In what was expected to be a runaway result and an easy run out for the Sharks against a lowly Pumas outfit, Sharks supporters at the stadium could not believe what they were seeing as the Sharks stuttered and shuffled to a 27 – 17 win, picking up 5 points in the process.
The game got off to a disappointing start with the Sharks wanting to play a loose and open game, but not really getting anywhere, with their handling letting them down with no less than 19 turnovers in the first half alone.
The Pumas opened the scoring in the 19th minute with their eighthman Christo le Roux scoring, with Ricardo Croy converting for a surprise 7 – 0 lead after a quarter of the game.
It took a half hour for the Sharks to open their account with Keegan Daniel scoring after a strong maul up from a 5m lineout. Lambie converted to have honours even in the tank.
The Pumas replied immediately with a penalty with Croy slotting it, taking back their lead. Lambie kept the scores level within 2 minutes with a penalty of his own. It looked like it was going to be dead level at half time when a monster of a Ronnie Uys bulldozed his way through the Shark defence to score on half time. Croy kept his kicking record clean and the Pumas held a 17 – 10 lead at half time.
5 minutes into the second half the Sharks drew level through a McCleod try, after another 5 lineout and maul up. Lambie converted and it was 17 all and game on.
The Sharks kept the Pumas from scoring any more points but battled to keep the ball in hand with handling errors from every single player on the park. JP Pieterson was particularly woeful with open spaces in front him and not being able to hold on.
Daniel scored in the 55th minute to take the lead for the first time in the match. Lambie missed the conversion to take a slender 5 point lead. After this, the Sharks looked to settle into a defensive pattern to defend what little lead they had.
Daniel scored his hat trick try 3 minutes from time to secure the bonus point and the win for the Sharks after a loose build up
Sharks supporters left the stadium frustrated that their team could not build on the performance against the Bulls the previous weekend, and actually took a few steps backwards in the process.
The Pumas were as good as the Sharks were poor and congratulations must go to them for a great game in which they nullified the Sharks backline by having the rushed defence work for them and counter rucking the Sharks to take our ball. Our lineouts were very poor, and we lost a lot of ball from the set piece, which John Plumtree puts to Burden being “relatively new to the position”.
Lets hope the Sharks manage to find the form they showed against the Bulls last weekend and can pick themselves up from a disappointing game to face the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein next weekend.Tweet