A clinical Reds side won a Super Rugby match in Durban for the first time since 2004 by defending bravely to upset the Sharks 21-14 Friday.
Fly-half Bruce Hegarty claimed a try and kicked two conversions for the Australians and centre Chris Feauai-Sautia and scrum-half Tate McDermott scored tries.
The Reds’ other points came from a conversion by full-back Hamish Stewart as they climbed four places to ninth in the combined standings after the round 10 victory.
Hooker Kerron van Vuuren and substitute loose forward Jean-Luc du Preez scored a try each for the hosts and they were converted by fly-half Robert du Preez and full-back Curwin Bosch.
Sharks remained sixth overall after suffering a fourth defeat in six home matches this season, with their poor form at Kings Park leading to a small Easter holiday crowd.
“It was a massive effort by everyone,” said man-of-the-match and Reds skipper and centre Samu Kerevi.
“I believe it is 15 years since we last won in Durban and that makes success all the sweeter for us.
“The Sharks may have been struggling at home of late, but they did not make things easy for us today.
“Our mindset was much improved from last week when we lost to the Bulls in Pretoria. Thanks to our coach (Brad Thorn) and his staff for all their work.”
Sharks skipper and scrum-half Louis Schreuder offered no excuses for the latest setback at home after a 34-point drubbing by the visiting Argentine Jaguares last weekend.
“We let ourselves down,” he conceded. “There were far too many unforced errors, as there have been in many of our matches this season.
AFP / Anesh Debiky
Sbu Nkosi (L) and the Sharks (L) have lost three in a row at home
“Now we head to Australasia for a three-match tour and I hope we can all pull together and pick up some desperately needed points.”
The Reds needed just 104 seconds to take the lead as Hegarty broke clear to score under the posts before converting his try.
Feauai-Sautia scored a similar try on 19 minutes, bursting clear down the middle and Hegarty once again added the extra points.
Van Vuuren was credited with a pushover try after a driving maul off a line-out and under-fire Robert du Preez, who did nothing exceptional before being substituted, converted.
Ahead 14-7 at half-time, the visitors stretched the advantage to 14 points when brilliant support set up McDermott to score and Stewart converted.
Jean-Luc du Preez used his strength to score with 66 seconds remaining and Bosch converted from the touchline, but it was too little too late from the South Africans.