Sharks leave it late in downing Boland

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, In the news, Other SA Teams, Sharks on 28 Jun 2008 at 11:00
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The Sharks had to rely on their prodigious mauling abilities as well as the lethal finishing of star flank and man-of-the-match Jacques Botes to overcome a valiant Cavaliers 38-13 on Friday night.

Botes scored two crucial tries towards the end of each half as he found himself gleefully in possession at the back of a driving pack of powerful forwards, according to News24.

His first try, coming with just minutes left in the first half, gave the Sharks a narrow 11-10 half-time lead, while his second in the 68th minute, gave the Sharks a nine point advantage and some breathing room.

The scoreline suggests it was an easy win, but in truth it was far from it, with only two late tries from former U-21 captain Riaan Swanepoel and then wing Henno Mentz ensuring the Sharks secured the full five points.

With the Cavaliers not really expected to give the Sharks a run for their money and with the weather looking rather ominous, just over 11 000 faithful fans turned up to show their support and in the first half they would have been very disappointed.

A couple of injury niggles

The Sharks came into the encounter as firm favourites but in the first period they were shocked into submission by the gallant Cavaliers and went into the break with a tenuous one-point lead.

Without vice-captain and flyhalf Brad Barritt, who failed to overcome a couple of injury niggles, the up-and-coming Andrew Borgen got his first start and showed glimpses of the talent he possesses.

However, he was never going to single-handedly get the backline flowing and was replaced by the more experienced Monty Dumond in the 50th minute.

Dumond only joined the Sharks in training on Monday but played at flyhalf for the Sharks on several occasion in last year’s Currie Cup. His added value as an adept goal-kicker was apparent when he came on, slotting two penalties and three conversions.

The second penalty came midway through the second half as Cavaliers captain and centre Piet van Zyl was yellow carded for repeated infringements and soon after him, replacement Angelo Brinkhuys was sent to the bin as well, basically consigning the Cavaliers to defeat.

Traded a penalty each

The Cavaliers managed to get three points back but when Botes went over for his second try to take the score to 22-13 with the successful conversion to follow, it was basically a done deal.

In terms of first half performances which the Sharks would like to forget, the first forty minutes must rank right up there.

During yet another error and penalty riddled start to the match, Sharks scrumhalf Rory Kockott and Boland fullback Justin Peach traded a penalty each with the Sharks rather lucky not to concede more points after a ghastly start.

The Cavaliers eventually made their hosts pay for their inconsistencies with centre Lionel Cornelius ghosting through the Sharks defences in the 20th minute to go over for the opening try under the posts.

The Sharks quickly hit back with a penalty to Kockott but they continued to look like a fish out of water for the next fifteen minutes, failing to find their rhythm or the means to cross the tryline.

Importance of finding rhythm

In the end, they had to turn to their tried and tested rolling maul to come to their rescue, with Botes scoring his first in the 35th minute.

All week the Sharks spoke about the importance of finding some rhythm in this match ahead of the upcoming clash against the Bulls next weekend and so they wouldn’t have been at all impressed with yet another rusty display.

In the end though, it’s another win for them and the five points are in the bag.

Points scorers:

Sharks: Tries: Jacques Botes (2), Riaan Swanepoel, Henno Mentz. Conversions: Monty Dumond (3). Penalties: Rory Kockott (2), Dumond (2).

Cavaliers: Tries: Lionel Cornelius. Conversions: Justin Peach. Penalties: Peach, Cornelius.


  • Kockott looked very out-of-sorts, while Mcleod looked very good in his stint.

    Dumond was really good too; both kicking and in general play.

  • Comment 1, posted at 28.06.08 11:09:24 by Big Fish Reply
    Big FishAssistant coach
  • at the end the Sharks looked good playing against 13/14 men :shock:
    i dont know if Dumond and Mcleod wouild have looked so good earlier in the game.

    only thing to say on the Sharks behalf is the way these new ELV’s were reffed during the last 2 games, it has been impossible to get any rhythm going….slow, stop start affairs

  • Comment 2, posted at 28.06.08 11:27:56 by spykerbaard Reply

    spykerbaardVodacom Cup player
  • IMO the referee JC Fortuin helped the Sharks to actually get momentum in this game and that pass to Mentz for the bonus try was way forward, surely the TMO would have seen it…Dumond was good suprisingly…Kockott might get punished for that hit on Andries Human…Think Rory had develop an ego that might have a negative effect on him as a player…Murray are surely moving backwards…He missed a few easy tackles including the one that led to Boland’s 1st try… Line outs poor… “Oupa” John Daniels have beaten Henno Mentz to easy on the outside… Hope the Sharks can fix all their problems in time… Boland was only a semi professional outfit, next weeks match against the Bulls @ Loftus might turn out into a slaughter for the Sharks… :evil:

  • Comment 3, posted at 28.06.08 11:36:33 by Charlie Reply

    CharlieSuper Rugby player

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