The DHL Stormers fought hard but could not avoid a 22-10 defeat in their Vodacom Super Rugby encounter with the Cell C Sharks in Durban on Saturday.
Conditions at Kings Park were very difficult with rain falling just before kick-off and despite taking the game to their hosts the DHL Stormers were not able to add to their seven victories this season.
The home side opened the scoring following a cagey start to the match, with flyhalf Garth April kicking a penalty after the DHL Stormers were blown up at a scrum in their own 22.
The Sharks were enjoying some early territorial ascendancy and they made it count when centre Johan Deysel crashed over to put them 8-0 up.
The DHL Stormers regrouped and took the game to their hosts, as the Sharks were forced to defend in their own territory for a long period.
However, the DHL Stormers were not able to capitalise and instead it would be the Sharks to score next with lock Stephan Lewies forcing his way over for a try from close range.
That saw the Sharks take a 15-0 lead into the half-time break after what had been a frustrating opening 40 minutes in difficult conditions for the DHL Stormers
The DHL Stormers opened their account early in the second half with a penalty from SP Marais and the fullback followed that up with a try as well after a patient build-up in the Sharks 22.
However, the Sharks hit back with another try as wing S’busiso Nkosi broke clean through to score under the poles.
Despite some late pressure from the DHL Stormers as they went in search of a bonus point, the Sharks defence held out in the end.
For DHL Stormers:
For Cell C Sharks:
Tries: Deysel, Lewies, Nkosi
Cons: April 2
DHL Stormers: 15 SP Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Siya Kolisi (captain), 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth (vice-captain), 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oli Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Dewaldt Duvenage, 22 Juan de Jongh, 23 Seabelo Senatla.
Cell C Sharks: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 S’busiso Nkosi, 10 Garth April, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt (captain), 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Ruan Botha, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Beast Mtawarira, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Tera Mtembu, 21 Rowan Gouws, 22 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 23 S’bura Sithole.