Sharks beat Edinburgh to reach EPCR Challenge Cup semi-finals

Sharks Lukhanyo Am, pictured here against Bordeaux, runs with ball in hand.

Sharks Lukhanyo Am, pictured here against Bordeaux, score a try in their EPCR Challenge Cup quarter-final against Edinburgh. Picture: Picture: Phill Magakoe / AFP

Published Apr 13, 2024


The Sharks became the first South African club to reach an EPCR competition semi-final as they bested Edinburgh Rugby 36-30 in the quarter-final of the EPCR Challenge Cup at Kings Park on Saturday.

A second half try from hooker Bongi Mbonambi, coupled with 14 points from the boot of flyhalf Siya Masuka – who totalled 18 points in the contest – helped overturn a 16-14 half time deficit.

The first half was a topsy-turvy affair, with both sides enjoying periods of dominance.

Tries from outside centre Lukhanyo Am and flanker James Venter kept the hosts in contention in the opening 40 minutes, with Edinburgh Rugby prop Pierre Schoeman crossing for the Scottish club in addition to 11 points from the boot of fly-half Ben Healy.

However, the visitors couldn’t maintain their performance through the second half, settling for late consolation tries from Hamish Watson and Dave Cherry – Healy converting both to take his tally for the afternoon to 15.

Replacement flyhalf Curwin Bosch added a late penalty for the hosts to add the icing on the cake.

Sharks will now host ASM Clermont Auvergne in the last four following the TOP14 club’s 53-14 romp of Ulster Rugby.

On Friday, Gloucester edged the Ospreys 23-13 to set-up a semi-final with Treviso or Connacht, who meet on Sunday in Italy.

South African teams have competed in the tournaments organised by European Professional Club Rugby since last season.