Sharks win but finish 3rd in Super Rugby standings

Sharks beat Stormers but finish 3rd in Super Rugby standings, host Highlanders in playoffs

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) -- The Sharks returned to winning ways with a 34-10 victory over the Stormers to finish third in the Super Rugby standings on Saturday and set up a playoff qualifier against the Highlanders.

The Durban side needed to beat its South African counterpart by at least 35 points with a four-try bonus point if it was to leapfrog the second-place Crusaders and earn a home semifinal, but was forced to settle for a more modest victory over a resurgent Stormers unit.

After an even first half saw Stormers flanker Nizaam Carr's try overshadowed by four Francois Steyn penalties and a Paul Jordaan try, the Sharks spent the second period showing off their dogged defense before Sibusiso Sithole and Stefan Ungerer scored in the final five minutes.

The Sharks will host the sixth-place Dunedin-based Highlanders in Durban next Saturday.