It was touted to be a big game. And oh how right they were. The Sharks beat the Bulls in the Currie Cup semi final on Saturday in a match with the same intensity as a final. And what a final it would have been.
The game was delayed by 40 minutes due to a swarm of bees deciding they would much rather watch a Currie Cup semi final than anything else, but even that could not take the sting out of this match. The match got off to a perfect start for the Sharks, as they kicked off, won the kick off back and held possession for countless phases until a magical break by Keegan Daniel secured the and only try of the match.
What followed can only be described as a war, as the two packs of forwards went at each other with everything they had, crashing into each other at rucks and mauls. It was as if they were fighting for their lives. The Sharks were relentless in their ball retention as the Bulls hardly had a sniff of the ball for the first 20 minutes.
Eventually something had to give as the Bulls finally got their hands on the ball and managed to get into the Sharks half to get a penalty. Morne Steyn gladly took the points. Lambie and Steyn exchanged further penalties to leave the score at 10-6 at half time. The score was no real reflection as the Sharks had managed 78% of the possession for the half, forcing the Bulls to make 79 tackles in the first half alone.
The players were welcomed back onto the field with a bit of drizzle to start off the second half. Lambie and Steyn again exchanged penalties, with the lead jumping between 7 and 4 points. Steyn had numerous chances to cut the lead to only 1 point in the last ten minutes, but Matfield was adamant to score the try that would win them the match. But it was not to be as the Sharks showed amazing guts and effort to tackle relentlessly for what must have been a ten minute attack by the Bulls. The physicality was immense, but it showed that the Bulls can be beaten at their own game, as they were tired from all the tackling that had to be done in the first half. Man of the match was rightly given to Willem Alberts for an amazing performance, but could easily have gone to any of the starting 15.
The Sharks will now host Western Province at the same venue in two weeks time to battle it out for the coveted Currie Cup title.Tweet