Sharks outclass hapless Cavaliers
REPORT: The Sharks had too much fire power for a hapless Boland Cavaliers team in their Currie Cup Round Three match in Wellington on Friday.
The visitors maintained their unbeaten run in South Africa's premier domestic competition - three bonus-point victories - with a 41-20 triumph.
The Sharks were simply too fast and too strong for a Boland team that was willing, but unable to match the overall skills levels of the visitors.
It certainly didn't help the Boland team that the visitors dominated possession and tactically outmanoeuvred them - despite the Sharks taking the foot off the pedal for long periods in the second half.
Boland, from the outset, showed a willingness to play a high-tempo game and keep the ball away from the big Sharks pack.
In fact, the home team even won an early penalty, but the attempted kick at goal by Nico Scheepers was wide of the mark.
Just short of the 10-minute mark the Cavaliers we down to just 14 men, Marnus Hugo sent to the sin bin for a cynical foul - deliberately slapping the ball down.
The Sharks quickly made the extra man count, as Odwa Ndungane slipped over the tryline out wide and Curwin Bosch made it 7-0 with the conversion.
Scheepers were on target with his second shot at goal, when the Sharks were penalised for an illegal maul - 3-7 after 14 minutes.
The Cavaliers were made to pay for a sloppy kick from a free kick - when Ndungane produced a blistering counter attack and quick hands then put Inny-Christian Radebe over for the Sharks' second try. Bosch made it 14-3.
Bosch made that 17-3 in the 23rd minute, with a penalty from 40-odd metres out - after the Cavaliers scrum could not hold up under pressure from the Sharks.
The next score came when the Sharks' big inside centre Andre Esterhuizen used his bulk and strength to drag a couple of defenders with him over the line. The conversion was wide of the mark - 22-3 after 27 minutes.
The bonus-point try came in the 37th minute - a couple of powerful mauls and a powerful ruck allowed Mahlatse Ralepelle to stretch over for the five-pointer. The Bosch conversion made it 29-3 at the half-time break.
The Cavaliers scored first after the break, Danwel Demas sneaking over during a stanza in which the Sharks appeared to be sleepwalking. The conversion was wide of the mark - 8-29.
The Sharks had clearly taken their foot off the pedal and the Cavaliers got another try when Sergio Torrens used his pace on the right wing to go over. The conversion attempt hit the upright - 13-29.
That woke up the slumbering giant that was the Sharks and some great interplay saw Hanco Venter go over for the visitors' fifth try. Garth April added the extras - 36-13 going into the final 15 minutes.
The Sharks added a sixth try - replacement hooker Franco Marais getting the armchair ride at the back of a powerful maul.
The Cavaliers got a late consolation try, with captain Ryan Nell using his pace to expose the lapse in concentration by the Sharks' defence.
Theuns Kotze added the conversion and that is how it ended - 41-20 to the Sharks.
Man of the match: Veteran Odwa Ndungane showed he still has a decent turn of speed and an eye for a gap, fullback Curwin Bosch and Andre Esterhuizen used his bulk to dominate the would-be tacklers. No.8 Philip van der Walt produced his usual bruising display, Keegan Daniel had his moments, and Mahlatse Ralepelle looked to be regaining some form. However, our man of the match is young Sharks flyhalf Inny-Christian Radebe, who is living up to the early promise he showed as a junior.
For the Boland Cavaliers:
Tries:Demas, Torrens, Nell
For the Sharks:
Tries:Ndungane, Radebe, Esterhuizen, Ralepelle, Venter, Marais
Cons: Bosch 3, April
Yellow card: Marnus Hugo (Boland Cavaliers, 9 - cynical foul, slapping the ball down)
Boland Cavaliers: 15 Nico Scheepers, 14 Sergio Torrens, 13 Christopher Bosch, 12 Ryan Nell (captain), 11 Danwel Demas, 10 Adriaan Carelse, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Zandré Jordaan, 7 Jacques Engelbrecht, 6 Shaun Adendorff, 5 Hanno Kitshoff, 4 Shaun McDondald, 3 Basil Short, 2 Francois Esterhuizen, 1 Stephanus Wessels.
Replacements: 16 Clemen Lewis, 17 Abongile Mnyaka, 18 Francois Hanekom, 19 Joubert Horn, 20 Kenan Cronje, 21 Jovelian de Koker, 22 Theuns Kotze.
Sharks: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Heimar Williams, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Sibusiso Sithole, 10 Inny-Christian Radebe, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Lubabalo Mtembu, 6 Keegan Daniel (captain), 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Mahlatse Ralepelle, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 John-Hubert Meyer, 18 JC Astle, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Hanco Venter, 21 Wandile Mjekevu, 22 Garth April.
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: Rodney Boneparte, Aimee Barrett
TMO: Willie Vos