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Xerox Golden Lions 10 10 48
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Griquas dash Sharks’ Vodacom Cup hopes


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Vodacom Cup on 5 May 2015 at 09:26
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , ,

Any slight chance that a desperate rearguard action from the Sharks XV might bring a little hope to long-suffering fans of the union was cruelly dashed on Saturday afternoon, as a late try from an otherwise off-colour Griquas team consigned their hosts to a 24-27 defeat.

This loss – the fourth of the campaign – leaves the Sharks XV languishing in 6th place on the eight team South Section log, a full nine points off the pace in terms of a play-off spot with only one game to go. This weekend’s away fixture against the EP Kings, in other words, is about nothing other than pride.

Late reshuffles and shenanigans again took place this week – the sort of thing that’s conspired to stymie Ryan Strudwick and his coaching team all season long. Kyle Cooper, who trained with the side at hooker all week and was due to be their captain, was withdrawn on Saturday morning and told instead he’d be joining the Sharks tour squad. Monde Hadebe, who’d been in hospital earlier in the week due to illness, was rushed back in to captain the side. A further change at prop saw Marne Coetzee start ahead of Mthunzi Moloi at tighthead.

The Sharks XV started the brighter of the two sides; after Gouws Prinsloo had struck an opening penalty for Griquas, the home side hit back, first with an equalising penalty to Cameron Wright and then with two converted tries. Khaya Majola, the undoubted stalwart of the campaign, went over first, followed by Tonderai Chavhanga. At 17-3 after 36 minutes, there were hopes that the side could kick on and pick up the bonus point victory needed to keep their slim hopes alive; alas, it was Griquas who scored next, via an unconverted try to loose forward Jono Janse van Rensburg.

Leading 17-8 at the break (thanks in no small part to eight squandered points from the errant boot of Prinsloo), the Sharks XV conceded an early score in the second half, this time to Rocco Jansen. That man Marius Louw continued his impressive try-scoring record by going over for the Sharks a few minutes later, but it was to be Griquas who would finish the stronger, scoring twice in the last ten minutes to turn what would have been a rather unlikely victory into yet another defeat.

All things told, just another nail in the coffin of a once-proud union.

Sharks XV (24): Tries Khaya Majola, Tonderai Chavhanga, Marius Louw. Conversions Cameron Wright (3). Penalty Wright
Griquas: (27): Tries Jono Janse van Rensburg, Rocco Jansen, Ntabeni Dukisa, Ederies Arendse. Conversions Dean Grant (2). Penalty Gouws Prinsloo



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