Sharks maintain winning start with 20-42 victory over Highlanders

Makazole Mapimpi scored two tries for Sharks
Makazole Mapimpi scored two tries for Sharks
©Steve Haag

Highlanders 20-42 Sharks, Forsyth Barr Stadium

Makazole Mapimpi and Aphelele Fassi scored two tries apiece as Sharks registered a 20-42 win over Highlanders in the second round of Super Rugby at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Friday.

This is Sharks' second win from as many games as they occupy the top place in the South African Conference while Highlanders are at fourth place in New Zealand Conference.

Mitch Hunt got Highlanders off the mark with a seventh minute penalty goal but Curwin Bosch provided Sharks with advantage with three-pointers in the 12th and 25th minutes.

The South African side ensured they finished the first half strong as they scored three tries in a span of 10 minutes with James Venter (31') and Mapimpi (35' and 39') all crossing over while Bosch kicked all the three extras making the scoreline 3-27 heading into the break.

Bosch with another penalty goal in the second half took Sharks' tally to 30 points but tries from Dillon Hunt (47') and Jona Nareki (61') kept the hosts in the game reducing the gap to 15 points but Fassi with his double in the final 10 minutes ensured a 22 point win for the visitors despite Michael Collins' 73rd minute try.

"The boys played for each other. The work rate and the defence were great," captain Lukhanyo Am said.

"The Highlanders managed to put us under pressure but we bounced back."