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Springbok's hat-trick sees Sharks go top in URC South African Shield

By PA
South Africa's Makazole Mapimpi has come from nowhere to World Cup fame in the space of 16 months (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

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Makazole Mapimpi scored a hat-trick of tries as the Sharks climbed to the top of the United Rugby Championship’s South African Shield with a thrilling 47-37 win over the Lions in Johannesburg.

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Sean Everitt’s men fought back from conceding two early tries to emerge with a victory that sees them replace their hosts at the summit after six matches.

Andre Warner and Wandisile Simelane touched down inside the opening nine minutes, but the Sharks responded through Aphelele Fassi, Mapimpi (two) and Kerron Van Vuuren to reach half-time at 27-18 up and with a bonus point already in the bag.

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Ruan Pienaar unpacks the South African teams’prospects in the URC
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Ruan Pienaar unpacks the South African teams’prospects in the URC

Ruben Schoeman, Edwill Van Der Merwe and Morne Van Den Berg crossed for the Lions as they secured a bonus point of their own in the second half, but Mapimpi also completed his hat-trick and Lukhanyo Am went over late on to secure victory.

Boeta Chamberlain kicked 12 points and Joaquin Diaz Bonilla booted five for the Sharks, while Lions fly-half Fred Zeilinga contributed 10 to his side’s cause and Tiaan Swanepoel scored a solitary conversion.

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