Ward scored either side of the break, while Nohamba contributed 15 of the defending champions’ points as they kept alive their hopes of reaching the semi-finals of the Currie Cup Premier Division, sponsored by Direct Axis Financial Services.
It was a relentless encounter in which neither side gave an inch, but in the end the Xerox Golden Lions paid the price for missing too many kicks at goal, as they outscored the Cell C Sharks by four tries to three.
The home team started like a house on fire and their quicksilver flyhalf Shaun Reynolds drew first blood when he crossed after a period of sustained pressure. He added the extras himself and the Xerox Golden Lions led by 7-0 after just five minutes.
But it would be almost another 25 minutes before they troubled the scorers again, during which time the Cell C Sharks scored two tries, by Ward, their co-captain and inside centre, and the promising Nohamba.
The nippy Junior Springbok scrumhalf converted both and added a penalty goal, before another SA U20 player, Boeta Chamberlain (flyhalf), added three more with a well-struck drop goal.
The visitors were in control at the break, leading by 20-10, but the Xerox Golden Lions were not letting go and they fought back with second half tries by Tyrone Green and Reynolds. The conversions were not successful, and with 15 minutes to go, the scores were tied at 23-23.
With 10 minutes left on the clock, Ward scored his second after a deft little grubber by Rhyno Smith for the visitors to take the lead again. Smith converted – a kick that proved vital in the end.
The Xerox Golden Lions were not done yet though and Marnus Schoeman was driven over from an attacking lineout, but Dillon Smit’s conversion went wide, setting up a tense last four minutes for home fans.
Schoeman was the hero again a few minutes later when he forced a turn-over with the Cell C Sharks hot on the attack, but moments after that, with his team looking to secure the win, the livewire flanker failed to hold onto a pass and the final whistle signaled a great win for the Durbanites.
Xerox Golden Lions 28 (10) – Tries: Shaun Reynolds (2), Tyrone Green, Marnus Schoeman. Conversion: Reynolds. Penalty goals: Reynolds (2).
Cell C Sharks 30 (20) – Tries: Sanele Nohamba, Jeremy Ward (2). Conversions: Nohamba (2), Rhyno Smith. Penalty goals: Nohamba (2). Drop goal: Boeta Chamberlain.