The hosts went into the halftime break 21-10 down following an error strewn first half which was highlighted by several individual errors and poor options.

Whatever was said during the halftime break inside their dressing room had the desired effect as the Durban outfit overturned a lacklustre first-half display into an excellent second-half response.

Cell C Sharks flyhalf Curwin Bosch kicked five conversions and two penalty goals for a personal contribution of 16 points, while impressive lock Gerbrandt Grobler scored two tries for the winning side.

It was the visitors who managed to establish an 11-point halftime lead by scoring three tries, one conversion and three penalty goals. The hosts could only reply with one penalty goal and a converted try.

To their credit, the Durban outfit managed to come out energised and were a completely different outfit compared to their showing in the first half.

Three converted tries inside the first 10 minutes of the second stanza paved the way for a deserving comeback win in front of their ecstatic faithful.

Grobler managed to add another try to his one in the first half, while midfielder Marius Louw and Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi also grabbed a try apiece.

The afternoon's result means the Springbok-laden Cell C Sharks finished their home fixtures in the first season of this competition on a winning note, while they also edged closer to a spot in the playoffs.

Visiting flyhalf Conor Fitzgerald got the green jerseys first on the scoreboard when he slotted a relatively easy penalty goal after a home defender was penalised for not rolling away at the breakdown.

After hitting the upright with his first penalty goal attempt, opposite number Bosch made amends to level the scores.

The powerful home pack then flexed their muscles, which saw a great driving maul paving the way for Grobler's first try. When Bosch added the extras his side had a four-point lead at 10-6.

But then the hosts somehow managed to hand the momentum to the Irishmen.

Towering lock Gavin Thornbury charged down a clearance kick and collected the kind bounce of the ball to score out wide to edge the green jerseys 11-10 ahead just before the half-hour mark.

Pivot Fitzgerald slotted another penalty goal, and then they caught the black jerseys napping at scrum time, which allowed nippy scrumhalf Caolin Blade to run in under the sticks as Connacht stretched their halftime-advantage to 21-10.

The halftime talk clearly had the desired effect, as the hosts came out with much more determination and intent to carry the ball with more purpose.

Inside centre Marius Louw got their second half off to a great start when he was on the receiving end of a Grant Williams (replacement back) pass to dive over beneath the stick. Bosch kicked added the extras as the hosts reduced the deficit to four points (21-17).

And then the hosts found themselves back in front when Mbonambi barged his way over following a series of pick-and-go assaults on the away try-line.

With two converted tries inside the first 10 minutes of the second stanza, the home side did not only wipe out their scoreboard arrears, but also managed to grab back the momentum.

When Grobler grabbed his second try the Cell C Sharks were now well in command at 31-21.

To their credit, the Irishmen fought hard to prevent any further damage. But they couldn’t prevent Bosch from adding another penalty goal, nor Le Roux Roets (lock) from scoring the home side's fifth try for a deserving 41-21 bonus-point triumph.


Cell C Sharks 41 (10) - Tries: Gerbrandt Grobler (2), Marius Louw, Bongi Mbonambi, Le Roux Roets. Conversions: Curwin Bosch (5). Penalty goals: Bosch (2).

Connacht 21 (21) - Tries: Gavin Thornbury, Caolin Blade. Conversion: Conor Fitzgerald. Penalty goals: Fitzgerald (3).