The Sharks will host Vodacom Western Province in the final of the 2010 Absa Currie Cup on October 30 after both sides secured victories in their Premier Division semi-final games this weekend.
In one of the most physical encounters of the season, the Durban side, who ended the season in first position on the log, held on and secured a thrilling 16-12 victory over the Vodacom Blue Bulls at The Absa Stadium on Saturday.
The Sharks flanker Keegan Daniel scored the only try of the game that was dominated on the scoreboard by the boots of Springbok flyhalf Morne Steyn and the Baby Boks fullback Patrick Lambie.
The victory for the hosts ensured that they continued their impressive undefeated run at home during the 2010 competition.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls on the other hand did not enjoy much success on the road during this season's competition. They conceded league defeats against the Barloworld Toyota Pumas (22-21) in Witbank, Vodacom Western Province (15-12) in Cape Town, Vodacom Free State Cheetahs (20-14) in Bloemfontein and The Sharks (34-28) in Durban.
Steyn kicked four penalties and was responsible for all the points notched up by the defending champions, while Lambie added three penalties and converted Daniel's try for The Sharks.
Vodacom Western Province were in superb form in Cape Town on Saturday and booked their place in their first Absa Currie Cup final since 2001 after they recorded a convincing 31-7 victory over the Vodacom Free State Cheetahs at Newlands.
The hosts, who suffered their only home defeat of the 2010 season in week eight against the Bloemfontein side (29-24), celebrated sweet revenge in an emphatic manner after scoring three tries to one.
The Vodacom Free State Cheetahs who boasted a 50 percent success rate in semi-finals which included two away victories against Vodacom WP during their previous two visits to Newlands in playoff games in the Absa Currie Cup, failed to trouble the hosts who dominated play during most periods of the game.
Vodacom WP's three tries were added by Springbok flanker Francois Louw and wingers Bryan Habana and Gio Aplon. Willem de Waal continued his excellent form with the boot on Saturday by contributing 16 points.
De Waal, who is currently the leading points' scorer in the Absa Currie Cup Premier Division with 215 points, kicked four penalties and two conversions. Vodacom Free State Cheetahs winger Philip Snyman added his side's first points of the game in the 75th minute of the game by scoring a consolation try which was converted by flyhalf Louis Strydom.
Absa Under-21 Championship (Group A)
The Vodacom Blue Bulls and Vodacom Western Province will contest the final of the Absa Under-21 Championship after both sides recorded semi-final victories this weekend.
The Cape side and the Free State Cheetahs battled out an exciting 49-49 draw at Newlands but still qualified for the final due to their superior try differential on Saturday. Vodacom WP also ended the league phase of the Group A section in fourth position. Ten tries were scored in this match with the hosts outscoring their opponents with six tries to four.
Centre Johan Sadie, flanker Nick Koster, hooker Sidney Tobias, fullback Ozard du Toit, reserve loose forward Stephan Greef and prop Ruan Smith scored five-pointers for Vodacom WP. Flyhalf Gary van Aswegen kicked five conversions and three penalties for the hosts.
The Free State Cheetahs flyhalf Franna du Toit contributed 29 points with the boot by kicking six penalties, one drop goal and four conversions. Winger Cameron Jacobs, lock Pieter Labuschagne and reserve scrumhalf Inus Kritzinger scored the visitors' five-pointers at Newlands.
In the other Absa Under-21 Championship semi-final of the weekend, the Vodacom Blue Bulls held on to secure a stunning 39-35 victory over The Sharks in Durban on Saturday. The Sharks boasted a 27-22 lead at the break but failed to contain the rampant Pretoria side who scored five tries in the match.
Vodacom Blue Bulls flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff added a try and kicked two penalties and three conversions to end the game with a personal points' haul of 17 points. Flanker Marnus Schoeman (2), lock Andries Ferreira and winger Deon Helberg were the other try-scorers for the visitors. Former SA Under-20 flyhalf Francois Brummer added one conversion.
The Sharks prop Dale Chadwick scored a brace of tries while flyhalf Guy Cronje and winger Mark Richards also added five-pointers for the hosts. Cronje also kicked three conversions and three penalties.
Absa Under-19 Championship (Group A)
Vodacom Western Province will face the Vodacom Blue Bulls in the final of the Absa Under-19 Championship after both sides secured victories in their semi-final games this weekend.
The Cape side, who ended the league phase of the Group A competition in first position, ran in six tries as they outplayed the Platinum Leopards during their 49-13 victory at Newlands on Saturday.
Flyhalf William van Wyk scored a brace while SA Under-20 flanker Siya Kolisi, WP fullback Ulrich Beyers, centre Micheal van der Spuy and reserve back Damian de Allende all added tries for the hosts. Beyers kicked five conversions and three penalties to end the game with a personal points haul of 24 points.
In Durban the Vodacom Blue Bulls also booked their place in the final of the Absa Under-19 championship thanks to a 24-21 victory over The Sharks in Durban on Saturday.
Fullback Pieter van der Walt scored 19 points for the Pretoria side after he kicked four penalties and added a converted try. Vodacom Blue Bulls scrumhalf Lohan Jacobs who represented the SA Under-20s at this year's IRB Junior World Championship in Argentina scored the visitors' second try of the game.