South Africa’s Coastal Sharks stretched their Super 15 lead to six points with a comprehensive victory over the New South Wales Waratahs yesterday.
The Durban-based Sharks downed the Waratahs 32-10, scoring two tries to one with fly-half Fred Zeilinga kicking 19 points.
Jake White’s Sharks were always in command against the Waratahs.
The home side built up a 12-3 half-time lead before scoring two second-half tries against the visitors.
Zeilinga, starting in place of the injured Patrick Lambie, gave a flawless goal-kicking display to finish with five penalties and two conversions.
Replacement full-back Gareth Anscombe kicked a stoppage-time touchline conversion to salvage a high-scoring draw for the Chiefs in their match against the Bulls in Pretoria.
The successful kick, after fly-half Aaron Cruden dived over, capped a superb comeback by Waikato in a seesaw struggle.
The Chiefs trailed by 12 points with three minutes remaining when lock Matt Symons dotted down after a clever line-out ploy caught the South Africans napping.
And with time almost up, the New Zealanders adopted sevens-style rugby from their own half, passing repeatedly until Asaeli Tikoirotuma found a gap and Cruden scored.
The Sharks, who have 23 points, pulled away from title rivals ACT Brumbies, upset by the Melbourne Rebels, and defending champions the Chiefs. The Brumbies and the Chiefs are six points off the top.
One point further back are the Golden Lions, Waratahs, Auckland Blues and Bulls after seven rounds of the southern hemisphere provincial championship.
The Wellington Hurricanes won away 29-26 against the Canterbury Crusaders.