Sharks break SA's Indian Ocean duck

Fri, 02 May 2014 11:27
Large rebels v sharks

The Sharks became the first South African team to win in Australasian this year, when they edged the Rebels 22-16 in Melbourne on Friday.

The Sharks became the first South African team to win in Australasia this year, when they edged the Rebels 22-16 in Melbourne on Friday.

Despite being clearly the superior outfit, a combination of their own shocking execution, poor tackling and a string of questionable calls kept the Rebels within striking distance throughout.

The teams scored one try each - although the Sharks were denied an obvious penalty try in what was one of those strange rulings - with the boot of Frans Steyn (five penalties) beating the boot of Jason Woodward (three penalties).

That made them the first SA team to cross the Indian Ocean and win - 12 weeks into the competition. As a result they cemented their place at the top of both the SA conference and global standings.

The dubious calls were not restricted to those that went against the Sharks. The Rebels' try should have been disallowed - not because Bismarck du Plessis was still talking to his team on instruction of the referee, but because the sneaky quick tap was not legal.

Apart from breaking the Indian Ocean duck, the result is a huge morale booster for the Durban-based team, who suffered a humiliating loss against the Highlanders at home last week.

Rebels fans will bemoan their team's own high error count - as they dominated territory and possession, but let themselves down with costly handling errors and penalties through a lack of discipline.

In their usual fashion, the Rebels, who have won six of their last seven games at home, refused to lay down.

The win will add a little more spice to their encounter next week with Australian conference leaders the Brumbies, when the Sharks' Director of Rugby coach Jake White returns to face his old team for the first time.

In the second minute of the match Hegarty batted a ball dead as Sharks fullback Lwazi Mvovo attempted to grab it and touch down. However, only a penalty was awarded, despite the TMO constantly hinting at a penalty try.

The Melbourne side made more runs and line-breaks and gained more metres than their rivals, yet found themselves going to the dressing room 6-15 down at the interval - five Steyn penalties to two from Woodward.

The Rebels reduced their arrears with a third Woodward penalty with 25 minutes to go, and the game was up for grabs.

Then the league leaders were able to stamp themselves on proceedings, with Lwazi Mvovo and JP Pietersen combined to devastating effect after a promising Rebels attack broke down.

The Durban-based side broke swiftly on a counter from their own 22, with Mvovo accelerating down the pitch before feeding Pietersen, who was able to saunter towards the try-line to ground the ball one handed.

Steyn stretched the lead to 13 points when he converted - 22-9 with 20 minutes to go.

With 10 minutes to go an tempers fraying, the referee called the captains together. While Du Plessis was still chatting to his troops, a quick tap allowed replacement Pat Leafa to scored his side's try. Even if the referee had called time on, the try should not have been allowed, given that the quick tap was not a legal one.

Woodward's conversion made it a six-point game (22-16), which is how it stayed to the end.

Man of the match: Lwazi Mvovo and JP Pietersen combined brilliantly to produce the only legal try of the match. Forwards like Stephan Lewies, Willem Alberts, Bismarck du Plessis and Tendai Mtawarira put in huge efforts. However, our award goes to Sharks flank Jean Deysel, who not only produced the game's biggest tackle count - by some distance - but was very effective with ball in hand.

The scorers:

For the Rebels:
Con: Woodward
Pens: Woodward 3

For the Sharks:
Con: Steyn
Pens: Steyn 5


Rebels: 15 Jason Woodward, 14 Male Sau, 13 Tamati Ellison, 12 Mitch Inman, 11 Tom English, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Scott Higginbotham (captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Colby Fainga'a, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Cadeyrn Neville, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Cruze Ah-Nau.
Replacements: 16 Pat Leafa, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 Paul Alo-Emilie, 19 Hugh Pyle, 20 Sean McMahon, 21 Nic Stirzaker, 22 Tom Kingston, 23 Angus Roberts.

Sharks: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 JP Pietersen, 10 Francois Steyn, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Keegan Daniel, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 SP Marais.

Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann, James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: Peter Marshall (Australia)

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Fri, 27 May 2016
Hurricanes v Highlanders 07h35 Wellington
Waratahs v Chiefs 09h40 Sydney
Boland v Eagles 13h00 Wellington
Free State Cheetahs v Pumas 13h00 Bloemfontein
Kings v Jaguares 17h00 Ascoli Piceno
Border v Falcons 17h00 East London
Sat, 28 May 2016
Blues v Crusaders 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Sunwolves 09h40 Canberra
Western Province v Griquas 10h15 Newlands
Blue Bulls v Leopards 12h15 Loftus Versfeld
Stormers v Cheetahs 13h00 DHL Newlands
Namibia v Griffons 13h00 Windhoek
Golden Lions v EP Kings 13h00 Johannesburg
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 14h00 London
Bulls v Lions 15h05 Loftus Versfeld
Leinster v Connacht 16h30 Edinburgh
Sun, 29 May 2016
Rebels v Force 06h05 Melbourne
England v Wales 14h00 London
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 11 6 0 5 30
Brumbies 11 7 0 4 29
Rebels 10 5 0 5 23
Reds 13 3 1 9 16
Force 11 2 0 9 11
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 42
Crusaders 11 9 0 2 41
Highlanders 11 8 0 3 37
Hurricanes 11 7 0 4 36
Blues 11 6 1 4 29
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Bulls 11 7 1 3 32
Stormers 11 6 1 4 32
Cheetahs 11 3 0 8 16
Sunwolves 11 1 1 9 9
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 11 8 0 3 37
Sharks 12 7 1 4 35
Jaguares 11 2 0 9 13
Kings 11 1 0 10 4