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The 13 do it again

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 21 Mar 2015 at 21:09
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

The Sharks have somehow beaten the Chiefs, by 12 points to 11, despite being reduced to 13 men for most of the contest.

In a game that promised much, very little was ultimately delivered, thanks in no small part to a niggly, petulant start from both sides. The Chiefs came out swinging, with late cheap shots the order of the day. Hooker Hikawera Elliott saw red within the first 15 minutes, after a bad shoulder charge in his team’s in-goal area connected with Beast Mtawarira’s head. With an opposition player sent off, it should have been the Sharks who capitalised but that numerical advantage barely lasted beyond the next phase, with captain Bismarck du Plessis himself seeing red after stupidly lashing out with the boot when held in a tackle.

At 14-on-14, the contest had evened up again, but it turned pear-shaped for the Sharks just a few minutes alter, with Frans Steyn red carded for a spear tackle just outside the 22. With the Sharks a key midfield defender down, the writing was on the wall; however, it was the elements that intervened to spare the blushes.

Pat Lambie had exchanged penalties with Aaron Cruden to leave the teams locked at 6-all, before Sam Cane’s try off a lineout drive late in the half finally gave the Chiefs their breakthrough. A missed conversion, together with a further penalty to Lambie just before the break saw the Sharks still in touch at 9-11 as the rain came down.

What followed was perhaps one of the great displays of sheer tenacity from the Sharks, although to be fair the Chiefs also failed to adapt to the inclement weather and conceded possession regularly through poor handling as they tried to speed up the game. With the Sharks scrambling madly – and using their dominant scrum as a good platform – the Chiefs simply never managed to creak through again and it was Lambie, who finally succeeded with a fourth penalty after two near misses, who emerged as the only point scorer in the second half.

BMT doesn’t come in bigger doses than the one the Sharks flyhalf dished out tonight and with two other big name players – and leaders – doing so much to thwart the team’s efforts, it was fitting that the young Durban boy, as stand in captain on the night, was the one to steady the ship.

The Sharks will take the points, but one feels that for there to be progress this season, Gary Gold simply has to get some of the egos in the team back in check.

Sharks (12): Penalties: Pat Lambie (4)
Chiefs (11): Try Sam Cane. Penalties Aaron Cruden (2)


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