19 May 2014

Crusaders toppled by 14 man Sharks

12:45 pm on 19 May 2014

Reduced to 14 players for three quarters of the game, the South African side the Sharks have beaten the Crusaders 30-25 to remain at the top of the Super Rugby standings.

Flanker Jean Deysel was sent off for stomping midway through the first half, but the Sharks still managed their first win in Christchurch.

The Crusaders had won their 50 previous home games against South African and Australian opponents but turned in an error riden performance.

Scoring three tries to one, the Sharks' ninth win from 12 games pushes them five points clear of the second-placed Chiefs while the Crusaders' winning streak of five games is halted.

Late in the game the Sharks were reduced to 13 players when number eight Willem Alberts was shown a yellow card and sinbinned for ten minutes.

Alberts returned with his team trailing by two points and just five minutes remaining before playing his part as a driving maul set up winning try scored by reserve hooker Kyle Cooper.

It was the first win by any South African team in Christchurch since 2001.

A Crusaders side still missing concussed captain Kieran Read and without All Blacks fullback Israel Dagg this week because of niggles lacked a cutting edge.

Skipper Ryan Crotty says better will be needed when they play the Highlanders in Dunedin next week, lamenting a lacklustre display.

In other matches the Melbourne Rebels beat the Queensland Reds for the first time, winning 30-27.

The Stormers beat the Western Force 24-8 and the Cheetahs completed the treble for South African sides beating the Brumbies 27-21.