Fullback Warrick Gelant scored a hat trick of tries as the Bulls made a mockery of their poor form this season with a comprehensive 30-17 victory over the Sharks at Kings Parkin Durban on Friday night.
The victory is just a fourth of the season for the Bulls, who are already out of contention for the quarter-finals, against a Sharks side who had hoped to build some momentum for the knockout stages having already sealed their spot in the playoffs.
The Bulls also scored a try through No. 8 Nick de Jager, but lost flyhalf Tony Jantjies, younger brother of Springbok Elton, to injury after a quarter of the game. His replacement, Tian Schoeman, kicked two penalties and two conversions.
The Sharks managed two tries in an error-strewn performance though prop Thomas du Toit and fullback Curwin Bosch, with the latter also adding two conversions and a penalty.
The Bulls were ahead inside eight minutes when De Jager scored the easiest of tries after Sharks lineout throw from Franco Marais eluded everybody and was poached by the loose forward, who simply had to fall over the line to score.
The home side hit back when Du Toit powered over for their first try, but Sharks flyhalf Garth April knocked on to allow a turnover that saw Gelant canter over.
The Bulls then took control and profited from the fine work of Gelant and the excellent Bok centre Jan Serfontein, as they combined for the former to score his second try.
After Schoeman had added a penalty, the Sharks found a lifeline when Bosch profited from strong work by Du Toit to score a try and reduce the deficit to just three points. But the Serfontein-Gelant combination worked again two minutes later to hand the fullback his hat-trick and seal victory for the visitors.
Tries: Du Toit, Bosch
Cons: Bosch 2
Yellow Card: Nkosi
Tries: De Jager, Gelant 3
Cons: Schoeman 2
Pens: Schoeman 2
Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 S’bura Sithole, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Sbu Nkosi, 10 Garth April, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tera Mtembu, 6 Philip van der Walt (c), 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Hyron Andrews, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Marius Louw
Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Duncan Matthews, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Kefentse Mahlo, 10 Tony Jantjies, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Nic de Jager, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Pierre Schoeman, 18 John-Roy Jenkinson, 19 Renaldo Bothma, 20 Shaun Adendorff, 21 Andre Warner, 22 Burger Odendaal, 23 Tian Schoeman
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)