The defending champion Sharks got their campaign back on track with an emphatic 46-10 win over a hapless Boland Cavaliers team in their Currie Cup Round Two match in Durban on Friday.
Report courtesy www.rugby365.com
Still smarting from their loss to Western Province last week, the Sharks were in rampaging form against a Boland team that only momentarily – in the early stages of the first half – looked competitive.
It was a dominant performance by a Sharks team that outscored the visitors by seven tries to one.
The Sharks got off to the perfect start. From the kick-off they took the ball through a series of pick-’n-drives, before centre Riaan Swanepoel found space after a neat little inside pass from Guy Cronjé and Swanepoel flopped over for the opening try inside the first minute. Rory Kockott slotted the conversion to make it 7-0.
The Cavaliers enjoyed a productive period after this, with their efforts being rewarded when the Sharks were penalised for going offside and Justin Peach made it 3-7 after 10 minutes.
However, the Sharks replied in kind – in the 18th minute – when Kockott landed a penalty for a 10-3 lead.
And the game had become a touch scrappy, as both teams struggled with their ball control, not to mention some aimless kicking.
As the game entered the second quarter the Cavaliers had another shot at goal, with the penalty coming after a scrum went down, but Peach dragged his attempt to the left of the uprights.
From the restart prop Deon Carstens intercepted near the halfway line and sprinted 40 metres for his team’s second try. Kockott’s conversion was wide, but at 15-3 the Sharks had some breathing space.
There was further disappointment from the Bolanders when an attempt to drive over from a five-metre line-out ended with a scrum for the Sharks – after an accidental offside.
The third try – a well-constructed maul from five metres out – came in the 30th min, with hooker Craig Burden getting the reward for the hard work by his fellow forwards. Kockott made it 22-3 with the conversion.
And then the Sharks managed to secure a vital turnover as the Cavaliers tried to score a try, from a maul, of their own. But the penalties were now mounting against the home team, desperate to keep their advantage through to the break. The referee also started to lose his patience with the infringing Sharks.
The Sharks eventually, after five minutes of sustained Boland pressure, managed to win a penalty at a ruck – a crucial turnover in the context of the game.
In fact, with the Cavaliers needlessly kicking the ball away in a desperate attempt to regain some good field position, a switch between fullback Stefan Terblanche and wing Lwazi Mvovo set No.8 Keegan Daniel up for the bonus-point try right on the half-time break. Kockott made it a handy 29-3 lead, as the Bolanders were made to pay for their poor out-of-hand kicking.
Two penalties against the Boland straight after the second-half restart turned into another five-metre line-out. And, predictably, the Sharks drove it over – Daniel being credited with his team’s fifth try. The conversion was wide, but at 34-3 the game was long gone as a contest.
Burden went over for the sixth try in the 51st minute, a move down the blindside, as the Cavaliers ran out of number on defence against a rampaging Sharks team. Another conversion was wide, but at 39-3 it did not matter.
With just 20 minutes left the Sharks were reduced to 14 men, when flyhalf Guy Cronjé was yellow carded for a spear tackle.
And the Cavaliers managed to get a consolation score while a man up, when centre Deon Scholtz went through some half-hearted tackles to get his team’s try. Mark Harris, who took over the goal-kicking duties when Peach was replaced, slotted the conversion to make it 10-39.
The game had by now lost most of its structure, but there was one last score – when lanky lock Albert van den Berg intercepted deep inside his half and sprinted 60 metres for a try. Monty Dumond slotted the conversion for a 46-10 win.
Man of the match: Justin Peach was the one Boland player who showed heart and some very good touches throughout the match. But the real heroes were in the Sharks team. There was the physical presence of Jean Deysel and the experience of veteran Albert van den Berg. But our award goes to Sharks captain Stefan Terblanche – providing the stabilising factor for a team brimful of young talent that needed some guidance.
For the Sharks:
Tries: Swanepoel, Carstens, Burden, Daniel 2, Van den Berg
Cons: Kockott 3, Dumond
For the Boland Cavaliers:
Yellow card: Guy Cronjé (Sharks, 60 – foul, play, spear tackle)
The Sharks: 15 Stefan Terblanche (captain), 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Andries Strauss, 12 Riaan Swanepoel, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Guy Cronjé, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Keegan Daniel, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Albert van den Berg, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Deon Carstens.
Replacements: 16 Skipper Badenhorst, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Nikolai Blignaut, 19 Justin Downey, 20 Ross Cronjé, 21 Monty Dumond, 22 Luzuko Vulindlu.
Boland Cavaliers: 15 Justin Peach, 14 Mark Harris, 13 Deon Scholtz, 12 Dewey Swartbooi, 11 Sogidashe Luvo, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Alwyn Bester, 7 Wendall Wehr, 6 Zolani Mofu, 5 Rito Hlungwane, 4 Frikkie Spies, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Conrad Burke (captain), 1 Janro Van Niekerk.
Replacements: 16 Lewis Clemin, 17 Jane du Toit, 18 Grant le Roux, 19 Karel Hoffman, 20 Angelo Brinkhuys, 21 Alvin Hugo, 22 Hein Myburgh.
Referee: Joey Salmans
Assistant referees: Gareth Lloyd-Jones, Reuben Rossouw
TMO: Michael Cupido