29 Brumbies|
|Highlanders 26 - 19 Waratahs|
|Crusaders 34 - 6 Lions|
|Friday 13th March|
|Western Force 17 - 21 Melbourne Rebels|
|Hurricanes 30 - 23 Blues|
|Saturday 7th March|
|Stormers 29 - 13 Sharks|
|Cheetahs 20 - 39 Bulls|
|Reds 5 - 23 Waratahs|
|Blues 10 - 13 Lions|
|Friday 6th March|
|Brumbies 27 - 15 Western Force|
|Chiefs 17 - 20 Highlanders|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Lions 19 - 22 Stormers|
|Bulls 43 - 35 Sharks|
|Melbourne Rebels 15 - 20 Brumbies|
|Chiefs 40 - 16 Crusaders|
|Friday 27th February|
|Cheetahs 25 - 24 Blues|
|Western Force 13 - 42 Hurricanes|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com