The Sharks XV traveled to Empangeni on Saturday to take on the Griffons in the Vodacom Cup and came out resounding 63-7 winners. I traveled to Empangeni to watch this game and I wasn’t disappointed.
The game kicked off at 15h30 and the first break in play saw Craig Burden wobble around wondering where in the world he is. He was duly replaced after the first minute by Kyle Cooper. Reports today are that Craig is fine and will be ready to play next weekend again.
The first score of the match came after a good build up by the Griffons, with Werner Grissel scoring under the poles. The first 15 odd minutes was really scrappy with the Sharks not really able to get out of the blocks. The game was a stop start affair with a lot of handling errors and the Sharks surprisingly not able to secure the ball at the breakdown, conceding a good few turnovers.
Once the Sharks XV managed to find their feet and score their first points, through Rosco Specman, the floodgates opened with three tries scored in a matter of 5 minutes. Specman’s score was followed by Ross Cronje and Kobus de Kock and suddenly the Sharks were ahead by 14 points.
The Sharks then duly went back to sleep for another 20 odd minutes before Riaan Swanepoel showed some good pace to break through a few tackles and score the bonus point try under the posts. The half time lead was 21 points and the Sharks were home and dry.
With the second half came a much improved performance from the team, who duly scored another five tries through Mark Richards, Dan Adonga, Marcell Coetzee, Jerome Pretorius and Piet Lindeque. Guy Cronje managed to convert all 9 tries and only missed a first half penalty in his ten kicks.
The scrums throughout the game were solid, with Dale Chadwick and Wiehahn Herbst forming a formidable front row with Kyle Cooper playing most of the game. Ross Skeate played his first 40 minutes of rugby and looked good in the lineouts, but was visibly tired at half time.
The most impressive players on the day, starting with the forwards, were most definitely the loose trio of Lambert Groenewald, Dan Adonga and Marcell Coetzee. Marcell Coetzee was amazing on both attack and defence, popping up everywhere on the field.
Amongst the backs, both Mark Richards and Kobus de Kock were fantastic. Both of them showed amazing pace and was able to break through tackles. Piet Lindeque, who came on in the second half, showed his amazing pace by chipping and chasing and outsprinting half the Griffons team. The boy has speed!
My personal man of the match is a split decision between Dan Adonga and Marcell Coetzee, both equally fantastic and everywhere on the park!Tweet