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Sharks show grit to see off Edinburgh in Challenge Cup quarterfinal

CHALLENGE CUP REPORT: The Sharks advanced to the Challenge Cup semifinals after they beat a plucky Edinburgh side 36-30 in their quarterfinal in Durban on Saturday.


Both teams scored three tries in the match, but the Sharks managed to get a few more points with the boot.

Sharks flyhalf Siya Masuku scored 18 of his team’s points.

The visitors were leading 16-14 at the break after dominating possession and territory in the first half.

However, the Sharks just shifted to a higher gear in the second half and they took advantage of Edinburgh’s ill-discipline.

The Sharks will face French side Clermont in the semifinals after the Top 14 side smashed Ulster in their quarterfinal.

The report continues below…


Challenge Cup 2024 Road to the Final

It was a good start with ball in hand from Edinburgh and they opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a Ben Healy penalty.

The Sharks then thought Masuku had a straightforward penalty to level the scores in the 14th minute, but he pulled his kick horribly wide.


Instead, Edinburgh increased their lead a few minutes later with another Healy three-pointer.

However, some magic from Makazole Mapimpi produced the first try of the game in the 17th minute.

After finding himself in some space, the Bok wing chipped and gathered the ball before feeding it to Lukhanyo Am who sprinted in for the score. Masuku added the extra two points with the conversion.

After absorbing plenty of pressure from Edinburgh, the Sharks then increased their lead in the 27th minute when James Venter found his way over the tryline after some great support play by his fellow forwards. Masuku converted the score for an eight-point lead.

The Sharks were then reduced to 14 men in the 31st minute after Eben Etzebeth received a yellow card for repeated infringements.

Not long after that Edinburgh finally got a try after Pierre Schoeman crashed over from close range after sustained pressure in the Sharks’ 22.

Healy made it a one-point game with his conversion.

The first half ended with another Healy penalty, which meant that Edinburgh had a two-point lead at the break.

The Sharks dominated the physical exchanges in the opening minutes of the second half and Masuku eventually regained the lead for his team with a penalty in the 49th minute.

He added another a few minutes later to push that lead to four points.

The home side then made things a little bit more comfortable in the 56th minute when Bongi Mbonambi broke away from a maul to run in for his team’s third try. It was an 11-point lead after Masuku’s conversion.

With the momentum all on the Sharks’ side, Masuku was able to make it a 17-point with another two penalties.

Edinburgh had a late lifeline in the 75th minute when Hamish Watson crossed the tryline after a powerful driving maul.

However, replacement flyhalf Curwin Bosch added three points to his team’s tally with a penalty before Edinburgh had the final say with a Dave Cherry try.

Man of the match: Wes Goosen was a star in the No.15 jersey for Edinburgh, while scrumhalf Ben Vellacott kept the Sharks on his toes with some darting runs. For the home side, Aphelele Fassi continues his upward trajectory with another strong performance. However, the award goes to Sharks flyhalf Siya Masuku who was a constant threat on attack and he kept the scoreboard ticking over with his boot.

The scorers:

For Sharks:
Tries: Am, Venter, Mbonambi
Cons: Masuku 3
Pens: Masuku 4, Bosch

For Edinburgh:
Tries: Schoeman, Watson, Cherry
Cons: Healy 3
Pens: Healy 3

Yellow card: Eben Etzebeth (Sharks, 31′ – repeated infringements.


Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Werner Kok, 13. Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Ethan Hooker, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Siya Masuku, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 James Venter, 5 Emile van Heerden, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche.
Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Corne Rahl, 20 Lappies Labuschagne, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Curwin Bosch, 23 Francois Venter.

Edinburgh: 15 Wes Goosen, 14 Jacob Henry, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Matt Currie, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Ben Healy, 9 Ben Vellacott, 8 Bill Mata, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Grant Gilchrist (captain), 4 Sam Skinner, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ewan Ashman, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Dave Cherry, 17 Boan Venter, 18 D’arcy Rae, 19 Jamie Hodgson, 20 Luke Crosbie, 21 Ali Price, 22 James Lang, 23 Chris Dean.

Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant referees: Anthony Woodthorpe (England), Adam Leal (England)
TMO: Ian Tempest (England)


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