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Dunedin disaster

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 1 May 2015 at 11:22
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

The Sharks have succumbed to another big loss against Kiwi opposition, going down 48-15 to the Highlanders in Dunedin.

Already low on loose forward options in the tour group, the withdrawal of Renaldo Bothma just before kick off proved telling with Etienne Oosthuizen battling to adapt to a blindside flank berth in which he has never looked comfortable. It didn’t take long for the Highlanders to exploit the disjointed Sharks, with flanker Gareth Evans scoring the first try just four minutes in. Odwa Ndungane missed the final tackle, just one of the defensive lapses committed during a poor evening at fullback.

Lima Sopoaga added a conversion and penalty to take the hosts out to a 10-point lead before a period of rare dominance in the middle of the first half saw the Sharks draw level. With the forwards making yards around the fringes, Beast Mtawarira scored their first try, with Fred Zeilinga adding five more via the boot. It didn’t take long for this revival to be snuffed out, though; the Sharks’ individual errors and lack of cohesion on defence were brilliantly exposed twice more before half time, with Highlanders wingers Waisake Naholo and Patrick Osborne scoring within minutes of one another.

The second half was no better for the Sharks (trailing 10-24); a tapped lineout ball in their own 22 was somehow missed by Conrad Hoffmann, with Mark Reddish rushing through to dot down for the bonus point. Further tries to Aaron Smith and Brendon Edmonds rubbed salt into the wounds, before Bismarck du Plessis scored off the back of a lineout drive deep into the second half. Elliot Dixon, though, added an eighth for the hosts to seal a fine 33-point win for his side.

Highlanders (48): Tries Evans, Naholo, Osborne, Reddish, A Smith, Edmonds, Dixon. Conversions Sopoaga (5). Penalty Sopoaga
Sharks (15): Tries Mtawarira, du Plessis. Conversion Zeilinga. Penalty Zeilinga


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