Sharks rue missed penalty as Crusaders salvage draw
Curwin Bosch scored 7 penalties as the Sharks held the defending champions 21-21 at home.
JOHANNESBURG - The Sharks and Crusaders played out to an entertaining 21-21 draw in Christchurch in a top of the table clash on Friday.
The first half got off to a cagey start with the away side the first to get points on the board through a Curwin Bosch penalty.
The Crusaders hit back as Codie Taylor did well to get the ball against the base of the poles after some good work from the forwards.
Bosch would slot 2 more penalties in the half as the Sharks went into the half-time break 9-7 ahead.
Bosch picked up where he left off in the first half and slotted another 3 points inside the first 5 minutes of the second stanza.
The away side were doing well to stifle the hosts' attack and forced the defending champions into a number of mistakes.
Bosch slotted his fourth penalty of the game as the Sharks opened up an 8-point lead after 50 minutes.
The home side kept the pressure on and were finally rewarded as Jack Goodhue crossed the whitewash for his side’s second try. Mitch Hunt added the extra points to bring the 'Saders to within a point with 20 minutes to go.
The hosts looked rattled and made some uncharacteristic errors with Ben Funnell penalised for being off his feet at the breakdown.
Bosch once again made no mistake with his kick, giving the Sharks an 18-14 lead with 12 minutes to play.
The hosts were penalised again moments later, but this time Bosch wasn’t able to take advantage.
With 5 minutes to go, Thomas du Toit won another penalty for the men from Durban and Bosch made amends for his earlier miss.
The Crusaders piled on the pressure inside the closing stages as they trailed 21-14 and were at risk of relinquishing their 25-match winning run at home.
The away side were dogged on defence and spent most of the final 5 minutes camped on their own try line.
The pressure would eventually tell as Hunt went over in the corner after the final hooter.
He would hold his nerve with the kick as the Sharks were left heartbroken to walk away with a share of the spoils having played well throughout the encounter.