In a match billed as do or die for the home side, they duly delivered and sunk the high flying log leaders. The Sharks were once again guilty of not taking chances and ultimately succumbed to a more committed and hungry side on the night.
The match started off well enough for the Sharks with Lwazi Mvovo rounding off a spectacular move within the first five minutes, however Lambie hitting the post from in front was the start of a terrible day for both kickers.
Elton Jantjies narrowed the lead to two points before a try apiece left the half time score at 10 all. However the Sharks would have felt they should have had more points on the board at that time having dominated possession and missed a few scoring opportunities.
The Sharks then started the better of the two teams by scoring first and were clinging to a 20-15 lead until the final seconds of the game when, after the Sharks being penalised repeatedly in their own 22 and having Ryan Kankowski sent to the sin bin 4 minutes from time, the Lions captain Franco van der Merwe was awarded what turned out to be the match winning try almost on the stroke of full time.
While both the refereeing (both ways, admittedly) and place kicking were poor, the crowd did enjoy running rugby from both teams as well as crunching defense. That crunching defense did claim some victims as both Jaco Taute and Stefan Terblanche left the field with what looked like serious injuries.
The Sharks allowed the Lions to counterattack them and were duly punished for playing to the host’s strengths and the players have a lot improving to do before next week’s game against the Leopards and even more so in the final round against Western Province.
This result will no doubt please the sponsors as the race for the semi finals is wide open again and even the race for top spot has been given spiced up.Tweet