Siya Masuku Sharks Springbok

Siya Masuku of the Sharks kicks at goal. Image: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Sharks make history with dramatic victory over Clermont at the Stoop

The Sharks snatched a late win over Clermont thanks to a conversion from the corner by Siya Masuku after Makazole Mapimpi had crossed.

Siya Masuku Sharks Springbok

Siya Masuku of the Sharks kicks at goal. Image: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

The Sharks had to come back from a 13-point deficit just after half-time to snatch a late win over Clermont in the Challenge Cup.

It went down to the wire, but Siya Masuku was the Sharks’ hero as his conversion of a Makazole Mapimpi try late on gave his side a one-point win.

Sharks win sensational battle

The Sharks got little to nothing from referee Luke Pearce as the Englishman allowed Clermont to take Sharks players out in the air twice in the first 40 without producing a yellow card.

Clermont also flirted with the offside line throughout the contest and played a spoiling game at the breakdown, which was poorly dealt with by the referee.

The Sharks should probably focus on their own error rate though as that was what really cost them in the first half.

Masuku kept the Sharks in the game with his six first-half penalties, but Clermont looked to be able to cut the Durban side to ribbons at will with ball in hand.

Peceli Yato was massive for Clermont as the huge flanker bounced Sharks players off time and again. The halfbacks Anthony Belleau and Baptiste Jauneau also did a great job of getting the line moving.

Three first half-tries and a pair of penalty goals allowed Clermont to take a 28-18 lead into the break.

Sharks storm back

Shortly after the break, in fact, virtually off the restart, the Sharks gave away a penalty, which Belleau slotted. It seemed like the Sharks were dead and buried until a yellow card gave them some hope.

Bautista Delguy was sent into the bin for a cynical deliberate knock on, and the Sharks turned the screws.

The Sharks would power over to score their first try through Springbok Vincent Koch, and Masuku converted to ensure the nominal hosts were back within six points at their home away from home at the Stoop.

A huge blow

A contentious call from Pearce to give Aphelele Fassi a yellow card after he collided with Jerome Jurand as they both went after a chip put in by the Clermont, threatened to derail the Sharks’ fightback.

However, Belleau missed the penalty kick to ensure that the lead remained just six points.

Both sides tightened up on defence but it would be the Sharks who found the extra gear.

Eben Etzbeth helped spark the try with a great kick chase and powerful carry.

A nifty pass from Vincent Tshituka put the Sharks in space, and Mapimpi pinned his ears back and went for the corner.

Masuku would convert from out wide to give the Sharks the lead.

The Sharks had to repel a late surge from Clermont but held their nerve, and secured a famous win that sees them through to a Challenge Cup final.