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Team Points
Premier Division
Xerox Golden Lions 10 10 48
Vodacom Blue Bulls 10 8 39
DHL Western Province 10 7 35
Toyota Free State Cheetahs 10 3 24
Cell C Sharks 10 4 22
Steval Pumas 10 3 17
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ORC Griquas 10 1 8
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Sharks turn it on in the second half


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 15 Aug 2014 at 21:43
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , ,

The Cell C Sharks overcame a poor first half display to down the Steval Pumas 34-17 in Durban tonight. The hosts scored four tries for a valuable Currie Cup bonus point and are now top of the overall log, albeit temporarily.

It was the Pumas who got off to the perfect start, scoring a try from a textbook lineout drive in the fourth minute. Lock Frikkie Spies was awarded the touchdown after endless TMO replays failed to conclusively prove that he has not grounded it. The Sharks, stung into action, took control of possession for the remainder of the stanza, but failed to amass more than 6 points from two Fred Zeilinga penalties. With the flyhalf enjoying an uncharacteristically off night (he missed two other penalties in amongst a slew of other errors) there was little rhythm to the home side’s play, even though they appeared to get the better of referee Christie du Preez’s rather erratic whistle in the first 40.

A brilliant start to the second half gave the Sharks the lead for the first time and showed just how dangerous they could be if they could just cut out the silly errors. Thomas du Toit was the most prominent of several forwards responsible for taking the ball up strongly from the kick-off, with a lovely pass from Zeilinga finding SP Marais out wide, who strolled over for the side’s first try. Zeilinga made it 13-7 with the conversion, but any joy was to be short-lived as the Pumas came back strongly.

Du Preez had threatened the Sharks with a card for slowing the ball down earlier and Marco Wentzel became the unlucky man to receive his marching orders seven minutes into the half. Renaldo Bothma exploited the mismatch just a minute or two later to score the visitors’ second try in the corner and they very nearly crossed for a third moments later, but were denied by some great Sharks defensive work that won them a 5m penalty.

You could feel the game turning at that point and with Pat Lambie and the impressive Matt Stevens entering the fray, the Sharks went on to deliver their best 25 minutes so far this fledgling season. A regulation lineout drive saw Jacques Botes score the second, with captain Tera Mtembu scoring the third ten minutes later. Mtembu’s try was a soft one; the Pumas walked back from a 5m lineout, hoping to trap the Sharks in a truck-and-trailer penalty but Mtembu, who had caught the ball, picked up the trick and simply barged over, rather than transferring the ball to the arriving support player.

At 27-17 up, the Sharks finally seemed to have sewn up the result, but left it late to secure the bonus point try. That went to replacement hooker Monde Hadebe and was scored – wait for it – off the back of a rolling maul after a good attacking line out.

Scorers:
Sharks (34): Tries SP Marais, Jacques Botes, Tera Mtembu, Monde Hadebe. Conversions Fred Zeilinga, Pat Lambie (3). Penalties Zeilinga (2).
Pumas (17). Tries Frikkie Spies, Renaldo Bothma. Conversions Justin van Staden, JC Roos. Penalty Roos.



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