The Sharks picked up maximum log points in their 34-20 defeat of the visiting Platinum Leopards at The Absa Stadium Durban on Friday night in their second round Absa Currie Cup match.
It might not always have been pretty, but in the final analysis, The Sharks took what points they needed out of this match without ever really extending themselves outside of a wonderfully entertaining first half that heralded five tries.
Having won the first round match 44-15 in Rustenburg, any thoughts that the Leopards would lie down and die were dispelled as they took the game to The Sharks and certainly proved worthy opposition.
Having scored the bonus point try after 30 minutes of play, some might have felt that a complete and utter annihilation was on the books, but all credit to the Leopards who shook off the shackles and nearly gave The Sharks a big fright.
They were certainly made to work hard for the fruits of their labours, but when they had ball in hand they looked particularly dangerous. Although the sublime sometimes broke down and promising movements failed to be capitalised upon, the desire they showed on attack could hardly have been faulted.
They had five tries to their name by the half time break, some wonderfully enterprising and exciting attacking opportunities ending in reward as they used the expanse of the field to good effect with Ruan Pienaar providing Juan Hernandez with crisp, accurate service to which he obligingly accepted with glee as he got the backline moving with intent on attack.
The second half of the game pretty much belonged to the visitors who somehow sensed an upset and managed to enjoy the majority of possession, chipping away at the lead, and although The Sharks managed a try during that period, the Leopards scored a further 10 points giving the home side a torrid time.
With the match and log points wrapped up, it was left to The Sharks to hang on in the face of constant pressure in the closing stages of the match, and to their credit they did manage to do so.
With two matches left to play, against the Lions at home next week before their final outing in the pool stages – against Griquas in Kimberley – The Sharks are well-placed at the top of the log to push for a home semi.
Note: Waylon Murray played in his 50th Absa Currie Cup game for The Sharks
Crowd – 9193
The Sharks: 34 (27)
Tries: Luzuko Vulindlu, Lwazi Mvovo, Andries Strauss (2), Jacques Botes, Albert van den Berg
Conversions: Juan Hernandez (1), Ruan Pienaar (1)
Platinum Leopards: 20 (10)
Tries: RW Kember, Jovan Bowles
Conversions: Clayton Durand (1), Jean Tiedt (1)
Penalties: Jean Tiedt (1), Clayton Durand (1)
Source : www.sharksrugby.co.zaTweet