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Xerox Golden Lions 10 10 48
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Sharks win through to Final


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Cheetahs, Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 19 Oct 2013 at 18:58
Tagged with : , , , ,

The Sharks recorded a convincing 33-22 victory over the Cheetahs in an entertaining Currie Cup semi-final at Kings Park today.

In the final analysis, it was a combination of superb discipline from the hosts – and some lackluster execution and shoddy discipline from the visitors – that saw the spoils go the way they did in a contest where either side scored three tries. The Sharks suffered the early blows – first in losing Beast Mtawarira to a leg strain ahead of the kick-off, then in conceding an early try to the Cheetahs after a silly stab-through from SP Marais rebounded badly. Lappies Labuschagne was the man to profit, his score putting the Cheetahs 7-0 ahead with the game not five minutes old.

With the Sharks forwards competing well, though, the team started to slowly gain momentum, fighting back to 7-6 after Pat Lambie has converted the second of three penalty attempts in opposition territory. The Bok flyhalf came out his shell superbly late in the half, though, with a show-and-go try reminiscent of his great score against Western Province in 2010′s final. In a strong push just ahead of half time, the Sharks added a further penalty to Lambie’s goal, taking a good 16-7 lead into the break. Lambie, despite not quite being on song, had bagged all the points.

Cheetahs resistance after the break was brief. Replacement flyhalf Johan Goosen stroked over a good penalty, before Jacques Botes rolled over for the Sharks’ second after good scrum pressure figured in the build up. 23-10 soon became 26-10 as Cheetahs scrumhalf Piet van Zyl was sinbinned for a trip; enjoying a 16-point cushion with a quarter of the game left, the Sharks were cruising, but found a way to shoot themselves in the foot, as they tend to do. In this incidence, it was a card to Bismarck du Plessis for a reckless stomp that saw them not only reduced to 14 men, but also concede a try to Johann Sadie off the resulting penalty. Goosen’s conversion narrowed the gap to 9 and Cheetahs fans will have sniffed just the slightest hope of a surprise.

It was not to be, though, as SP Marais slipped a beautiful pass to Lwazi Mvovo soon after, who surged upfield to get the Sharks back into the right territory. A few phases later and a huge gap yawned on the left, which replacement centre Heimar Williams needed no second invitation to exploit. Lambie’s conversions took the Sharks to a 33-17 lead, one to which a late consolation score – unconverted – by Cheetahs prop Hond van der Merwe made no meaningful difference.

The Sharks now travel to Newlands to face high-flying Western Province, knowing that nothing short of a 300% improvement on this convincing, but oft sloppy, performance will do.

Scorers:
Sharks (33): Tries Pat Lambie, Jacques Botes, Heimar Williams. Conversions: Lambie (3). Penalties: Lambie (4)
Cheetahs (22): Tries Lappies Labuschage, Johann Sadie, Schalk van der Merwe. Conversions: Riaan Smit, Johan Goosen . Penalty: Goosen



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