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Sharks hold on

Written by Pierre McLeod (pierre_mackie)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 11 Mar 2013 at 09:55
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

The Sharks faced the Southern Kings this past Saturday in Port Elizabeth in front of a near to full capacity crowd at the Nelson Mandela Stadium.

The Kings enjoyed a bye after their first round win over the Force with the Sharks coming off a 12 – 6 win against the Stormers a week before in a game where Pat Lambie’s boot was the difference between the sides, which probably made them hungry for tries and aiming for a bonus point win on the night.

The Sharks were in control from the start with 80 percent of the possession and 90 percent of the territorial advantage, with led to the Sharks putting the first points on the board with a Patrick Lambie penalty 6 minutes into the game. Five minutes later Louis Ludik went over for the first try, which was disallowed by the television match official Johann Meuwessen, calling it a forward pass.

Lambie managed to put a few more penalties over to bring the score to 9 – 0 before Demetri Catrakilis added 3 points to put the Kings on the score board. The Sharks played most of their rugby in the Kings half but failed to get over the Kings try line, before Lambie slotted a drop goal to bring the half time score to 12 – 3 in favour of the Sharks.

The Kings came out the half time break realising they were still in it and after much back and forth the Sharks managed to add another 3 points, but only after Lambie was allowed to retake the penalty after the Kings charged his first kick. The Kings were not going to let it slip and took every opportunity that was in Catrakilis’s radar, taking two penalty kicks to narrow the deficit to 9 – 18.

A confident and possible bonus point win turned into a worrying 6 point lead for the Sharks when Catrakilis kicked his forth penalty to bring the score to 18 – 12 with 10 minutes to go. The Kings had a possible bonus point with losing within 7 or the opportunity to pull off an even bigger upset then their win over the Force.

The Sharks managed to creep into the Kings 22 with a minute to go and were rewarded with another penalty which Lambie was happy to take and seal a not so convincing 21 – 12 win over the Southern Kings.

For the Sharks Lambie managed 6 penalties and a drop goal with Catrakilis adding 4 penalties for the Kings.

Credit needs to be giving to both teams, the Kings for being in it for 80 minutes and keeping the Sharks try less, and also give the Sharks credit for keeping calm and taking the points to secure another win after 80 minutes of intense and solid defense against a team that if they continue on this patch could hurt some teams at a later stage in this competition.

In the post match John Plumtree gave the Kings credit for being superb on defence as they were against the Force.

Plumtree also said; “We were pretty conservative and it looked like we were a bit scared to lose.” He also made mentioned of there was a lot of pressure for them to not lose against the Kings, maybe something they’ve put on themselves.

“In this competition, unless you score some tries you are not going to win it and we know that, and we have some time to fix that up. We will get better.”
“I don’t want to do the Kings any injustice. They were outstanding in defense. I didn’t think we would run away with it coming down here because Super Rugby is tough and Kings have a point to prove.”
“They have some proud guys in their team, so lets give them some credit, we were pretty poor, but they were up for it.”

“But we have to unleash the demon and start playing some good rugby, but we not quite there yet.”

Francois Steyn also said; ” We made it tough for ourselves out there and each week we have had opportunities which we’ve battle to convert, but credit to the Kings, there was great defence from them. It was a fantastic venue to play at and it was lovely to be here. Next week we get a chance to do better, we just need to keep on working.”


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