Sharks edge Loftus battle

Fri, 04 Oct 2013 18:59
Large jean deysel bulls630 Large marcell coetzee bulls630

The Sharks secured a home semifinal with a tense 18-16 victory in a physical battle with the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.

The Sharks secured a home semifinal with a tense 18-16 victory in a physical battle with the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.

The home side scored the only try of the game and held the lead going into the last five minutes, but a late Butch James penalty saw the Sharks snatch victory at the end.

The visitors were shown two yellow cards and were put under pressure at scrum-time, but they squeezed out a victory to severely dent the Bulls' hopes of making the last four.

Veteran flank Jacques Botes equalled Helgard Muller's record of 142 Currie Cup caps, and he got involved early on by winning a turnover on his 22 and finding some space to put Heimar Williams over the advantage line.

The Sharks moved into the Bulls 22 where they put pressure on both their line-out and scrum, and after missing his first two shots at goal flyhalf Fred Zeilinga was finally able to give them an early lead with his third penalty attempt.

Sharks captain Keegan Daniel was playing in his 100th Currie Cup match and he knocked on from the restart to give Bulls flyhalf a chance to level things up at 3-3.

The Sharks were back ahead straight away when Wian Liebenberg obstructed Cobus Reinach next to a ruck in the 22. The Sharks scrumhalf almost followed that up with a try when he charged a kick from Pollard, but he was beaten to the ball by Bjorn Basson.

The home side were on the back foot, and found themselves scrambling on defence in their 22 as the Sharks took the game to them.

Despite their dominance the Sharks could not take advantage and soon found themselves defending their own tryline as the Bulls declined the shot at goal and kicked it into the corner.

But they too came away without anything to show for it, and the Sharks were next to score with Zeilinga having found his radar off the kicking tee.

A big scrum from the Bulls saw Pollard reduce the deficit to 9-6, and the visitors were struck a further blow just before half-time when Botes was shown a yellow card for repeated infringements at the breakdown.

Despite being down to 14 men the Sharks were first to score in the second half through another Zeilinga penalty before making a host of changes as Butch James, Charl McLeod, Danie Mienie and Marcell Coetzee all entered the fray with 30 minutes left.

The Bulls responded by launching an attack in the 22 with a line-out and a scrum just short of the tryline, but the Sharks held out again as they turned the tables at scrum-time.

However, the visitors were reduced to 14 men again when Jean Deysel was sent to the sin bin for going offside at a maul.

That gave the Bulls the boost they needed as they hurled themselves at the Sharks in a few waves before Francois Venter planted the ball on the line for the first try.

Pollard's conversion gave the Bulls the lead for the first time in the match, and with a one-man advantage they were firmly in the driving seat.

A powerful driving maul brought them within range, and once it was brought down by the Sharks Pollard gladly punished them with his penalty stretching the lead to 16-12.

The Sharks hit back with a penalty from Butch James, which set the match up for a thrilling finish with the Bulls ahead 16-15 with ten minutes to play as Deysel returned.

It was frantic stuff as both teams made basic errors with the game in the balance and it was Bulls lock Paul Willemse who gave away the crucial penalty for not rolling away in front of the poles.

James slotted the penalty and the Sharks held on for a tense victory which means they will be playing their semifinal at Kings Park.

Man of the match: It was a highly physical match as is tradition between these two teams, and the Sharks relied heavily on big Jean Deysel to put the opposition on the back foot on both attack and defence.

The scorers:

For the Blue Bulls:
Try:
Venter
Con: Pollard
Pens: Pollard 4

For the Sharks:
Pens: Zeilinga 4, James 2

Yellow cards: Jacques Botes (34 mins, repeated infringements) Jean Deysel (60 mins, repeated infringements)

Teams:

Blue Bulls:
15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Jono Ross (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 David Bulbring, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Frik Kirsten, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Marcel van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Dean Greyling, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Jacques Engelbrecht, 20 Lohan Jacobs, 21 Ulrich Beyers, 22 Sampie Mastriet.

Sharks: 15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Peet Marais, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Edwin Hewitt, 19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Butch James, 22 Louis Ludik.

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman, Attie Buitendag
TMO: Deon van Blommestein

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 25 February 2017
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
Ulster v Treviso 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Connacht v Zebre 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
Edinburgh v Ospreys 19h35 Myreside
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 20h15 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 04 March 2017
Hurricanes v Rebels 04h15 Wellington
Highlanders v Crusaders 06h45 Dunedin
Brumbies v Sharks 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Kings 10h55 Singapore
Lions v Waratahs 13h05 Johannesburg
Glasgow Warriors v Dragons 15h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Worcester Warriors v Bristol 15h00 Sixways
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Welford Road
Gloucester v Harlequins 15h00 Kingsholm
Bath v Wasps 15h00 Recreation Ground
Stormers v Jaguares 15h15 Cape Town
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 25 February 2017
Kings v Jaguares 26 | 39
Scotland v Wales 29 | 13
Cheetahs v Lions 25 | 28
Waratahs v Force 19 | 13
Crusaders v Brumbies 17 | 13
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 17 | 83
Fri, 24 February 2017
Munster v Scarlets 21 | 30
Dragons v Leinster 22 | 54
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 17 | 18
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 18 | 27
Reds v Sharks 28 | 26
Highlanders v Chiefs 15 | 24
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 8 8 0 0 39
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Western Province 8 5 0 3 27
Golden Lions 8 5 0 3 26
Sharks 8 5 0 3 25
Griquas 8 4 0 4 21
Boland 8 2 0 6 11
Pumas 8 1 0 7 10
EP Kings 8 0 0 8 1