Reigning Super Rugby Champions the Queensland Reds were sensationally knocked out by the Sharks after a 33-17 defeat at the Suncorp Stadium. The shock result sets up an all South African semi-final against the Stormers.
The Sharks were always in control of proceedings as opened up a 17-0 lead with tries from JP Pietersen and Paul Jordaan. French international Frederic Michalak converted both tries and an early penalty before Mike Harris got the Reds off the mark. Michalak responded immediately with a drop goal, before a Will Genia try left the half-time score 20-10 in favour of the Durban based outfit.
Genia became the villain after the resumption when his flat pass was intercepted by Charl McLeod to canter over the line. The conversion form Michalak meant the Sharks were seventeen points to the good. The Reds could not turn territorial advantage into scores, and the video referee ruled out a try from Liam Gill. Radike Samo did cross the whitewash but it was simply too late for Queensland as the Sharks march on.
Elsewhere Dan Carter kicked 23 points as the Crusaders defeated the Bulls 28-13 to set up a semi-final clash next week with the Chiefs. The out-half produced yet another sublime performance as he kicked six penalties, a drop goal and converted Zac Guildford’s as the perennial favourites dominated most areas of the contest.
Morne Steyn kicked a penalty late in the first half and Wynand Oliver and Dewald Potgieter crossed for second half tries, but the contest was never really in doubt. The semi-final pairings will ensure a South Africa-New Zealand decider on August 4th.