Sharks outmuscle Lions in rain
CURRIE CUP REPORT: Sharks recorded their 10th consecutive Currie Cup win with a 24-10 win over the Golden Lions in a very wet Durban on Friday.
The result cements the Sharks at the top of the log as their keep galvanising their semifinal spot.
The Durban-based side now boast with 47 log points, while the Golden Lions remain fourth.
Torrential rain made conditions difficult for both sides, nonetheless similar to last week the Sharks managed to outscore the Golden Lions two tries to one.
The first half was fueled with drama. On the 20th minutes with Sharks leading 11-0 referee Stuart Barry - along with his official - decided to suspend the match as a result of the atrocious weather.
Fresh from a bye the Golden Lions appeared uneasy in the opening minutes and even gave away an easy penalty which Sharks' flyhalf Curwin Bosch successfully converted.
The Sharks soon extend their lead with a try by Thomas du Toit. Golden Lions' grubber was neatly collected by Michael Claassens inside his 22, and the scrumhalf's kick up-field got the Sharks in the oppositions' five. After a great steal at the breakdown, prop Du Toit scrambled over the line for the try, 8-0.
Bosch missed the conversion but made up for it with an another successful penalty kick, 11-0.
Golden Lions almost bagged their first try, however, an obstruction and a knock-on kept the visitors scoreless.
After the 15-minute suspension due to lighting, the Currie Cup fixture just turned really ugly and scrappy, even the Sharks skipper Keegan Daniel was given a yellow card for a shoulder charged Fabian Booysen.
Lucky for the Sharks, the Golden Lions failed to exploit the numeral advantage and had to settle for a 0-11 deficit at the break.
As the second half proceeded the rainy weather made keeping possession difficult. However, Golden Lions started to play more in the right spaces, and finally got their first points on the points thanks to a successful penalty by Jaco Van der Walt in the 53rd minute.
They continued to press but soon Bosch cancelled out their three points with a penalty.
On the hour mark, the Golden Lions' hopes of bagging a rare win finally disappeared as veteran Odwa Ngugana intercepted a ball inside the visitors' five and sidestepped his way over for the five points. Bosch added the extras, 21-3.
The Sharks continued to attack and fed the ball to Bosch for a successful dropped goal.
With a healthy 21-point lead the Sharks took their foot off the gas, and the Golden Lions managed to score a consolation try, thanks to the speedster Anthony Volmink. Van der Walt added the extras.
Man of the match: Curwin Bosch out of hand kicks were amazing in the conditions, while Agrth April's breaks got the side in the right spaces. However, our nod goes to Michael Claasens, whose awareness in attack and defence proved to be vital.
Tries: Du Toit, Ngugane
Pens: Bosch 3
For Golden Lions:
Con: Vander Walt
Pen: Van der Walt
Yellow Card: Keegan Daniel (Sharks, 32 - Shoulder charge)
Sharks: 15 Garth April, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Tristan Blewett, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Sibusiso Nkosi, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Armand van der Merwe, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Jean Droste, 19 Lubabalo Mtembu, 20 Cameron Wright, 21 Inny Radebe, 22 Rhyno Smith.
Golden Lions: 15 Jaco van der Walt, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Harold Vorster, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Ashlon Davids, 9 Marco Janse van Vuren, 8 Fabian Booysen, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Albertus Smith, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Rhyno Herbst, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Jacques van Rooyen (captain).
Replacements: 16 Sithembiso Sithole, 17 Pieter Jansen, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Robert Kruger, 20 Len Massyn, 21 Bradley Thain, 22 Anthony Volmink.
Referee: Stuart Berry
Assistant referees: Archie Sehlako, Vusi Msibi