Chris Smith's last-gasp drop goal steers Bulls to semi-final

Bulls edged out Sharks to make it to the semi-finals
Bulls edged out Sharks to make it to the semi-finals
©Steve Haag

Bulls 30-27 Sharks, Pretoria

Chris Smith scored a penalty goal in the final minute as Bulls edged out Sharks 30-27 to reach the semi-final of the United Rugby Championship.

Curwin Bosch opened the account for Sharks with a fifth minute penalty goal but Bulls responded back with Makazole Mapimpi sending a kick with eventually Madosh Tambwe going over the line in the 13th minute and Smith kicked the conversion to make it 7-3.

Sharks gave an immediate response to seize back the lead as Bongi Mbonambi dotted down at the back of a driving maul and Bosch kicked the extras to make it 7-10.

However, two more Smith penalties and another for Bosch ensured both the teams were unseparated at 13-13 at the end of the opening half.

Bulls dominated the opening exchanges in the second half as Marcell Coetzee crashed over at the back of a sustained pressure on Sharks and Cornal Hendricks followed the suit in the 51st minute. Smith kicked both the conversions as Bulls extended their lead to 27-13.

The Sharks fought back with a Hendrikse try just short of the hour mark that Bosch converted and Sikumbuzo Notshe also dotted down in the 75th minute to ensure the scores were levelled with 27-27.

Just as the game was heading for a tense finish, Bulls found their way into the Sharks 22 and Smith with a drop goal in the final minute ensured they progressed to the semi-finals.