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Great win for Sharks in Durban


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 27 Sep 2014 at 16:17
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Sharks scored a bonus point in their 53-24 annihilation of the EP Kings in Durban today.

With the race for second place all but lost, the Sharks went about their task with grim determination all the same, knowing that nothing less than a 5-pointer against the lowly Kings would suffice. In a first quarter where they dominated possession and territory, the Sharks, playing like an angry pack of bees, did not want for scoring opportunities, and converted one of these into the opening try, which went to prop Lourens Adriaanse in the seventh minute. Lionel Cronje converted and added a penalty for good measure, before the Kings, in a brief foray into the opposition half, struck back with a penalty of their own through Gary van Aswegen.

Kings hooker Martin Ferreira picked up a yellow card not long after for a professional foul, with the hosts making full use of their numerical advantage to score twice more in the ten minutes that followed. Lwazi Mvovo scored the first of these, picking up a pinpoint pass from Tera Mtembu to saunter through a yawning gap in the defence, with Andre Esterhuizen following over the line not long afterwards; his try came after the dangerous Mvovo had made a good break down the left hand flank.

At 24-3 ahead, that the Sharks were well in control, despite a scrum that was coming decidedly second. The fourth try, which fell to Cronje himself, was the strangest one you’ll see in a while; the flyhalf intercept a loose Kings pass just outside his own 22 and raced away, only to be hauled in by two Kings defenders metres from the line. Cronje tried to find S’bura Sithole on his outside with a wild pass, which was knocked backward and down by a Kings player. The most fortuitous of bounces saw the ball rebound back into the Sharks man’s hands just as he crossed the line. He duly converted and with the bonus point in the bag (and a 31-3 advantage on the scoreboard) the Sharks proceeded to go to sleep.

The ensuing torpour lasted for pretty much the next half hour, as sloppy execution and horrendous discipline saw the Sharks hand the initiative back to their visitors time and again. A first Kings try, to number 8 Paul Schoeman off the back of a lineout drive, came just before half time. A second, to centre Shane Gates, followed not long after the break and all of a sudden, the massive 28-point margin had been cut to just 14. Cronje steadied the ship somewhat with a rare penalty in the 49th minute, but the Kings struck for a third time immediately after, Tim Whitehead scoring their third try and bringing them within 10 points of the hosts.

The last score stung the Sharks back into some sort of action, at least and they produced a passage of great play shortly thereafter, with forwards hammering at the line for what seemed like minutes before Cronje found Paul Jordaan on the right wing. The speedster used all his finishing nous to slip in with millimeters to spare. With the lead back out to 15, the Sharks again relaxed, while the broken-spirited Kings themselves failed to bring much to proceedings after that.

Twenty fraught minutes followed, before Etienne Oosthuizen, who was colossal on the day, barged through a gap to hand replacement lock Stephan Lewies his first Currie Cup try. From the ensuing kick-off, Jordaan grabbed the ball out of the air and sprinted away for his second try (and his side’s seventh) just to add further respectability to the score line, leaving the Sharks to celebrate a match in which big bangs at the start and finish bookmarked some decidedly aimless play for much of the middle period.

Sharks (53): Tries: Lourens Adriaanse, Lwazi Mvovo, Andre Esterhuizen, Lionel Cronje, Paul Jordaan (2), Stephan Lewies Conversions: Cronje (6) Penalties: Cronje (2)
EP Kings (24): Tries: Paul Schoeman, Shane Gates, Tim Whitehead Conversions: Gary van Aswegen (3) Penalties: van Aswegen (1)



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