Coastal Sharks of South Africa ground out an 18-13 victory over the Jaguares of Argentina Saturday in an error-strewn Super Rugby match.
Endless handling errors by both teams and many penalties led to a stop-start match that offered minimum entertainment at Kings Park stadium in Durban.
"It was a disjointed match in which both teams exhibited a low quality of skills," said SuperSport TV analyst and former South Africa coach Nick Mallett.
Success was important for the Sharks as they and the Jaguares seem likely to fight for a quarter-finals place in the competition.
South African sides Western Stormers and Golden Lions are favoured to win the Africa 1 and 2 conferences, leaving the Sharks and Jaguares to fight for best runners-up slot.
Lions top the Africa 2 standings with 23 points, Sharks have 22 and Jaguares 19 after round 7.
However, on the evidence of this match, neither the Durban nor Buenos Aires outfits will be contenders for a trophy lifted last year by the Wellington Hurricanes of New Zealand.
Sharks scrum-half Cobus Reinach opened the scoring on six minutes, breaking from deep in his half after a turnover and outpacing the defence.
Argentine fly-half Nicolas Sanchez slotted two penalties then missed two others before a penalty by full-back Curwin Bosch put the Sharks 8-6 ahead at half-time.
The hosts stretched their advantage to nine points on 44 minutes when centre Andre Esterhuizen barged over off a Reinach pass and Bosch converted.
Sanchez was yellow carded just before the hour for an early tackle on rival fly-half Innocent Radebe, a late inclusion for Garth April.
But the visitors overcame the numerical handicap and skipper and hooker Agustin Creevy scored a try which winger Bautista Ezcurra converted.
Bosch completed the scoring two minutes from time with a penalty awarded for illegal scrumming by the South Americans.