Western Stormers had to withstand a ferocious comeback by Central Cheetahs before clinching a 16-14 win in a Super 15 southern hemisphere championship match at Newlands on Saturday.
It was the ninth win in 10 matches for the Stormers, but the Cape side once again failed to secure an attacking bonus point.
Despite having five Springboks in their backline, the only Stormers try in the South African derby came from a forward rush and they seldom mounted any significant attacks.
Despite having won one more match than the Northern Bulls, the Stormers trail their South African conference rivals by a point because the Pretoria side have collected six bonus points.
The Stormers led 16-0 at halftime through a try by lock Eben Etzebeth and three penalty goals and a conversion by fly-half Peter Grant.
Lock Andries Bekker came close to scoring at the start of the second half, but was tackled into touch and the Stormers squandered an attacking opportunity soon after when they were awarded a 5m scrum, but then conceded a penalty.
Fortunes changed dramatically as the Cheetahs dominated possession for the rest of the match and scored tries through full-back Hennie Daniller and left wing Willie le Roux, both converted by replacement fly-half Riaan Smit.
Whereas in the first half the Cheetahs had difficulty keeping on the right side of referee Steve Walsh in the scrums and mauls, it was the Stormers who conceded a string of penalties, especially in the scrums, in the second half.
SHARKS 53, FORCE 11
REUTERS, DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA
Lwazi Mvovo ran in two of seven tries by the Sharks to inspire his team to an emphatic victory over the Western Force in their Super Rugby match at Kings Park on Saturday.
The left wing scored two touchdowns in five minutes early in the second half as the Sharks climbed to sixth in the table by inflicting the ninth defeat in 11 matches for their Australian opponents.
Force flyhalf David Harvey and opposite number Patrick Lambie traded early penalties before the Sharks grabbed the first try when lock Steven Sykes barged over from close range.
Lambie kicked a simple conversion, but Harvey narrowed the gap to four points with 10 minutes to go in the first half by booting his second penalty.
The rest of the half belonged to the Sharks as they scored 10 points in six minutes.
Lambie set up the second try when he broke free on the halfway line before drawing the last defender to send outside center Paul Jordaan on a clear run to the line.
Flyhalf Lambie kicked the conversion before he landed a penalty on the stroke of halftime as the Sharks went to the break holding a 20-6 lead.
The home team stamped their authority on the contest with three tries in the first 10 minutes of the second period.
Fullback Louis Ludik notched the first after forward Keegan Daniel took a quick tap penalty.
The 25-year-old Mvovo, who has played four tests for South Africa, then took center stage.
His first try came when he intercepted a loose pass on his own 22m line and outstripped the defense.