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Sharks go down in Canberra slugfest


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 10 May 2014 at 13:39
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

The Brumbies have beaten the Cell C Sharks 16-9 in a dull encounter, played out in poor conditions in Canberra. A try to lock Sam Carter early in the final quarter proved the difference between the sides on a day when running rugby was in short supply.

Jake White’s mean were held tryless for the second time in three games – in fact, JP Pietersen’s effort against the Rebels last week is now the only score they’ve enjoyed in in 240 minutes of rugby. There were chances aplenty in this match, but the decision to back Frans Steyn as the only flyhalf and goal kicker in the 23 backfired, with the big Bok struggling with accuracy.

Steyn missed three times from the tee in the first half, allowing the Brumbies to take a 6-3 advantage into the shed. It was a half of rugby in which neither team seemed at all prepared to let the ball go through the hands – ending with a total of less than 2 minutes’ play in either 22 area out of the total 40. The Sharks appeared to have some level of supremacy up front, with scrum and lineout both functioning well. However, the Durbanites failed to capitalise on this advantage and also committed silly errors on those few occasions when they did manage to attack with the opposition half.

Steyn leveled the scores early in the second period after a good Sharks attack was illegally halted 5m from the Brumbies’ line. One felt that had it not been a first offence, the guilty player would have been yellow carded for a deliberate ruck infringement in the so-called red zone. The Sharks, though, again failed to push on, conceding simple penalties in abundance over the next 10 minutes. Christian Lealiifano himself missed two simple attempts, but all the same managed to push his side back out to a 9-6 lead.

Steyn’s unfortunate habit of kicking straight out from restarts helped to keep the pressure on his side, with Nic White, who otherwise had a pretty iffy game at scrumhalf, capitialising in the 63rd minute as he found space for Carter with a short pass as the Sharks’ defence drifted wide.

Jake White’s team finished the stronger side, first goaling a penalty to get back within bonus point range before spending a frantic last 8 minutes on attack. However, with Stephan Lewies off the field, the line out fell apart, meaning no equalising score despite three good attempts to get that lineout maul – which had promised so much earlier in the game – going from a few metres out.

Lewies, Jean Deysel and Cobus Reinach all enjoyed good outings for the Sharks – alas there was far too much indiscipline and poor execution from the 23 as a whole for a win to have been a realistic outcome.

With both Brumbies and Chiefs now scant points behind on the log, the pressure is firmly on the Cell C Sharks to eke out some sort of result in Christchurch next week.

Scores:
Brumbies (16): Try Sam Carter. Conversion Christian Lealiifano. Penalties Lealiifano (3)
Sharks (9): Penalties Frans Steyn (3)



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