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Sharks win in the Bay


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, EP Kings, Original Content, Sharks on 29 Aug 2015 at 19:04
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , ,

The Sharks were forced to dig deep to record a 24-20 win against the EP Kings in Port Elizabeth this evening.

The hosts dominated the early scoring, running up a 13-0 lead as half time approached. An early blunder from Lionel Cronje in his 22 gifted a try to Kings flanker Thembalani Bholi 7 minutes into the contest, while Scott van Breda added the extras via a conversion and two penalties. Despite clear territorial superiority and the lions’ share of the possession, the Sharks simply could not find a way through, not even when the Kings were reduced to 14 men for ten minutes.

It fell to Joe Pietersen – one of very few men in black and white to look at all interested in the first half – to right matters, straightening beautifully to score inside Luther Obi’s weak tackle attempt just before halt time. Pietersen converted his own try to narrow the deficit to 6 at half time.

It was a different Sharks outfit that came out of the tunnel for the second half, with replacement Thomas du toit in the van of all of the good upfront work that followed. As the Sharks kept it simple and direct (and away from the bumbling Cronje as much as possible) the Kings started to fall off tackles. First Francois Kleinhans – another who was superb on the day – scored a great try off the back of a lineout drive, captain Marco Wentzel propelling him over after the pair peeled off. Minuets later, it was Daniel du Preez who scored his third try in four games, showing impressive strength to dot down after being stopped a metre or two short.

With the Sharks cruising at 21-13 up, Gary Gold inexplicably subbed both du Preez and Michael Claassens, both of whom had been instrumental in the good play up to that point. With the bonus point looming, it again became a horror show and despite a penalty from Pietersen to add just a bit more of a buffer, the Sharks found themselves holding on for dear life in the final ten minutes, as the Kings profited from their mistakes. S’bura Sithole went in high to stop Ronnie Cooke scoring five minute from time and paid the price, with a penalty try awarded to the hosts and the Sharks wing – poor on the day – shown a yellow card.

Fortunately, no further damage was done and the Sharks held on for a four-point win that really should have been more.

EP Kings (20): Try Bholi, Penalty Try. Converions van Breda (2). Penalties van Breda (2).
Sharks (24): Tries Pietersen, Kleinhans, D du Preez. Converions Pietersen (3). Penalty Pietersen.



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