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- 28th Feb 2009
- KO 06:35
- Ground: Waikato Stadium
Pietersen stars for Sharks
South Africans stay strong to maintain unbeaten Super 14 run
Two tries from J.P. Pietersen helped give South Africa's Sharks a hard-earned 22-15 victory against Waikato Chiefs in the Super 14 on Saturday.
The winger's tries came in the 55th and 68th minutes to ensure the Sharks kept their unbeaten record through three rounds, while the Chiefs lost their third straight match by seven or fewer points.
Again the Chiefs came agonisingly close, crossing the Sharks line three times only to be denied tries by the video referee in Hamilton, New Zealand.
And the South Africans also put in a sterling display in defence to withstand pressure on their goal line for the last 10 minutes of the match.
The Chiefs scored first after 14 minutes through a penalty by fly-half Stephen Donald but the Sharks took a 7-3 lead to half-time after a 31st minute try from centre Francois Steyn, converted by Rory Kockott.
The hosts regained the lead eight minutes into the second-half with an unconverted try from hooker Aled de Malmanche.
A penalty for Kockott, who landed three goals from four attempts, reduced the deficit but then came Springboks winger Pietersen's decisive impact.
Steyn put in the kick that led to the first try and fly-half Ruan Pienaar delivered the crosskick which produced the second as the Sharks built a 22-8 lead with 12 minutes of normal time remaining.
Basic errors had cost the Chiefs, but they regrouped and came back immediately with a try for half-back Brendon Leonard with ten minutes to go, converted by his All Blacks team-mate Donald.
Prop James McGougan, flanker Liam Messam and replacement wing Mike Delaney were all denied tries on television replays in the second-half.
And lock Kevin O'Neill also wasted an opportunity, dropping the ball with the line gaping after a crosskick from Donald, as the Durban-based side hung on for the win.Super 14. Click here to bet.
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com