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Esterhuizen hat-trick sinks Leopards


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 12 Aug 2013 at 12:19
Tagged with : , , ,

Sharks under 21 coach Etienne Fynn would have been smiling from ear to ear on Friday afternoon, after watching his charges score nine tries in a 62-18 rout of the Leopards in Potchefstroom. In a fixture that has not often yielded big wins for the Sharks, inside centre Andre Esterhuizen was just one of a number of stand-out players.

It would be remiss not to single out the big 19-year-old back, though – in just his first year out of school, Esterhuizen (who would of course still be eligible to play under 19 rugby) scored a hat trick of tries, taking his competition total to six after just four games. That try-scoring statistic puts him at the head of the pack competition-wide and certainly sets him up as one to watch for the future – as well as a player to be very carefully marked by the opposition!

The Sharks under 21s, though, put in a superb team performance in Potchefstroom and dominated matters from the first whistle to the last. Fullback Sean Robinson opened the scoring, with flyhalf Rob du Preez, scrumhalf Hanco Venter and outside centre Tyler Fisher following suit, to ensure the bonus point as early 35 minutes into the game. Esterhuizen got into the action with his first to round off the first half and with just two penalties against, it was the Sharks well in control at 34-6 up as half time broke.

Esterhuizen scored again just after the break, before an injection of fresh legs from the home side saw them briefly gain some level of ascendancy. Their opening try came during a rare “quiet period”, which saw the Sharks unable to register any further points for nearly 20 minutes. That was soon blown away, though, with flanker Johan Meyer re-opening the floodgates via his second try in as many games. Esterhuizen scored his third minutes later, followed by a “final nail” from captain Guy Alexander virtually from the ensuing kick-off. Brendan Cope, on for du Preez at flyhalf, succeeded with all three conversions and with the visitors’ score now above 60, the final try to the Leopards proved scant consolation.

By virtue of the big win, the Sharks are now first on the over-all competition table, holding a scant single-point advantage over their next opponents, Western Province.

Scores: Leopards u21 (18). Tries Armandt Stoman, Rowayne Beukman. Conversion JJ du Plessis. Penalties Warren Gilbert (2).
Sharks u21 (62). Tries Sean Robinson, Rob du Preez, Hanco Venter, Tyler Fisher, Andre Esterhuizen (3), Johan Meyer, Guy Alexander. Conversions du Prrez (4), Brendan Cope (3). Penalty du Preez.



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