South African Super 12 side, The Sharks defeated NEC Harlequins by 31-13 in the first ever Springbok Bar Challenge, played in front of a full house at the Stoop. Quins led 6-3 at half-time, but the Sharks scored four tries in the second half with centre Andre Snyman crossing the line twice. Mark Mapletoft, who scored all of Quins points, scored a consolation try for the hosts with ten minutes left to play.
The first half was littered with handling errors and though Nick Burrows and Matt Moore made excellent breaks into the Sharks half, Quins didn't open the scoring until after 23 minutes. Persistent pressure from the home side resulted in them being awarded a penalty, with the Sharks adjudged offside in midfield. Mapletoft converted the opportunity and Quins were ahead by three points. Just two minutes later and the visitors drew level, with fly half Gaffie du Toit kicking a penalty with Quins also guilty of being offside.
Another telling break from Burrows ended with Quins being awarded another penalty. Mapletoft again found the target to restore his sides three point advantage. Back came the Sharks and only some excellent Quins defence plus a try saving tackle from Tony Diprose prevented them from going into the interval in front.
Quins made six replacements at half-time and then lost Karl Rudzki to the sin bin, for a late and dangerous tackle, with the half just seven minutes old. With an extra man advantage, the Sharks scored their first try of the match. A catch and drive from the pack gave Snyman the necessary space to break through a gap in the midfield and score under the posts. Du Toit converted to put the Sharks 10-6 in front.
Just four minutes later and the Sharks scored again. Ryan O'Neill was forced to touchdown behind his own line giving the Sharks a five-metre scrum. Number eight Shaun Sowerby picked-up from the base of the set-piece and drove his way over for the try. Du Toit's conversion attempt went over off the post to give the Sharks an 11 point lead.
As the game entered the final quarter, Sharks full back Thinus Delport put his name on the score sheet. With play deep in the Quins twenty-two, the ball went wide through the backs and Delport capitalised on the overlap that was created. Du Toit once again added the two extra points on offer to make the score 24-6.
Five minutes later and Snyman crossed for his second try of the night. Scrum half Werner Swanepoel broke clear at the back of a lineout and fed Snyman the scoring pass. Du Toit added the conversion to take his personal tally up to 11 points in the match.
With ten minutes left to play, Mapletoft scored Quins only try of the game. The fly half chipped ahead and with Delpont failing to gather possession, Mapletoft dived on the loose ball for the try. He followed this up by adding the conversion and complete the scoring in the match.
Harlequins fan Ed Atkin won the Etihad Airways 'Up and Under' competition at the Northampton Saints game. As a result, he and a friend have won a holiday to Abu Dhabi courtesy of Etihad Airways and the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.