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Xerox Golden Lions 10 10 48
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Sharks out-muscle Leopards

Written by Warren Smith (war1)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 8 Oct 2011 at 22:45
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , ,

The Sharks kept their quest for a home semi final alive with a six try to two 41-14 win against the Leopards at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium.

The Sharks put in a committed and physical performance spearheaded by the impressive Marcell Coetzee and Jean Deysel to come away with a vital bonus point win. It was, in the end, a case of grinding down Leopards side who kept the Sharks pinned in their 22 for large parts of the second half. A few basic errors (not least the lineouts) let the team down and these obviously need to be worked on before meeting the table topping Lions in Durban next weekend. The commitment of the players to get stuck in physically mean that there were a few bodies strewn over the pitch as the game wore on with Adi Jacobs going off for injury; Meyer Bosman soldiering on for a while before going off and captain Keegan Daniel also staying down a few times.

The Sharks got the scoring under way with a penalty converted by Fred Michalak in the 7th minute before Adi Jacobs sniped over for the first try of the night after 13 minutes. The Sharks continued to dominate upfront and that dominance was rewarded with Jacques Botes dotting down after a rolling maul. The standard of play dropped somewhat for the rest of the first half with both teams getting stuck into each other but also making silly errors. The Sharks went into half time 15-0 up.

Not long into the second half Leopards scrumhalf Johann Laker scored the first try of the night for the hosts to narrow the gap to eight points. The Sharks then extended their lead as Jean Deysel put Lwazi Mvovo into just enough space for him to dot down in the corner. Former Wildebeest fullback and Namibian representative at this year’s Rugby World Cup struck back for the Leopards to record his team’s second and last try of the night and reduce the deficit once more. Shortly after that (anyone see a pattern here) Conrad Hoffmann secured the bonus point for the Sharks. The match then descended into something of an error-strewn arm-wrestle as a long period of territorial dominance for the Leopards had them throwing everything at the Sharks line in search of a way back into the match. However, some very committed defense from the Sharks kept the Leopards at bay even if the Sharks struggled to get play out of their 22 let alone their half.

With the match nearing it’s conclusion captain Keegan Daniel managed to charge down a kick and then cantered in for the fifth try of the night for the Sharks which Fred Michalak duly converted from wide out to put the Sharks in command at 34-14 with time almost up on the clock. After the hooter had gone the Sharks showed plenty of attacking intent which was ultimately rewarded with Sibusiso Sithole going over to give a bit of gloss to the final scoreline which ended at 41-14 to the visitors. There were some positives for the Sharks to take from this match as well as some things that need to be worked on before Round 14 Currie cup action next weekend. It was certainly good to see how the players fronted up physically as well as how the players kept attacking even after the hooter.

Lastly, tonight’s game saw a couple of major milestones at totally opposite ends of the spectrum for Sharks players. Gouws Prinsloo capped a pretty good 2011 for himself so far with his first senior provincial cap. Stefan Terblanche came off of the replacements bench to win his 100th cap for the Sharks. Congratulations to both Gouws and Stefan.


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