The Sharks XV managed to scrape a win against the EP Kings in the Vodacom Cup clash on Saturday, making life rather difficult for themselves after leading by nineteen points early in the match, and running out 28 – 18 victors. The Sharks XV did not manage the bonus point try, but will be happy with a four point haul.
The Sharks XV got the scoring under way through a try by Lubabalo Mthembu, who went over the chalk in the opening five minutes, with Gouws Prinsloo adding the two points from the conversion.
The second try came from a quick lineout taken by the Sharks, with Kyle Cooper finding himself in space and running all of 45 meters only to be caught short and offloading to Brynard Stander to fall over under the poles. Gouws converted from close range and the Sharks had a 14 point lead after 20 minutes.
Mthembu scored the third 32 minutes into the match, a maul from a 5m lineout resulting in the big eighthman crashing over the line. Prinsloo missed the conversion from a tight angle, the Sharks extending their lead to 19 points.
Just before half time, Cobus Reinach got a yellow card for holding back a Kings player off the ball, which resulted in the Kings getting an attacking lineout, which led to van Breda scoring. Justin van Staden converted to reduce the deficit for the Kings to 12 points, which carried through the half time.
The Kings opened the scoring in the second half through a penalty, further reducing the deficit while Reinach is in the sin bin. The Kings hit back immediately as skipper Darron Nell went over the line, and with a missed conversion taken into account, the Kings scored 15 points while Reinach was off the field. The momentum had shifted completely and with 30 minutes to play, this game was on a knife edge.
The game see-sawed for what seemd like eternity before finally Gouws Prinsloo added three points to extend the Sharks lead to seven points, only for the Sharks to immediately concede a penalty, right in front of the poles, with van Breda reducing the deficit for the Kings to four points again, with 8 minutes remaining.
The Sharks XV showed great character to attack straight from kick off and force the Kings into a penalty, for Prinsloo to again add three points to the lead. After a nervous five minutes, the Sharks XV got a penalty on the hooter and decided to prevent the Kings from getting a bonus point by ending the game as victors by ten points.
The Beast was substituted after 55 minutes on the park, and it must be said that the run out did him good, as it was clear that he was off the pace, and he would have to do a bit of fitness wrok before running out for the Super team. He was replaced by Monde Hadebe, with Kyle Cooper shifting to loosehead.
Gouws Prinsloo had a bit of a shocker, with silly kicking errors and quite a few handling errors thrown in there as well.
The Kings started the game poorly, but fought back very well, taking advantage of playing against fourteen men, being down by 19 points at one stage.
Tries: Lubabalo Mthembu (2), Brynard Stander
Conversions: Gouws Prinsloo (2 from 3)
Penalties: Gouws Prinsloo (3 from 3)
Tries: Scott van Breda, Darron Nell
Conversion: Justin van Staden (1 from 2)
Penalties Justin van Staden (1 from 1) Scott van Breda (1 from 2)