Sharks power past Cheetahs in Umlazi
PRE-SEASON REPORT: The Sharks scored five tries en route to a 35-7 victory over the Cheetahs in their main game in Umlazi on Friday.
The Durban-based team dominated play, while the Cheetahs, just like they did against the Stormers last week, were only able to score on try during the 80 minutes.
Both teams had plenty of the ball in the opening 20 minutes, but mistakes in the strike zone snuffed out any try-scoring opportunities.
It was the Cheetahs who eventually opened the scoring when centre Nico Lee ran in for a score in the 23rd minute after the Sharks were reduced to 13 men after two yellow cards for cynical and dangerous play.
The Sharks pushed hard to get onto the scoreboard, but there was no reward for them. The Durban-based side also suffered a big blow when veteran flank Keegan Daniel left the field with what looked like a serious arm injury in the 37th minute.
With just two minutes to go until half-time, the home side eventually opened their account when prop Coenie Oosthuizen eased over for a try after some great play by his teammates on attack. Patrick Lambie converted the try to bring the scores level at 7-7.
The Sharks continued where they left off in the first half when wing Kobus van Wyk opened the scoring in the second half in the 43rd minute when he powered over for a try before Lambie converted for a seven-point lead.
Robert du Preez's side were dominating play, but they again had to play with a man down when Ruan Botha was sent to the sin-bin for a dangerous tackle in the 54th minute.
Despite only having 14 men on the field, the Sharks increased their lead just before the 60-minute mark when replacement Jeremy Ward sprinted through the Cheetahs defence after a scrum a few metres out from the visitors' tryline.
It was all Sharks after that score and it was the turn of Cobus Reinach to add his name to the scoring when he collected a neat grubber kick behind the Cheetahs' defence to score his team's fourth try.
With time up on the clock, the Sharks went in search of one final try and they eventually got when replacement Jean Droste went over to finish the game off.
*In Friday's earlier game, the Sharks B-Team beat the Cheetahs B-Team 14-0 in a 60-minute match.
After no score in the first-half, flyhalf Garth April put the Sharks in front in the second 30 with a converted try.
A few minutes later Benhard Janse van Rensburg scored the Sharks second try with April converting and putting the game out of reach for the Bloemfontein side.
For Sharks A-Team:
Tries: Oosthuizen, Van Wyk, Ward, Reinach, Droste
Cons: Lambie 3, Janse van Rensburg 2
For Cheetahs A-Team:
Con: N Marais
Yellow cards: Philip van der Walt (Sharks, 17 - repeated infringements), Keegan Daniel (Sharks, 22 - dangerous play, elbow to the face). Ruan Botha (Sharks, 54 - dangerous play, high tackle)
Sharks A-Team: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie (captain), 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Keegan Daniel, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements - from: Juan Schoeman, Franco Marais, Lourens Adriaanse, Jean Droste, Hyron Andrews, Francois Kleinhans, Jacques Vermeulen, Lubabalo Mtembu, Cobus Reinach, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Sbu Nkosi, Jeremy Ward, Johan Deysel, Sibusiso Sithole, Clement Poitrenaud.
Cheetahs A-Team: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Nico Lee, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Ryno Benjamin, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Charles Marais.
Replacements - from: Squad
Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
For Sharks B-Team:
Tries: April, Janse van Rensburg
Cons: April 2
For Cheetahs B-Team: None
Sharks B-Team: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Sibusiso Sithole, 13 Johan Deysel, 12 Jeremy Ward, 11 Sbu Nkosi, 10 Inny-Christian Radebe, 9 Hanco Venter, 8 Lubabalo Mtembu (captain), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Wian Vosloo, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Stephan Coetzee, 1 John-Hubert Meyer.
Replacements - from: Juan Schoeman, Gerhard Engelbrecht, Jean Droste, Khaya Majola, Jacques Vermeulen, Rowan Gouws, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Odwa Ndungane, Marius Louw, Tristan Blewett, Morné Joubert, Garth April.
Cheetahs B-Team: 15 Ryno Eksteen, 14 Juan-Philip Smith, 13 Joubert Engelbrecht, 12 Ali Mgijima, 11 Ruan van Rensburg, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Junior Pokomela, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Johannes Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Dennis Visser, 3 Erich de Jager, 2 Elandré Huggett, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: Zee Mkhabela, Reinach Venter and squad.
Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)