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Sharks save their worst for last


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Lions, Original Content, Sharks on 22 Aug 2015 at 18:56
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

A game Sharks team gave their fans hope for 60 minutes of today’s Currie Cup clash against the Lions at Kings Park, defending with passion to eke out a 16-10 lead, only to conceded three late tries to hand their visitors a 31-16 bonus point win.

There was much hope for fans after a first half in which the unfancied Sharks went toe-to-toe with a Lions team widely tipped to mop the floor with the black and white lads. Despite an early try to Howard Mnisi, which was perhaps more freakishly unlucky than anything else, the Sharks forwards built a good platform based on tackle-area dominance. The scrum remained a disaster throughout, with referee Quinton Immelman mercilessly penalising Dale Chadwick and Thomas du Toit in turn for virtually every conceivable transgression at this phase, but the lineout functioned far better, while the Sharks loose forwards tackled their opposition to a standstill.

Joe Pietersen struck twice with the boot to see his team turn just 6-7 down.

The Lions struck back with a penalty ten minutes into the second period, but Pietersen nailed his third to bring the Sharks back within a point just ahead of the fourth quarter. A great lineout move saw replacement fullback SP Marais crate space for Odwa Ndungane with a clever toe through, the veteran winger scoring on the hour mark to claim the lead for the Sharks, with Pietersen’s tricky conversion handing Sharks a six-point cushion.

What followed can only be described as an implosion of note; where an experienced team would have found a way to consolidate and close out the game, the Sharks seemingly went to pieces instead. The first of three Lions tries came via centre Stokkies Hanekom after a good period of pressure from the visitors; the final two, though, were simply down to rank amateur mistakes. First Ross Cronje sprinted through untouched after a poorly controlled lineout in the Lions 22, setting up Courtnall Skosaan for an easy score. Minutes later it was Anthony Volminck who profited, latching onto a long lazy pass from Andre Esterhuizen to run in for a 60m intercept try- that latter score handing the Lions a bonus point and consigning the Sharks to yet another abject defeat.

Sharks (16): Try: Odwa Ndungane; Conversion: Joe Pietersen; Penalties: Pietersen (3).
Golden Lions (31): Tries: Howard Mnisi, Stokkies Hanekom, Courtnall Skosan, Anthony Volmink; Conversions: Marnitz Boshoff (4); Penalty: Boshoff.



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