Belfast Telegraph

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Sharks extend winning run

The Sharks made it six wins from six against the Blues with a 29-23 success on Friday.

The runaway leaders were always in control and, despite a second-half rally from their hosts, had enough to get over the line to condemn the Blues to a first home loss of the season.

Kickstarted by a third-minute Frans Steyn penalty they dominated early on, despite initially being pegged back by a Simon Hickey penalty.

S'bura Sithole broke clear and had Bismark du Plessis in support, with the hooker doing the rest. Steyn tagged the conversion.

Hickey missed a penalty to reduce the gap but nailed one shortly after, before quick thinking from Steyn restored a seven-point gap.

The same man then landed a penalty with 33 minutes gone, missing another on the approach to the break.

The Blues got going after the interval - especially with Jannie du Plessis in the sin bin - with Luke Broad breaking clear after a scrum for a 42nd-minute try which Hickey upgraded.

Steyn kept them at arm's length with a penalty and then Cobus Reinach chased down a punt ahead for a second try which, when converted, left them 26-13 ahead.

With Steyn then binned, back came the Blues and Tevita Li crossed off a Ma'a Nonu pass, but an SP Marais penalty kept the away side in command and they held that position until the end, despite an Ihaia West penalty.

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