A match that started as a stop-start affair in Dunedin unfurled into a riot of chemistry and fun as the Sharks chalked up a 20-42 win over the Highlanders on Friday morning.
Aphelele Fassi and Makazole Mapimpi scored a brace apiece with James Venter also chipping in with five points. Curwin Bosch kicked with precision as the Durban side embarrassed the Highlanders on home turf in what was the hosts’ first Super Rugby fixture of the season.
It initially looked as if the match might meander into a penalty kicking contest with referee Angus Gardener quick on the whistle in the early stages and neither team able to find their flow.
But seemingly out of nowhere, Venter charged down to the tryline in the 31st minute to kickstart a scoring romp.
Mampimpi then scored twice in almost as many minutes and the Sharks headed into the break with a handsome lead.
The Highlanders showed brief attempts of engineering a fightback in the second half, but Fassi’s double ensured the victory.
Yet, despite the dominant scoreline, the match stats make for curious reading.
The home side dominated various aspects of the match, but it didn’t matter since it was the Sharks who made the most of their chances.
Statistics are taken from the official Super Rugby website.