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Sharks go top with bonus-point win

Sat, 21 Sep 2013 14:49
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Seven-try rout at Kings Park
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The Sharks overtook Western Province at the top of the Currie Cup standings with an impressive 50-26 demolition of the Free State Cheetahs in Durban on Saturday.

It was a seven-try rout that allowed the Sharks to move up to 24 points - the same as WP, but ahead on points difference.

After the match the Sharks' captain, Keegan Daniel, said that this was probably their best performance of the year.

It was, no probably about it.

The Sharks showed such zest and concentration as they ripped the Cheetahs apart. The Cheetahs on the other hand were without enthusiasm but back to their old habit of rickety defence.

It was a dank day in Durban - overcast, verging on rain, not the sunshine place one expects. But there was nothing dismal about the Sharks who flung themselves into the attacked from the outset.  

They started with two line-outs, the second when Elgar Watts kicked out on the full from outside his 22. Immediately the Sharks  went onto phased attack till a long pass from flyhalf Fred Zeilinga sent SP Marais skipping over for a try. 5-0 after 3 minutes.

The Sharks came straight back on the attack when Marais kicked and Watts kicked out eight metres from his line. The Sharks bashed but a penalty against Pieter-Steph du Toit lifted the siege.

The one negative of the afternoon for the Sharks was the number of penalties conceded by them - 12 to the Cheetahs' five.

It was a penalty that gave the Cheetahs their first score. Lwazi Mvovo was penalised at a tackle and Riaan Smith goaled the first of four penalties.

Johann Sadie kicked out on defence but Du Toit charged it down. Watts scrambled back to the ball just short of his goal-line but under intense pressure conceded a five-metre scrum from which a skip pass from Zeilinga reached Mvovo who, without much room or impetus, beat two defenders to score in the left corner. 10-3 after 15 minutes.

The Sharks won a Cheetahs line-out and attacked till Lappies Labuschagne was penalised 13-3 after 18 minutes. And even though Smit got one back three minutes later  when Wiehahn Herbst was penalised, the outcome of the match was in fact settled.  Now only the extent of the victory was in doubt and the fluid Sharks play there to enjoy.

Watts kicked downfield into the Sharks' half and the Sharks countered going left with Marais and Tim Whitehead making profitable headway till a skip pass from Zeilinga sent Heimar Williams hurtling over in glee. 20-6 after 23 minutes and three minutes later 23-6 when Lood de Jager was penalised for holding on.

The Cheetahs seemed to wake to the fact that they, too, could play. They went through phases and Trevor Nyakane made headway  till quick passes by Sadie and Labuschagne gave Rhule and overlaps for a try. 23-13 after 32 minutes.

Zeilinga and Smit exchanged penalties and Marcel Coetzee was actually over the line but held up. Half-time broke at 26-16.

Smit goaled again at the start of the second half but then, again off a Cheetahs' kick, Daniel countered running through feeble tackling. The Sharks bashed and then went wide right where Whitehead scampered over for the try. 31-19 after 44 minutes.

The Cheetahs attacked till the Sharks won a turnover and burst out of tight defence to  hammer at the Cheetahs' defence where a brilliant, long pass from hooker Kyle Cooper found Mvovo, who easily beat Rhule to score. 36-19 after 57 minutes.

A penalty put the Sharks 10 metres from the Cheetahs' line. They mauled and bashed till Cooper burst ahead and Daniel scored. 43-19 after 66 minutes.

Piet van Zyl, an unwanted Springbok, came on at scrumhalf with 8 minutes left.

The last Sharks' try was the best of the afternoon. The Cheetahs were attacking but a turnover gave substitute Jaco Van Tonder an overlap and he went striding nobly down the right. Hemmed in he kicked ahead. Smit fell on the ball just short of his line but the Sharks had it quickly back and Jaco Reinach scored under the posts to bring up the 50  with 6 minutes to play.

Just after that Van Tonder kicked again, this time to the Cheetahs' profit  as Daniller countered and Oupa Mohoje and then Boom Prinsloo took the ball on. Substitute hooker AJ le Roux powered over for the last score of the match.

The final whistle told the Sharks that they were top of the Currie Cup log with three matches to play.

Man of the Match: Marcel Coetzee, fresh from being a non-playing Springbok and rejoicing to be playing rugby again. He did it with great energy.

The scorers:

For the Sharks:
Tries:
Marais, Mvovo 2, Williams, Whitehead, Daniel, Reinach
Cons: Zeilinga 6
Pens: Zeilinga 3

For the Free State Cheetahs:
Tries:
Rhule, Le Roux
Cons: Smit 2
Pens: Smit 4

Teams:

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Lubabalo Mtembu, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Peet Marais, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Rayno Gerber, 18 Edwin Hewitt, 19 Brynard Stander, 20 Cobus Reinach, 21 Butch James, 22 Jaco van Tonder.

Free State Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Riaan Smit, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Davon Raubenheimer, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Johannes Prinsloo (captain), 5 Waltie Vermeulen, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Rossouw de Klerk, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 AJ le Roux, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Teboho Mohoje, 19 Philip van der Walt, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Ryno Benjamin, 22 Willie du Plessis.

Teams:

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Lubabalo Mtembu, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Peet Marais, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Rayno Gerber, 18 Edwin Hewitt, 19 Brynard Stander, 20 Cobus Reinach, 21 Butch James, 22 Jaco van Tonder.

Free State Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Riaan Smit, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Davon Raubenheimer, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Johannes Prinsloo (captain), 5 Waltie Vermeulen, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Rossouw de Klerk, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 AJ le Roux, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Teboho Mohoje, 19 Philip van der Walt, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Ryno Benjamin, 22 Willie du Plessis.

Referee: Marius Jonker
Assistant Referees: Archie Sehlako, Reuben Rossouw
TMO: Deon van Blommestein

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