Sharks pass Pumas test
The Sharks completed their pre-season commitments with a 50-19 win over the Pumas at KaNyamazane Stadium on Friday.
The Sharks completed their pre-season commitments with a 50-19 win over the Pumas at KaNyamazane Stadium on Friday thanks to a convincing and committed effort in their final warm-up match.
Last week’s encounter with the Leopards, their first hit-out of the year, ended in a 71-8 victory for the Sharks who scored 11 tries to just the one from the visitors.
Despite the scoreline, it wasn’t the kind of competition they had hoped for against a team missing a number of players away on Varsity Cup duty.
This week the coaching staff admitted as much and hoped that the Pumas would offer greater resistance which was exactly what they got for good parts of the game, although the Sharks were still rampant in scoring eight tries on the night.
The Sharks started off well, scoring two early tries, one converted, which took them into a 12-0 lead. Any thoughts that the floodgates might open were, however, dispelled when a competitive Pumas outfit struck back with a seven-pointer of their own to reduce the deficit to five points after just short of half an hour’s play.
The two teams traded further tries with the Sharks holding out against a committed Pumas team who certainly gave the visitors a tougher contest than they had the week before.
At 19-14, the game was still tight before the Sharks added two further tries to take a strong 31-14 lead. Changes were made en-mass to rotate personnel and give everyone some game time.
The game started to open up as the Sharks pedigree came through, and like last week, there were plenty of second half tries as the Sharks managed to pass the half-century mark.
The Pumas scored a consolation try in the dying moments of the game, but aside from an early flurry and the last gasp score, it was the Sharks all the way.
“It was a step-up from last week which is exactly what I wanted,” said coach John Plumtree after the game. He confirmed that unlike last week, there were no injury concerns to note.
Scorers to follow...
Pumas: 15 Carl Bezuidenhout, 14 Deon Scholtz, 13 Stefan Watermeyer, 12 Dewald Pretorius, 11 Rosco Speckman, 10 Tiaan Marx, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Doppies le Roux, 7 RW Kember, 6 Uzair Cassiem, 5 Eduan van der Walt, 4 Rudi Mathee, 3 Ivann Espag, 2 Jacques Momberg, 1 Vincent Koch.
Replacements: 16 Frank Hearne, 17 Drew van Coller, 18 De Jay Terblanche, 19 Corné Fourie, 20 Boela Serfontein, 21 Yaya Hartzenberg, 22 Reynier van Rooyen, 23 Coenie van Wyk, 24 Danwel Demas.
Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Francois Steyn (captain), 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Marcell Coetzee, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Lubabalo Mtembu, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Meyer Bosman, 23 Odwa Ndungane, 24 Riaan Viljoen
Referee: Craig Joubert