Sharks edge WP at Newlands
MATCH REPORT: A late try from fullback Inny-Christian Radebe helped the Sharks edge Western Province 21-20 in a Currie Cup encounter at Newlands on Saturday.
It was the Sharks fifth win in a row after their first-round loss to the Free State Cheetahs. Robert du Preez's side also handed Province their third loss of the season.
After trailing 14-20 with four minutes left on the clock, Radebe got the valuable try with Rhyno Smith slotting the winning conversion from a difficult angle.
The Sharks took an early lead in the game when they were awarded a seven-point penalty try in the third minute after Province illegally stopped a rampaging driving mall in their own 22.
Province got their first points of the game in the 10th minute when Damian Willemse slotted an easy penalty for three points.
The home side then showed what they are capable of on attack from the restart when centre Huw Jones started and finished an attack from inside his own half for a five-pointer. Willemse converted and Province were 10-7 in front after 12 minutes.
John Dobson's side started to dominate play more after that score and they were rewarded again for good interplay when flank Jaco Coetzee burst through a few tackles to run in for his side's second try in the 17th minute. Willemse added the extras again for a 10-point lead.
With the first half winding down, the Sharks found a new lease on life on attack with scrumhalf Louis Schreuder at the centre of some clever work in the Province 22.
Schreuder unleased wing Sibusiso Nkosi into space with a short ball into the Province 22 before the ball was spread wide to hooker Franco Marais who dived over for a try. Radebe slotted a difficult conversion to bring his side within three points.
Radebe had a chance to level the scores with a minute to play in the first half. However, he pushed his kick wide.
Province were first to strike in the second half when Willemse converted a penalty into three points in the 45th minute to give his side a six-point lead.
The Sharks then dominate play, mostly inside the Province half and they were nearly rewarded when Schreuder stretched out for the tryline after a strong scrum only to lose control of the ball.
Despite being camped in the Province half for much of the second half, the Sharks struggled to breach the Cape side's defence. The Sharks were also guilty of poor decision-making and costly mistakes in the strike zone.
The Durban side was given a massive boost in the 70th minute, when Province replacement Stephan de Wit was yellow carded for cynical play.
The Sharks looked like they found a way back into the game in the 73rd minute when Odwa Ndungane gathered a loose ball deep inside WP's 22 to dot the ball over the tryline.
However, the TMO spotted a knock-on from the wing and the try was disallowed.
Just when it looked like the Sharks will rue their missed opportunities, an attack from a scrum deep inside WP's half went wide with Radebe crashing over for a five-pointer in the 76th minute. Replacement Smith then stepped up to convert the try from a difficult angle to give the Sharks a one-point lead.
Radebe's try proved to be decisive as the Sharks held on for in the last few minutes for the win
Man of the match: Nizaam Carr had another strong performance in the blue and white jersey, while flank Jaco Coetzee also impressed in open play. However, the award goes to Sharks scrumhalf Louis Schreuder for his decision-making and play on attack
For Western Province:
Tries: Jones, Coetzee
Cons: Willemse 2
Pens: Willemse 2
Tries: Penalty Try, Marais, Radebe
Cons: Radebe, Smith
Yellow card: Stephan de Wit (Western Province, 70 - cynical play, playing the ball on the ground.
Western Province: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Ruhan Nel, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 John Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Jacobus Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Michael Kumbirai, 18 Eddie Zandberg, 19 Stephan de Wit, 20 Justin Phillips, 21 Robert du Preez, 22 Dan Kriel.
Sharks: 15 Inny-Christian Radebe, 14 Jacobus van Wyk, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Lukhanyo Am, 11 Sibusiso Nkosi, 10 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Jean Droste, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Wian Vosloo, 20 Michael Claassens, 21 Rhyno Smith, 22 Odwa Ndungane.
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Egon Seconds, Stephan Geldenhuys
TMO: Shaun Veldsman