Sharks scrumhalf Rory Kockott kicked five penalties and a drop goal to guide the Sharks to a 21-12 win over the Free State Cheetahs in their Round Four Currie Cup encounter at Vodacom Park in Bloemfontein on Friday.
Match report courtesy www.rugby365.com.
The Free State Cheetahs are still without a victory in the 2009 Currie Cup as the Coastal visitors showed greater discipline and patience in the difficult conditions.
The weather had a very big impact on the match as both teams struggled to come to terms with the slippery conditions.
Both teams had to resort to a conservative approach but it was the Sharks who implemented their strategy most effectively. The Sharks forwards carried the ball strongly while the Cheetahs forwards often lost the ball in the contact areas despite having the edge early on in the match.
The kicking game was always going to be a very important in the match but after having the early territorial advantage the Cheetahs failed to capitalise on it. The Sharks defended well but the Cheetahs also dominated possession for most of the match.
The home team opened the scoring though a penalty from flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter, but Kockott replied with a place-kick of his own and then handed his side the lead with a terrific drop goal.
The Cheetahs soon established some dominance in the forward battle and Potgieter capitalised on their momentum with a drop that was equal to Kockott’s earlier effort. The two kickers then traded a further penalty each to leave the score level at 9-9 heading into the half time break.
The Cheetahs gave away three unnecessary penalties within kicking range in the first 20 minutes of the second half and on each occasion Kockott punished them to put his side 18-9 ahead.
With 15 minutes remaining Potgieter reduced the deficit to six points with a well struck penalty and the Cheetahs grew in confidence as they sensed a come-from-behind victory.
However, their attempts to move the ball through the hands were unsuccessful and the Sharks’ Monty Dumond landed a huge penalty to stretch his side’s lead back to nine points, finally killing off any hope for the home side.
Man of the match: Cheetahs skipper Hendro Scholtz looked really sharp but was forced off the field late in the first half. Sharks fullback Stefan Terblanche was steady in terrible conditions. However, Sharks scrumhalf Rory Kockott wins our award as he had a significant impact on the match with his superb goal kicking proving to be the deciding factor.
For the Sharks:
Pens: Kockott 5, Dumond
Pens: Potgieter 4
The Sharks: 15 Stefan Terblanche (captain), 14 Odwa Ndungane/Luzuko Vulindlu, 13 Andries Strauss, 12 Riaan Swanepoel, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Guy Cronjé, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Albert van den Berg, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Patric Cilliers/Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Deon Carstens/Patric Cilliers.
Replacements: 16 Skipper Badenhorst, 17 Wiehahn Herbst/Dale Chadwick, 18 Michael Rhodes/Nikolai Blignaut, 19 Keegan Daniel, 20 Charl McLeod, 21 Monty Dumond, 22 Waylon Murray.
Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Danwel Demas, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Corné Uys, 11 Jongi Nokwe, 10 Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 9 Tertius Carse, 8 Francois Uys, 7 Hendro Scholtz (captain), 6 Frans Viljoen, 5 David de Villiers, 4 Nico Breedt, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Izak van der Westhuizen, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 JP Joubert, 21 Louis Strydom, 22 JW Jonker.
Referee: Willie RoosTweet