Coming on the back of a home win over reigning champions the Stormers earlier in the season, the crushing victory amply demonstrated the rising confidence in the Cardiff squad. That will receive another major test when they head to Loftus Versfeld this weekend to face the Bulls.
It was the first time in their 19 games since joining the URC that the Sharks had failed to score and was the first win by a Welsh region in South Africa in 11 games this season and last. There have been 25 matches between Welsh and South African teams to date and it was only the fourth win, three of them by the Blue & Blacks.
Back row man Thomas Young was the stand-out player for the visitors, and he scored a try in each half to set his side on course for victory. He also earned a penalty try after a thrilling kick and chase effort.
Cardiff led 23-0 at the break thanks to the first of Young’s brace, the penalty try and 11 points from the boot of outside half Jarrod Evans. Young’s second came in the middle of an impeccable driving line out as the Cardiff pack muscled up and gave the home forwards a torrid time.
The defence was watertight as well, leaving no space for their speedy back division to run into. Ben Thomas, playing at full back chalked up the bonus-point try, and Cardiff kept their line intact to the end.
The Sharks may have been missing 10 Springboks, but they were everyone’s favourites to maintain their strong record at King’s Park. It was their 11th home fixture in the competition, and they had only previously been beaten once, by Edinburgh, and drew another to the Stormers.
Their average home tally of points before meeting Cardiff was 32 points. It left their coach full of apologies after the game.