robdylan

Sharks XV remain on top


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Vodacom Cup on 14 Mar 2011 at 06:37
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The Sharks XV hardly broke a sweat in notching up their third successive bonus-point victory in the 2011 Vodacom Cup on Saturday. In beating the Valke by 67 points to 26 in Margate, Sean Everitt’s side ran in no fewer than 11 tries and are comfortably ahead of all rival on the South Section log, with 15 points from three games.

The game East Rand side were outclassed pretty much from the start and with the XV running in five tries in the first half alone, there was only ever going to be one winner. 20-year-old centre Piet Lindeque, playing out of position on the right wing, opened the scoring on sevens minutes, one of two tries on the day that were just the sort of pick-me-up needed after his shock exclusion from the SA Under-20 side to tour Argentina. Goal kicking, on a day when the wind blustered and swirled, was to prove the Sharks’ Achilles heel on the day though, with Guy Cronje missing the first of several tricky conversion attempts. The Valke scored a surprise equaliser, also not converted, but that was about the last time they were in the game, as three quick-fire tries from Howard Mnisi, Kobus de Kock and Lee Thompson saw the bonus point achieved within 22 minutes. Thompson, who came on as an early replacement for the unfortunate Nico Claasen within the first 10 minutes, played a blinder of a game and along with Kyle Cooper and Gerhard Mostert, was the pick of the forwards. Claasen went off with a knee injury, which unfortunately looks serious.

At 24-5 up, the Sharks XV were cruising, before they again conceded a try, although the margin was quickly restored once more as de Kock broke for the umpteenth time to put big Daniel Adonga under the sticks, with Cronje converting to give his side a 31-12 half time lead. The Sharks XV fullback was once again in sublime form, making a regular difference when he joined the line and with five tries from three starts, he is in joint first place on the competition try scoring log. He took over the goal kicking from Cronje in the second half too and succeeded with three conversion attempts, moving him up to third on the overall competition points tally as well.

The second half proceeded much as the first had done, although the Sharks XV did battle, at time, to fully capitalise on the good work they’d done. Further tries to Jerome Pretorius, Cooper, Thompson (again), Ross Cronje, Lindeque (again) and replacement scrumhalf Cobus Reinach (although the official match stats erroneously credit his score to Lindeque as well) ensured a real riot, but the Valke were again let in for two of their own in the half, meaning that they take a valuable bonus point away from the contest, something that the Sharks XV will not be too happy about.

“We were obviously happy about the five points,” Sharks XV forward coach Ryan Strudwick told us afterwards, but hinted that there is still much work to be done. “We produced some great rugby, but struggled to keep it going for any length of time, though. Our individual skills let us down once again while the open nature of the game resulted in players going off on their own individual programs. We were also very disappointed to let through four tries, which gave them a point”.

The Sharks XV face a tricky away fixture against the Lions in the next round. The Joburg side boast an experienced team who managed to win for the first time this weekend when they downed Boland. Other results in the Vodacom Cup saw Griquas continue their strong form as they beat SWD 33-0, while the Blue Bulls lost their third game in a row, to the Pampas XV. The EP Kings strolled to a regulation win over the Pumas, but once again fielded ineligible players and risk having further log points docked.



24 Comments

  • What I like even more (well almost), is that the Flou Bulle has now lost 3 from 3 :grin:

  • Comment 1, posted at 14.03.11 07:08:44 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • I must agree, it’s great to be a SHARK supporter:)

  • Comment 2, posted at 14.03.11 07:16:39 by franshark Reply
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  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 1) : Yeah I’m loving that as well! :)

  • Comment 3, posted at 14.03.11 07:56:57 by Ben Reply
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  • Well done to the Sharks XV. Hopefully this up and coming big game vs the Lions is televised. It will be a true test of their ability and will go a long way to determining if they are pretenders or contenders for Vodacom Cup honours this year.

  • Comment 4, posted at 14.03.11 07:59:29 by beet Reply
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  • Rob

    I haven’t really been following the junior ranks closely, so possibly this is a bit of an ignorant question, but what’s happened to Piet Lindeque? Until recently he has consistently been hyped as the next big thing, but now not only was he not selected for the national U-20′s, but he also seems to be unable to command a starting spot at the Sharks, except if selected out of position. Has there been some sort of fall from grace, or is it just a case of the existing 13 being a more senior player, and Piet having to pay his dues?

  • Comment 5, posted at 14.03.11 10:02:03 by Culling Song Reply
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  • Culling song, it’s the latter. Jerome Pretorius is also a hugely promising player and I feel it’s only fair for him to get the jersey ahead of Piet unless the youngster plays well enough to force him out. I think it’s a testament to piet’s potential that the coaches are willing to find a place for him.

    Plane about to take off. More later

  • Comment 6, posted at 14.03.11 10:06:31 by robdylan Reply
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  • DHL WP beat Namibia 56 – 9 :grin:

  • Comment 7, posted at 14.03.11 10:45:43 by Clayton(PJLD) Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 7) :

    Baie geluk!

  • Comment 8, posted at 14.03.11 11:53:50 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • the players that impressed me in this game were kyle cooper, lee thompson, gerard mostert, de kock and the subbie scrummie reinach. i thought reinach was far better than cronje.

  • Comment 9, posted at 14.03.11 12:12:44 by try time Reply

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  • oh and mnisi. he seems much better than vulindu.

  • Comment 10, posted at 14.03.11 12:14:16 by try time Reply

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  • Is Lee Thompson a flank?

  • Comment 11, posted at 14.03.11 13:21:48 by mikey Reply

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  • @mikey (Comment 11) : flank-cum-lock

  • Comment 12, posted at 14.03.11 14:08:22 by robdylan Reply
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  • I just checked and there is only one more Sharks XV game at the Tank this Vodacom Cup season..

  • Comment 13, posted at 14.03.11 14:15:54 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 13) : seriously? I guess that’s cos they’re trying to take the games out to the wider KZN community.

    You might be forced to join the Witbank road trip, Rich…

  • Comment 14, posted at 14.03.11 14:18:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) :

    Either that or take a trip to Empangeni for their one game..

  • Comment 15, posted at 14.03.11 14:20:13 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 14) :

    I suppose they are trying to get the whole province on board.

    Good idea! I hope it works..

  • Comment 16, posted at 14.03.11 14:20:55 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 15) : who are they playing there?

  • Comment 17, posted at 14.03.11 15:13:09 by robdylan Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 9) : For your last sentence, I say welcome to the club. Many of us have witnessed the same thing and made the same comment. I have faith in our coaches but for the life of me I can’t understand why Reinach is always the benchwarmer.

  • Comment 18, posted at 14.03.11 15:16:28 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 18) : neither can he :)

  • Comment 19, posted at 14.03.11 15:17:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 17) :

    The Griffons..

  • Comment 20, posted at 14.03.11 15:21:03 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 19) : @robdylan (Comment 19) : Excellent writer’s self-control shown in your article Rob. If I was the writer and an old boy from my school had performed like Lee Thompson did, I’d be shouting it from the rooftops. :grin:

  • Comment 21, posted at 14.03.11 15:24:35 by beet Reply
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  • @Clayton(PJLD) (Comment 7) : I watched this game and Gaffie I mean Lionel Cronje played really well, however he was a no.15 not no.10. Morné must have cried throughout the whole game.

  • Comment 22, posted at 14.03.11 15:30:57 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 21) : yes well… sometimes I do manage to hold myself back.

    Gonna be interesting to see who they pick at 6 against the Lions, with Claasen out and Kleinhans in Argentina. Lee i more a 7 than a 6…

  • Comment 23, posted at 14.03.11 15:57:14 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 5) : piet and labie are still 20 I think piet is younger than lambie, but he needs to play 13 and specialize…remember junoir rugby is really no bench mark for class…the other thing is this jerome kid is no slouth and I have info that he is on a big province shopping list…Piet may just be one of those who need only one chance to make his mark…

  • Comment 24, posted at 14.03.11 19:24:59 by BoerSeun Reply

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