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Bloemfontein stalemate for Sharks, Cheetahs


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Cheetahs, Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 13 Sep 2014 at 16:50
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , ,

A late second half fightback, in which Shark captain Tera Mtembu appeared to have scored the winning try, was unfortunately not enough to assure his side four points, as a penalty by Cheetahs flyhalf Willie du Plessis in the 82nd minute secured a 30-all draw in Bloemfontein this afternoon.

The Sharks were again forced to pay for a sloppy start, with some first half lapses responsible for two tries to Cheetahs dangerman Sarel Pretorius in the first half. As the Sharks, who had no shortage of possession, fumbled their way through a scoreless half hour (after Lionel Cronje had opened the scoring with a penalty), it was Pretorius who struck twice, making good use of every half chance that came the Cheetahs’ way.

Cheetahs prop George Marish was yellow carded late in the half for kicking Jacques Botes – with few able to understand why referee Stu Berry hadn’t brandished a deserved red – and the Sharks used their 1-man scrum advantage to good effect thereafter, S’bura Sithole scoring their first try after after a strong scrum in the Cheetahs’ 22. A penalty to the home side, converted by Willie du Plessis, was canclled by another to Cronje on the stroke of half time, with the Cheetahs taking a 17-13 lead into the break.

The Sharks were the better side for most of the second period (one which, amazingly, they won 17-13). Despite some handling lapses and poor decisions at time, there was far more urgency and accuracy to their play, with forwards such as Kyle Cooper and Lourens Adriaanse playing vital roles in ensuring continuity with a backline that looked full of running. The Cheetahs scored again through Tienie Burger 53 minutes into the game, one must say against the run of play, but it was all Sharks afterwards, with Andre Esterhuizen rounding off a good team movement to bring the team back within striking distance, before, once again, a silly penalty immediately afterwards allowed the Cheetahs some breathing room.

The Sharks went over twice more, with first S’bura Sithole and then SP Marais failing to ground, before Mtembu’s stretch for the line appeared to have handed them a 3-point win. Esterhuizen, who was part hero and part villain on the day, infringed twice in the closing minutes, though, with du Plessis opting to aim the second of those at the poles, with disastrous consequences for the Sharks.

Scores: Cheetahs 30. Tries Sarel Pretorius (2), Tienie Burger. Conversions Willie du Plessis (3). Penalties du Plessis (3).
Sharks 30. Tries S’bura Sithole, Andre Esterhuizen, Tera Mtembu. Conversions Lionel Cronje (3). Penalties Cronje (3).



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