Sharks too strong for Pumas
MATCH REPORT: The Sharks ran in five tries to record an impressive 33-10 bonus-point win against the Pumas in their Currie Cup Premier Division encounter in Nelspruit on Friday.
The Durban-based team showed some great touches with ball in hand against plucky Pumas outfit. They were also outstanding on defence throughout the 80 minutes as well
The Pumas were the first to score in just the fourth minute when flyhalf Francois Brummer converted a penalty from a long way out to give his team a three-point lead.
The Sharks had an opportunity to level matters a few minutes later. However, flyhalf Curwin Bosch pushed his penalty kick wide from the kicking tee from almost in front of the polls.
The visitors did eventually put points on the board in the 13th minute when Franco Marais crossed the whitewash from a driving maul which started five metres from the Pumas' tryline. Bosch converted to give his team a five-point lead.
That lead was increased five minutes later when wing Odwa Ndungane scored his team’s second try.
After a powerful scrum in the midfield, No.8 Philip van der Walt found some space in the Pumas' defence before passing to Ndungane who sprinted downfield for the try.
It was then the turn of the Pumas to cross the whitewash and they also used the driving maul to good effect. Hooker Frankie Herne took advantage of a good drive from a line-out to score his team's first try. Brummer converted and the Sharks' lead was reduced to four points in the 28th minute.
That would be the last scoring action in the first half.
The Pumas came out firing in the second half, but they struggled to breach a stern Sharks' defence.
Instead it was the Sharks who were the first to score after they upped the tempo themselves. After a brilliant attacking move with the ball going through a number of hands, it was Sibusiso Sithole who got his team’s third try.
Bosch converted again and the Sharks were leading by 11 points going into the final 30 minutes.
The Sharks then took the game by the scruff of the neck in the 66th minute when lock Ruan Botha crashed over from close range after another strong driving maul.
The game was well and truly taken away from the Pumas when Andre Esterhuizen got a brilliant ball off a scrum to sprint away untouched to score his team's fifth try. Bosch converted and the Sharks had a 23-point lead going into the final minutes.
The home side tried desperately in the dying minutes to get another score, but they were pegged back by some aggressive Sharks defenders. In the end it was a comfortable win for the Sharks.
Man of the match: Curwin Bosch controlled the game nicely, while centre Andre Esterhuizen was a powerhouse in the midfield. The front row of Lourens Adriaanse, Franco Marais, Dale Chadwick were also outstanding in the scrums. However, the award goes to Philip van der Walt for a brilliant all-round performance.
Tries: Marais, Ndungane, Sithole, Botha, Esterhuizen
Cons: Bosch 4
Pumas: 15 Justin van Staden, 14 Marcello Sampson, 13 Hennie Skorbinski, 12 Marlou van Niekerk, 11 JP Lewis, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Reynier van Rooyen, 8 Carel Greeff, 7 Lambert Groenewald, 6 Brian Shabangu, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 De Jay Terblanche, 2 Frankie Herne, 1 Khwezi Mona.
Replacements: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 Jacques Kotze, 18 Wiehan Hay, 19 Marnus Schoeman, 20 Emile Temperman, 21 Deon Helberg, 22 Devon Williams.
Sharks: 15 Odwa Ndungane, 14 Neil Maritz, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Sibusiso Sithole, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Keegan Daniel (captain), 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Mahlatse Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Ruan Botha, 19 Lubabalo Mtembu, 20 Stefan Ungerer, 21 Inny-Christian Radebe, 22 Heimar Williams.
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Referees: Pro Legoete, Ricus van der Hoven
TMO: Willie Vos