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Bloem heartbreak for under 21s


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 19 Oct 2015 at 09:49
Tagged with : , , , ,

The Sharks under 21 side fought bravely to get ahead of their Cheetah hosts at half time in Saturday’s Bloemfontein, but ultimately fell short in the second 40, conceding two tries to none in the half to suffer an agonising 22-27 loss.

Marius Louw’s team certainly had their share of obstacles to overcome, starting with the late withdrawal of star prop Thomas du Toit due to illness. initially planning a merciless up-front assault late in the game, those plans had to change before kick-off, with lock forward Jean Droste included on the bench (and only a single prop replacement in Barend Potgieter remaining). On a day when the Sharks never quite seemed to get on the right side of the referee, both Louw and openside flanker Graham Geldenhuys found themselves in the sin bin early on, Louw being sent off as early as the 3rd minute, and Geldenhuys following in the 14th just a minute after his captain had returned.

An early penalty to Inny Radebe was all the joy the Sharks had in the opening quarter, with Free State centre Nico Lee and number 8 Steve Meiring scoring tries to hand their team a 12-3 lead. Some wayward kicking by left wing Arrie Vosloo left the door open and when Ayron Schramm scored his third try in as many games in the 22nd minute, the Sharks were right back in the contest. Geldenhuys made good with a score of his own 5 minutes before the break, with Radebe (unsuccessful with either conversion) adding a penalty to see the Sharks lead 16-12 heading into the shed.

Injury to Schramm just after his try had been scored meant the introduction of big Wian Vosloo to the pack, but with the latter also going off just minutes later, the Sharks were forced to play all of the second half with replacement hooker Kerron van Vuuren at flank, a factor which must ultimately have led to their demise. Despite two good penalties from Radebe in the second half to keep them in touch, a try to Vosloo and a further one to Lee late in the game saw Free State edge the half 15-6, ultimately securing a 5-point win and a spot in next week’s final against WP.

For this young Sharks team, it was a disappointing loss but hopefully a sign of good things to come for this corps of players, many of whom are still eligible for age-group rugby next year. Special credit must go to Radebe, who is clear as the competition’s top points scorer, with 135 points courtesy of six tries, 24 conversions and 19 penalties. With the nearest challenger boasting just 89, Inny looks set to win this individual prize in commanding style.

Free State 27 (12). Tries: Arrie Vosloo, Nicolaas Lee (2), Steven Meiring. Conversions: Andre Swarts, Arrie Vosloo. Penalty: Andre Swarts.
Sharks 22 (16). Tries: Ayron Schramm, Graham Geldenhuys. Penalties: Inny-Christian Radebe (4).



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