The Sharks managed to beat the Blues in Auckland this morning, picking up a bonus point in the 29 – 23 victory. The Sharks scored two tries in each half, and were only behind for two minutes in a game in which two tries scored via intercepts and the fourth try was a lucky one indeed.
The Sharks got off to a great start, twice intercepting the Blues on the attack, first Daniel who put Sykes in the corner, and minutes later Burden showed the Blues a clean pair of heels by going over the line himself. A Pat Lambie penalty in amongst the tries had the Sharks leading by 15 points early in the game.
Gareth Anscombe pulled back three points, and the Blues were left wondering how they would score points, after having all of the possession and territory, but being way behind on the scoreboard.
It didn’t take long for them to break over the line though, as veteran Tony Woodcock burst over the line after multiple phases for the Blues. Anscombe put a dropped goal through the posts as the Blues went on the attack again and the Blues were in the match at half time, 15 – 13 down.
The second half started well for the Blues, who scored a try early on and took the lead for the first time in the match, but this only seemed to wake up the slumbering Sharks, who went on the attack and eventually had Keegan Daniel over the tryline, following a beautiful break from Pat Lambie.
Minutes later, Whitehead juggled a ball that should have been called a knock, but nevertheless controlled well to run in for the all-important fourth try, a try that many though would break the back of the Blues. It didn’t, and they fought back valiantly, scoring another try in the process, but could not break the strong defensive lines of the Sharks, or control the ball long enough to make their possession count.
The Sharks will be very happy from the outcome of the tour overall, scoring 11 points in the process, and still being unbeaten at home, still have a lot of work to do to make the impression they want to on the competition.
Players that stood out include Craig Burden, who showed that the Sharks can in fact win a game without the influential Bismarck du Plessis, and Louis Ludik, who was massive on defence. The Sharks also clearly missed the cool head of Mr Pat Lambie. Congratulation to Kyle Cooper who made his debut in this match.
The Sharks now fly home and take on the Chiefs at Kings park next weekend, before taking a week off with a bye.Tweet