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Stand-in Michalak leads Sharks to vital win

Date

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.

MATCH STATS

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.

AFP

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
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 22:00KPS
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 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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