Sharks still unbeaten

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :In the news, Sharks, Super 14 on 11 Apr 2008 at 12:29
Tagged with :

The Sharks overcame an 11-point deficit after 20 minutes to beat the Otago Highlanders 19-17 on Friday and maintain their unbeaten record through nine rounds of rugby’s Super 14.

Report courtesy SAPA and IOL.

Twelfth-placed Otago threatened one of the bigger upsets of the season when they scored early tries to winger Fetu’u Vainkikolo and prop Clint Newland to lead the second-placed Sharks 14-3.

They were still ahead, 17-11, at halftime but the Durban-based Sharks scored the only points of the second period – a try to powerful No.8 Ryan Kankowski and a long-range penalty to Francois Steyn.

“We dominated the whole game but we went off the boil and let them back into it, especially in the last 10 minutes,” Sharks captain Johan Muller said.

Otago had advantages of territory and possession throughout the match but poor handling and some poor tactics consigned them to their seventh loss of the season, their fifth by fewer than seven points.

“We showed tonight we’re not that far off the pace,” Highlanders captain Craig Newby said. “It’s our fifth close loss but a bit of a downer after last week’s high.”

Vainikolo nabbed his fifth try of the season to open the scoring in the eighth minute, driving through one tackle, rising to his feet and forcing his way over the line after a midfield break by fullback Paul Williams.

He had a hand in Otago’s second try 12 minutes later, making a strong run toward the right touchline, drawing the defense wide then sending the ball infield where Newby, then Newland drove to the line.

Flyhalf James Wilson converted both tries and added a 38th-minute penalty to complete Otago’s first-half scoring.

The Sharks, who struggled to find their combination under early pressure, eventually fought back with a try to flanker Jaques Botes and two penalties to Ruan Pienaar.

They then made a perfect start to the second half, scoring after only a minute when Kankowski darted through a lineout and intercepted a pass from halfback Toby Morland, dashing 45 meters to score.

Pienaar missed the conversion and a subsequent penalty which could have given the Sharks the lead and they had to wait until the 57th minute, when Steyn goaled from 55 meters, to hit the front for the first time.

Both sides had chances to score in the last quarter but poor goalkicking and some loose attacking play meant Steyn’s goal was the last points of the game.


Sharks 19 (Jaques Bote, Ryan Kankowski tries; Ruan Pienaar 2 penalties; Francois Steyn penalty), Otago 17 (Fetu’u Vainikolo, Clint Newland tries; James Wilson 2 conversions, penalty). HT, 11-17


  • Don’t think Dawn would’ve chosen this title…but YEAH…we’re still unbeaten!!!

  • Comment 1, posted at 11.04.08 12:58:05 by blackshark (YNWA) Reply
    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
  • Hi Robd’ylan. I send you an e-mail. Did you get it? :smile:

  • Comment 2, posted at 11.04.08 13:01:30 by Reds Reply
    RedsVodacom Cup player
  • haven’t we had this headline a few times :wink:

  • Comment 3, posted at 11.04.08 13:17:51 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
  • we probably have.

    Hey Reds – got it, thanks.

    somebody posted that article in the comments yesterday… I will put it up now, though… it is definitely interesting

  • Comment 4, posted at 11.04.08 13:19:33 by robd'ylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • hopefully we’ll have till err…. JUNE… :lol:

  • Comment 5, posted at 11.04.08 13:20:05 by blackshark (YNWA) Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
  • [email protected] julle WINDGAT Sharks supporters!!! :roll:

    Ek waai nou!

  • Comment 6, posted at 11.04.08 13:21:01 by wpw (YNWA) Reply
    wpwAssistant coach
  • Okay WPW see you in a few days time :wink:

  • Comment 7, posted at 11.04.08 13:22:34 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
  • Don’t pray too hard and forget to watch the game wpw… :wink:

  • Comment 8, posted at 11.04.08 13:24:28 by blackshark (YNWA) Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
  • Wes, you neglected to call either KSA or myself a doos… observe the forms, please ;)

  • Comment 9, posted at 11.04.08 13:29:20 by robd'ylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • Dammit, i knew i forgot something. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 10, posted at 11.04.08 13:41:35 by wpw (YNWA) Reply
    wpwAssistant coach
  • now we will prowl for a fallen brumbie,
    lets hope we can do the brumbies a favour and keep them in the bottom half of the log.

  • Comment 11, posted at 11.04.08 13:54:48 by barend Reply

    barendVodacom Cup player
  • Is it just me or are the Sharks missing Campo???

  • Comment 12, posted at 11.04.08 14:50:42 by MorneN Reply
    MornéTeam captain
  • Found this awesome pic on rugby365. Lemme see if I can post it here…

    Botes dishes out punishment

  • Comment 13, posted at 11.04.08 14:54:40 by VinChainSaw Reply
    VinChainSawTeam captain
  • :shock: Oi! Vinnie…that’s awesome…

  • Comment 14, posted at 11.04.08 14:58:43 by blackshark (YNWA) Reply

    blackshark - I'm back!Super Rugby player
  • Morras – you may be onto something there.

    Vin – awesome picture, sport!

  • Comment 15, posted at 11.04.08 15:03:39 by robd'ylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • Proves the theory that the Sharks are a bunch of thugs!

    Hope he gets cited!

  • Comment 16, posted at 11.04.08 15:17:03 by wpw (YNWA) Reply
    wpwAssistant coach
  • Winning is all that matters. Well done Sharks. :smile:

  • Comment 17, posted at 11.04.08 15:20:56 by racheltjiedebeer Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
  • WPW :lol: :lol:

    Depends in which context that photo is seen. :wink:

  • Comment 18, posted at 11.04.08 16:18:01 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
  • Well the out of the loop guy finally made it.

  • Comment 19, posted at 11.04.08 17:32:54 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing BearTeam captain
  • Hey DB


  • Comment 20, posted at 11.04.08 17:37:44 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
  • DB

    have a look around the site. There are a few cool features.

  • Comment 21, posted at 11.04.08 17:43:43 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
  • hello DB. welcome to the loop :)

  • Comment 22, posted at 11.04.08 17:50:10 by robd'ylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
  • Every week I become more convinced that Dick Muir (whilst having done some awesome stuff at the Sharks) is not able to step up to the next level of coaching… and probably not the best backline coach for the Boks…

    Every week we have had a different backline… with players still being played out of position… Waylon Murray being a prime example…

    He’s replaced a purported ‘out of sorts’ player, with another clearly ‘out of sorts’ player… and then played him out of farkin position!

    Murray didn’t have a clue where he was defensively… ironically a facet where JPP has been superb…

    And still the gameplan is terrible… :evil:

  • Comment 23, posted at 12.04.08 02:24:05 by bryce_in_oz Reply

    bryce_in_ozCurrie Cup player
  • Just watching the game again now…

    Steyn was being played extremely close to the scrums and mauls… so why then bother having him at 13?

    These poor backs don’t know where they are as they are shifted all over the park during the game…

    Pick a backline and stick with it!

    I really don’t care who and where… just let them settle for more than one game!

    Positives to take out of this game… RP and FS showed some excellent individualism… but again… if the backline moves and positioning was more consistent… they would be thriving!

  • Comment 24, posted at 12.04.08 02:30:18 by bryce_in_oz Reply

    bryce_in_ozCurrie Cup player
  • Well said Bryce.

    On Both counts.

  • Comment 25, posted at 12.04.08 06:39:35 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach

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