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Stand-in Michalak leads Sharks to vital win


Monthati Molosankwe

Cheetahs 20 Sharks 34

Sharks playemaker Frederic Michalak.

Sharks playemaker Frederic Michalak. Photo: Getty Images

Late inclusion Frederic Michalak scored 19 points as the Sharks kept alive hopes of a Super Rugby play-offs place with a 34-20 triumph over the Cheetahs on Saturday.


The former France Test half-back star started the all-South Africa match in the southern hemisphere provincial championship when fly-half Patrick Lambie failed a late fitness test.

Michalak converted tries by right wing JP Pietersen, himself, left wing Lwazi Mvovo and replacement back Meyer Bosman and also slotted two penalties from three attempts at a chilly Free State Stadium in this central city.

Cheetahs managed only one try from livewire hooker and captain Adriaan Strauss while fly-half Riaan Smit kicked three penalties and his replacement, Sias Ebersohn, two for a team that trailed 21-14 at half-time.

Winning with a bonus point lifted Sharks two places to sixth -- the last of three play-offs positiions -- and the Durban franchise must have a chance of staying among the top six with three of four remaining fixtures at home.

The Chiefs and Crusaders of New Zealand,Bulls and Western Stormers of South Africa and  Brumbies of Australia are looking good for knockout places.

The other place appears to rest between Highlanders and Hurricanes of New Zealand, Sharks and defending Queensland Reds of Australia, who have recovered from an early-season slump.

"It was a great to get a bonus-point victory after a typically physical battle between two South African sides," said Sharks eighthman and skipper Keegan Daniel.

His gamble after the hooter sounded for half-time proved crucial as he opted to run a close-range penalty near the posts and Springbok Mvovo went over wide out for a try Michalak converted.

A penalty from the Frenchman on 46 minutes stretched the advantage to 10 points before Ebersohn succeeded twice to leave just four points separating the teams by the hour mark.

Sharks lifted their game and Michalak kicked his second penalty before a brilliant Mvovo break took him close to the try line and a quickly recycled ball sped along the line for Bosman to go over in the corner.

Cheetahs deserved more for a typical adventurous performance and fought hard for a late try that would have garnered a bonus point, but a multi-phase post-hooter raid petered out and Sharks scrum-half Charl McLeod kicked to touch.

SHARKS 34 (Meyer Bosman, Frederic Michalak, Lwazi Mvovo, JP Pietersen tries Michalak 4 cons 2 pens) bt CHEETAHS 20 (Adriaan Strauss try Riaan Smit 3, Sias Ebersohn 2 pens) at Vodacom Park. Referee: Jonathan Kaplan.


HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00Leicester City Stadium
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 3 3 0 0 97 13
Wales 3 3 0 0 58 13
England 3 1 2 0 1 6
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 3 0 3 0 -139 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 3 2 1 0 56 11
Scotland 3 2 1 0 40 10
Japan 3 2 1 0 -12 8
Samoa 3 1 2 0 -52 4
USA 2 0 2 0 -32 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 87 14
Argentina 3 2 1 0 64 10
Tonga 3 1 2 0 -22 6
Georgia 3 1 2 0 -71 4
Namibia 2 0 2 0 -58 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 3 3 0 0 84 14
France 3 3 0 0 72 14
Italy 3 1 2 0 -24 5
Romania 3 1 2 0 -59 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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