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Pumas embarrass sloppy Sharks


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 29 Aug 2014 at 21:03
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , ,

The Cell C Sharks have finally been made to pay for sloppy an uninspiring play, conceding a 32-22 bonus point win to the Steval Pumas in Nelspruit.

The visitors started well enough, dominating possession and territory in an opening spell that alas yielded scant return, with only a Fred Zeilinga penalty in the seventh minute to show for their efforts. Worse, flakner Francois Kleinhans’s outing had only lasted six minutes before he had to be taken off with a suspected broken arm. Amidst growing frustration at their inability to finish off, the Sharks began to concede territory and possession, with the likes of Rosco Speckman and Stefan Watermeyer beginning to make through a defensive the became alarmingly more porous as the game went on. Renaldo Bothma’s opening try – which was awarded with any evidence that he’d actually grounded the ball – put the hosts into the leads, a lead which flyhalf Justin van Staden extended to 13-3 on the half hour mark.

The Sharks had meanwhile suffered another big blow, with lock JC Astle leaving the field with a hamstring injury at the end of the first quarter.

As well as the Pumas were playing, one has to acknowledge that referee Ben Crouse played a big role in allowing them first half ascendancy, with Puma players allowed to play on after numerous infringements, failing to release the ball in the tackle being the most obvious. The Sharks appeared to have finally made the breakthrough and were on their way through to score their first when Crouse called them back, alleging that a perfectly legitimate tackle by Tonderai Chavhanga had been late; the shell-shocked Sharks went on to conceded a second shortly afterwards and went into the shed trailing 9-18, after Zeilinga had done well to bring them back in range via two further penalties.

While the visitors has cause to look at the officials during the first half, the second allowed no such luxury. After competing well for half an hour – a period during which they finally managed to edge ahead through constructive play – and a good try by SP Marais – the Sharks suffered a complete meltdown in the final ten minutes. It began with SP Marais shanking a regulation free kick directly into touch; Watermeyer scored from the resulting lineout and the slender 22-18 lead was overturned to see the hosts lead by four. Any hopes of a late comeback were dashed as Pumas lock Giant Mtayanda crashed over in the corner with minutes to spare, consigning the Sharks to abject defeat and handing the Pumas their first victory over the Sharks in ten years – with a bonus point to boot.

Pumas 32: Tries Renaldo Bothma, Justin van Staden, Stefan Watermeyer, Giant Mtayanda. Conversions van Staden, JC Roos (2). Penalties van Staden (2).
Sharks 22: Try SP Marais. Conversion Fred Zeilinga. Penalties Zeilinga (5).



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