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Sharks maintain perfect record

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 15 Mar 2014 at 18:55
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Sharks have beaten the Reds by 35 points to 20 in Durban to record a fourth successive victory in the 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby competition.

In a game where the home side favoured a territorial gameplan rather than trying to do too much with a slippery ball, the Reds inability to adapt to referee Lourens van der Merwe worked in the Sharks’ favour. They scored good first half try to Willem Alberts, after a poor kick from SP Marais was turned into a great one by JP Pietersen and S’bura Sithole, but otherwise relied on the reliable boots of Frans Steyn and Pat Lambie, who between them kicked six penalites in a dominant first-half showing. The Sharks lead 25-6 as half-time loomed, with a spilled ball on the line from center Mike Harris just before half time the closest the Reds came.

A tricky half hour followed, though, as the tiring Sharks opted to defend their lead and were drawn into a looser game by the Reds. Working their way through their fumbles, Harris eventually made amends with about 25 minutes to play, latching onto a great pass form a drifting Quade Cooper to score under the posts. A Lambie penalty virtually straight after saw the Sharks maintain a two-score buffer, but at 28-13 the Reds were well back in the contest. A few moments (and slipped tackles) later, ever-dangerous Will Genia had scored a second for the visitors and it was the men in red who had the spring in their step, trailing by just 8 with a quarter of an hour to play.

This Sharks team knows how to dig deep, though and did so again this week, working their way back into Reds territory and eventually forcing a breakthrough, which came in the form of a yellow card to beau Robinson for a lineout infringement. The hosts kept up the pressure and eventually managed to edge further forward as Dale Chadwick scored a great prop try after captain Bismarck du Plessis had made the initial surge. Lambie’s conversion pushed the margin out to 15 and the Sharks will bank another good win, despite battling to get out of third gear for an hour – and spending the other 20 minutes in reverse.

Sharks 35: Tries Willem Alberts, Dale Chadwick. Conversions: Pat Lambie (2). Penalties Frans Steyn(2), Lambie (5).
Reds 20: Tries Mike Harris, Will Genia. Conversions: Quade Cooper (2). Penalties Cooper (2).


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