Sharks see off Griquas
MATCH REPORT: The Sharks went to the top of the Currie Cup Premier Division standings with a 46-24 bonus-point win over Griquas at Kings Park on Friday.
The home side outscored their opponents by six tries to three in an entertaining game. It was also the Sharks' second bonus-point win in a row after their 33-10 win over the Pumas in Round One.
It was a blistering start for the home side when lock Etienne Oosthuizen scored the first try of the game from a powerful driving maul inside the Griquas 22.
The Sharks were playing with a lot of confidence after that score and after another foray into the Griquas' 22 a few minutes later, wing Sibusiso Sithole evaded a number of defenders to score his team's second try. Curwin Bosch converted and the Sharks had a handy 14-point lead after nine minutes.
Griquas opened their account in the 21st minute when flyhalf Clinton Swart converted a penalty to reduce the deficit to 11 points.
However, Swart's penalty was cancelled out a few minutes later when Bosch added three points to push his team's lead out to 14 points once again.
The visitors were not about to give up and they were rewarded soon after the restart when scrumhalf Rudi van Rooyen ran in for his team's first try after some brilliant work by Swart. The latter converted to reduce the Sharks' lead to seven points.
Griquas' hard work was then undone again when an overthrow at a line-out in their own 22 resulted in a try for centre Andre Esterhuizen. Bosch converted again and the Sharks were ahead 14 points again.
Things then got worse for Griquas when replacement hooker Abraham Jacobus le Roux was yellow carded for cynical play before Sharks' scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer scored his team's fourth try. Bosch converted and at half-time the Sharks were leading 31-10.
Griquas came out firing in the second half. However, they could not finish off a number of try-scoring opportunities deep inside the Sharks' half.
They did eventually get their try in the 54th minute when speedy wing Alshaun Bock scythed through the Sharks' defence to score his team's second try of the match. Swart converted for a 31-17 scoreline.
However, the trend of the Sharks hitting back soon after Griquas had scored continued when No.8 Lubabalo Mtembu showed a clean pair of heels to race downfield for the Sharks' fifth try.
It was then the turn of Griquas again to hit back when centre Jacobus Jonker should some great skill to chip and regather his kick to score. Swart converted and Griquas were only 12 points behind going into the last quarter.
However, A Bosch penalty and a Jean Deysel try put the Sharks out of reach in the final minutes of the game.
Man of the match :Stephan Lewies and Etienne Oosthuizen both put in greats performance, while captain Keegan Daniel was outstanding again. However, the award goes to Philip van der Walt for another brilliant all-round performance.
Tries: Oosthuizen, Sithole, Esterhuizen, Ungerer, Mtembu, Deysel
Cons: Bosch 5
Pens: Bosch 2
Tries: Van Rooyen, Bock, Jonker
Cons: Swart 3
Yellow card: Abraham Jacobus le Roux (Griquas, 39 - cynical play, joining the maul from the side)
Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Neil Maritz, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Sibusiso Sithole, 10 Inny-Christian Radebe, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu, 7 Philip van der Walt, 6 Keegan Daniel (captain), 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Mahlatse Ralepelle, 17 John-Hubert Meyer, 18 Ruan Botha, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Michael Claassens, 21 Heimar Williams, 22 Rhyno Smith.
Griquas: 15 Adriaan Coertzen, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Jacobus Jonker, 12 Johnathan Francke, 11 Alshaun Bock, 10 Clinton Swart, 9 Rudi van Rooyen, 8 Jason Fraser, 7 RJ Liebenberg (captain), 6 Wendal Wehr, 5 Jonathan Barry Janse van Rensburg, 4 Mzwanele Zito, 3 Stephan Clyde Kotzé, 2 Marius Fourie, 1 Willem Andries Stephanus Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Abraham Jacobus le Roux, 17 Devon Martinus, 18 Liam Hendricks, 19 Sias Koen, 20 Stephan Vermeulen, 21 Renier Botha, 22 Elgar Watts.
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant referees: Stephan Geldenhuys, Ricus van der Hoven
TMO: Marius Jonker