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Super Rugby: Sharks remain top after 27-9 win over Hurricanes
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The Sharks retained their place at the Super Rugby summit with a 27-9 victory over the Hurricanes in Durban, but they were made to work for their rewards.
Jake White's Sharks outscored the Hurricanes but despite enjoying a home advantage they were unable to pull away against a side playing their first match of the season.
It remained a nail-biting contest until the final quarter when Sharks winger Lwazi Mvovo picked up an intercept try from a Hurricanes pass.
Despite a dominating start, the Sharks allowed the Hurricanes into the match and left it too close for comfort, that was, until the closing stages.
Springbok fly-half Patrick Lambie contributed 17 points through his placekicking with five penalty goals and a conversion.
The home side had a myriad of chances in the first half as they took control of set pieces, with their scrum in particular placing the pressure on the tourists.
Lambie nudged the hosts in front when he bisected the uprights with his first penalty conversion of the evening.
Shortly after the restart the Sharks had an opportunity to score when they won a scrum penalty which resulted in a Ryan Kankowski quick tap.
The ball eventually ended in the hands of full back SP Marais, who knocked the ball on as he went over the line with two Hurricanes players applying pressure.
The hosts camped out in the Hurricanes' 22 for close to 10 minutes in which they again fumbled two opportunities to put the pressure into points.
White's men eventually found the breakthrough in the 19th minute when flanker Willem Alberts scored from a driving maul that started from a lineout 10 metres from the line.
Lambie added the two points to extend his side's lead to 10 points.
The Sharks continued to dominate for the rest of the half as they enjoyed majority possession and territory.
However, the coastal side could not capitalise on the advantage and with six minutes left on the clock the Hurricanes got onto the score sheet courtesy of a Beauden Barrett penalty, before Marty Banks added another three shortly before the break.
Lambie succeeded with a penalty three minutes after the break as the game briefly turned into a battle of the boot.
Barrett returned their deficit to four points in the 52nd minute before Lambie replied with a penalty of his own six minutes later.
After persistently pressing, the Sharks finally found a way through the Hurricanes' defensive line when wing Mvovo intercepted the ball on the halfway line before sprinting 40 metres over the line, with Lambie converting.
With momentum tipped in favour of the Sharks, Lambie added two consecutive penalties at the death to put the seal on a 27-9 victory.Super 15. Click here to bet.
|Friday 6th March|
|06:35||Chiefs vs Highlanders|
|08:40||Brumbies vs Western Force|
|Saturday 7th March|
|06:35||Blues vs Lions|
|08:40||Reds vs Waratahs|
|15:05||Cheetahs vs Bulls|
|17:10||Stormers vs Sharks|
|Friday 13th March|
|06:35||Hurricanes vs Blues|
|11:00||Western Force vs Melbourne Rebels|
|Saturday 14th March|
|03:30||Crusaders vs Lions|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Waratahs|
|08:40||Reds vs Brumbies|
|13:00||Stormers vs Chiefs|
|15:05||Cheetahs vs Sharks|
|Friday 20th March|
|06:35||Highlanders vs Hurricanes|
|08:40||Melbourne Rebels vs Lions|
|Saturday 21st March|
|06:35||Crusaders vs Cheetahs|
|15:05||Bulls vs Western Force|
|17:10||Sharks vs Chiefs|
|Sunday 22nd March|
|05:05||Waratahs vs Brumbies|
|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|
|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|
|Highlanders 20 - 13 Reds|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Sharks 29 - 12 Lions|
|Stormers 27 - 16 Blues|
|Reds 18 - 6 Western Force|
|Highlanders 20 - 26 Crusaders|
|Friday 20th February|
|Bulls 13 - 17 Hurricanes|
|Melbourne Rebels 28 - 38 Waratahs|
|Chiefs 19 - 17 Brumbies|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Waratahs 13 - 25 Western Force|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Bulls 17 - 29 Stormers|
|Sharks 29 - 35 Cheetahs|
|Blues 18 - 23 Chiefs|
|Friday 13th February|
|Lions 8 - 22 Hurricanes|
|Brumbies 47 - 3 Reds|
|Crusaders 10 - 20 Melbourne Rebels|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com