Sharks beat Stormers in Durban thriller

Sat, 27 May 2017 15:15

SUPER RUGBY REPORT: The Sharks cemented their place in the play-off zone with a 22-10 win over the Stormers in a thrilling encounter in Durban on Saturday.

The win sees the Sharks in sixth place, with 42 points, 12 clear of the Stormers - who sit in third place, courtesy of the ridiculous conference system.

When heart, brain and brawn are in sync, perfection is possible. Today in Durban, the Sharks had that synchronisation and it showed above all in their match-winning defence. And that defence applied also to their well-planned counter to the Stormers' line-out.

Get beaten in the line-outs - through being outthought as well as outjumped - and you are in trouble. Miss tackles when they don't , and you are in big trouble and that trouble grows whenever your kicking is meaningless. And when you have chances you must take them. Scoring in a tight match on a rainy day does not come often or cheaply.

The Sharks won three of the Stormers' line-outs. The Stormers had three five-metre line-outs and scored from none of them, for the Sharks had their measure. The Sharks scored from a line-out but that was 40 metres from the Stormers' goal-line and it took just three passes to effect.

But it was the gritty, adamantine defence that won it for them, especially in the second half when the Stormers had the better of the climate and the possession. Their possession was rated at 75% at one stage and for all that they scored just 10 points in 40 minutes. That was more because of the Sharks' virtues than through any fault of their own.

In summary the Sharks deserved to win a tense, intriguing match.

The scrums started badly. The first one was reset three times and then resolved with a penalty against Oliver Kebble, which Garth April goaled. 3-0 after 6 minutes.

The Sharks charged down an attempted box kick by Jano Vermaak and attacked. They went right, left, right and left again where Johan Deysel went on a powerful diagonal and scored. 8-0 after 11 minutes. It was the first of only three tries in the match.

The second came when the Stormers threw in to a line-out in their own 22. Pieter-Steph du Toit went up to catch the ball, but when he came to earth he held the ball above his head where the Sharks accpted the gift. They attacked far right and back left. Kebble was penalised at a tackle some eight metres from the Stormers' line. Jaco Reinach tapped and charged. Nizaam Carr tackled him within 10 metres and the referee played advantage. Thomas du Toit got the ball and charged to the line. He was stopped just short but lock Stephan Lewies was on hand to dab the ball over the line for a try which April converted. 15-0 after 36 minutes.

The Stormers had a line-out eight metres from the Sharks' line and did a peel around the front, which the Sharks were waiting for.

Half-time came with the score 15-0 to the Sharks who were well in control.

The Stormers showed their intent at the start of the second half when the Sharks went offside and Cheslin Kolbe tapped and ran in his mazy way.

When the Sharks were penalised at a tackle, SP Marais goaled. 15-3 after 44 minutes.

The Stormers kept attacking at every chance but the Sharks said 'No pasarán' - they will not get through.

Eventually Siya Kolisi made headway and the Sharks were penalised - They were penalised nine times in the second half - and Jano Vermaak tapped. and charged right to the line. He was stopped but Marais was on hand to score the try, a carbon copy of Lewies's in the first half. Marais converted. 15-10 after 57 minutes.

Momentum was with the Stormers', but then came the try of the match, a brilliant try of exquisite simplicity.  

The Sharks threw in to a line-out near the Stormers' 10-metre line on the Sharks' left. Lewies rose up to catch the ball and from the top he threw the ball down to Reinach.  Left wing, 20-year-old Sibusiso Nkosi, came racing round to take a pass on Reinach's right and he cut straight through the Stormers' "defence", straight past Ramone Samuels and on through empty acres to the Stormers' goal posts where he ended with a swanky dive. 22-10 after 63 minutes.

The Stormers' momentum was shattered. They had two penalty-fuelled five-metre line-outs without looking like scoring. They had a penalty and kicked it dead. Leyds and Kolbe tried hard. Seabelo Senatla came on and was busy but not threatening,  Notshe tapped a penalty and charged. Etzebeth was close as the siren sounded, Kolisi was close and Alister Vermaak closer. The Stormers actually got over the line but were held up. And so the final whistle sounded, to the joy of the Sharks players and the small contingent of spectators who braved the rain.

Man of the Match: There are several Sharks whom one could choose, from Lwazi Mvovo to Thomas du Toit, perhaps Jean-Luc du Preez and Philip van der Walt more than others. But our choice falls on Sibusiso Nkosi not just for the match's stellar moment - that try - but also for his energy and his work on defence.

* The Sharks lost a Springbok and a Springbok prospect. Early in the match Chiliboy Ralepelle left the field, to be replaced by Franco Marais. Then Lukhanyo Am tackled a charging Eben Etzebeth and went off for a concussion test. He stayed off with a suspected crack to a cheekbone. If it were true, it would be horrible for a fast developing player just recently invited to the Springbok Test group.

The win sees the Sharks in sixth place, with 42 points, 12 clear of the Stormers - who sit in third place, courtesy of the ridiculous conference system.

The scorers:

For the Sharks:
Deysel, Lewies, Nkosi
Cons: April 2
Pen: April

For the Stormers:
Con: Marais
Pen: Marais


Sharks: 15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 Jacobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 Sibusiso Nkosi, 10 Garth April, 9 Jacobus Reinach, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt (captain), 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Ruan Botha, 3 Coenraad Oosthuizen, 2 Mahlatse Ralepelle, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Etienne Oosthuizen, 20 Lubabalo Mtembu, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 23 Odwa Ndungane.

Stormers: 15 Sarel Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Siya Kolisi (captain), 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oliver Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Alister Vermaak, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Dewaldt Duvenage, 22 Juan de Jongh, 23 Seabelo Senatla.

Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Archie Sehlako (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)


* Pictures: Wayne Seagreen Photography





There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 29 September 2017
Sharks v Golden Lions 17h00 Durban
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 18h35 Sixways
Newcastle Falcons v London Irish 18h35 Kingston Park
Sale Sharks v Gloucester 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Leinster v Edinburgh 19h35 RDS Arena
Glasgow Warriors v Treviso 19h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Scarlets v Connacht 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sat, 30 September 2017
Griquas v Free State Cheetahs 12h00 Kimberley
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs 13h00 Welford Road
Munster v Cardiff Blues 13h30 Thomond Park
Cheetahs v Ospreys 14h00 Bloemfontein
Northampton Saints v Harlequins 14h00 Franklin's Gardens
Wasps v Bath 14h00 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Ulster 14h35 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Bloemfontein
Dragons v Kings 18h35 Rodney Parade
Sun, 01 October 2017
Argentina v New Zealand 22h30 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Blue Bulls v Western Province 12h30 Loftus Versfeld
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28