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Sharks fightback stuns Reds

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 17 Mar 2012 at 18:55
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

The Sharks have beaten the Reds by 27 points to 22 in Durban, after a stuttering start that saw the visitors race away to a 17-0 lead after half an hour. Each side scored three tries in an exciting game played out at a wet and windy Kings Park.

The Sharks suffered an injury setback ahead of the kick-off, with JP Pietersen’s late withdrawal prompting a midfield reshuffle which was duly exploited by the visitors. First-half tries by Reds hooker Jake Hanson and flanker Scott Higginbotham had the home side looking dead and buried as the Queenslanders seemed to find yawning gaps to run through at will. With 10 minutes left to play in the half, though, the Sharks flicked the switch and a lovely break by Charl McLeod saw replacement lock Jandre Marais, in his first Super Rugby game, barge over from 5 metres out.

The Sharks had suffered yet another second-row injury prior to this, with Steven Sykes stretchered off with what looks like a serious knee injury.

Lambie added the two before a cynical spear tackle by Digby Ioane on Marcell Coetzee – which should have been a straight red yet somehow wasn’t – saw the Sharks flyhalf add three more, to leave his side trailing 10-17 at the break.

The second half was all Sharks, though, with tries by Riaan Viljoen and captain Keegan Daniel sandwiching an against-the-run score by Reds replacement back Nick Frisbee. Lambie’s superior kicking display say the hosts sneak the match by five points, although the Sharks will take much comfort from the scoreline of 27-5 in the last 50 minutes of the game.

A number of important men came off injured, though, with Sykes, Jannie du Plessis, Wiehahn Herbst and Charl McLeod all joining Pietersen under a cloud, ahead of the team’s Sunday departure. Next week’s problems can wait, though, because tonight, the Sharks stood up for their fans and recorded a remarkable win that deserves to be talked about for many seasons to come.

Scorers: Sharks (27): Tries Jandre Marais, Riaan Viljoen, Keegan Daniel. Conversions: Pat Lambie 3. Penalties Lambie 2.
Reds (22): Tries Jake Hanson, Scott Higginbotham, Nick Frisbee. Conversions: Mike Harris, Ben Lucas. Penalty: Ben Lucas


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