Cape Town - The Sharks capitalised on a red card shown to Blue Bulls centre Johnny Kotze for a dangerous tackle on the stroke of half-time to cruise into the semi-finals of the 2019 Currie Cup at Loftus Versfeld on Pretoria on Saturday.
As it happened: Blue Bulls v Sharks
In a match in which both sides scored six tries, the Sharks won 48-40 after leading 27-21 at half-time.
The bonus-point victory was enough to see the Durbanites clinch fourth place in the final standings and book a semi-final clash against the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein next weekend.
The other semi-final will see the Golden Lions welcome Griquas to Ellis Park.
Western Province saw their playoff hopes evaporate when they faded in the second half of their clash earlier in the day against the Cheetahs.
The Blue Bulls picked up a vital bonus point for scoring four tries or more which saw them finish sixth in the standings - ahead of the bottom-placed Pumas - and avoid the promotion-relegated end-of-season match.
15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Dylan Sage, 11 Rosko Specman, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Ivan van Zyl (captain), 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Wian Vosloo, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Substitutes: 16 Corne Els, 17 Dayan van der Westhuizen, 18 Conraad van Vuuren, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Ruan Steenkamp, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Vaughen Isaacs, 23 Stedman Gans
15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Jeremy Ward (co-captain), 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Boeta Chamberlain, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Tera Mtembu (co-captain), 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Phepsi Buthelezi, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Thomas du Toit
16 Dylan Richardson, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Andisa Ntsila, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Rhyno Smith, 23 JP Pietersen