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No joy in Bloem – at any level


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 16 Sep 2014 at 09:34
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Neither the Sharks under 19 nor the under 21 team managed to pick up the win they sorely needed in Bloemfontein this weekend, with results against their Cheetah counterparts adding further pressure to the already embattled outfits.

The under 21s, who are already well off the pace and were looking unlikely to make the semi-finals for the first time in years, led 14-8 at half time, thanks to tries by centre Neil Maritz and number 8 Louis Hazelhurst. A flurry of scoring from the Cheetahs in a horror show second half, though, consigned them to a 43-21 defeat. In what can only be described as a black day for under 21 rugby in the province, the Cheetahs scored five unanswered tries in little over half an hour, before prop Barend Potgieter went over for the Sharks’ 3rd – a score of little consolation – just on full time.

The Sharks under 21 side are once again second from bottom on the log and are now definitely out of contention as far as a knock-out place goes. They are in serious danger of finishing below the Leoaprds, which is frankly embarrassing and perhaps is the single biggest indicator that Jake White’s changes to junior rugby structures in KZN simply cannot come quickly enough.

The under 19s fared better, if we’re to use the logic that a close loss is better than a hiding. The side played strongly to run out to an 18-10 half time lead, with tries to lock Johan du Toit and number 8 Daniel du Preez, coupled with 8 points from the boot of Josh Bragman, seeing them comfortably in control. Like their under 21 counterparts, though, they capitulated in the second period, allowing their hosts to score 12 unanswered points and consign them to a 22-18 defeat.

With four wins in eight games, the under 19s cling to fourth spot on the log, but with the EP Kings chasing hard (and few easy games left) it’s by no means certain that they will still be in semi-final contention by the season’s end.

All in all, rather disappointing.



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