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Sharks XV pick up much-needed win

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Vodacom Cup on 27 Apr 2015 at 10:00
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , ,

Ryan Strudwick’s Sharks XV side recorded a stunning 52-12 Vodacom Cup win over the Boland Cavaliers in Empangeni on Saturday afternoon, blowing away a little of the gloom that has settled over Sharks country in the last month in the process.

With neither the Super Rugby nor the Vodacom Cup team on the winning side in any contest for very nearly a month, the clamours of discontent among fans began to deafen; things also started badly for the Sharks XV, as Boland scored the opening points via an unconverted try in the first minute of the game.

This week was a different one for the XV, though – a young team with very few Super Rugby squad members had the benefit of a full week’s training as a unit and with the harsh words of criticism following the tame capitulation against SWD still ringing in their ears, these boys decided to stand up and fight. Flank Khaya Majola scored the first try, off the back of a lineout drive and tied the game at 5-all, with Cameron Wright unable to nail the conversion. The scrumhalf made good later in the half with a try of his own, which he converted, also adding the extras to centre Marius Louw’s score two minutes later. At 19-5 ahead, the hosts were cruising; the bonus point came just before the break, with loosehead prop Barend Potgieter the scorer.

Starting the second half leading 24-5, the Sharks XV piled on the pain. Potgieter (a retreated flanker making a good fist of things in the front row) scored again ten minutes in. Another flurry of tries came after the hour mark, when a host of substitutions came on. Sandile Kubeka, on for Heimar Williams at flyhalf, created tries for both centres Tyler Fisher and Louw (again), converting both, with the final score going to the old man in the side, wing Tonderai Chavhanga.

As so often happens, Boland picked up a consolation score in the dying minutes, but with the Sharks already celebrating the half century, it was far too late to make any difference to the result.

The bonus-point win moves the Sharks XV up within striking distance of the top four; they will need to win both of their remaining pool matches, though, and hope for some other results to go their way if they are to sneak into the play-offs via the back door.

Sharks XV (52): Tries Majola, Wright, Louw (2), Potgieter (2), Fisher, Chavhanga. Conversions Wright (3), Kubeka (3).
Boland (12): Tries Africa, Sass. Conversion Rust.


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