Rob du Preez (junior) led his Sharks under 19s to a valuable bonus-point win over their Free State counterpart on Friday afternoon, made all the more significant by the fact that the team had lost to the same opposition just two weeks before in a friendly game. The young Sharks scored six tries in a 38-16 demolition of the outclassed Cheetahs.
The first half, though, was a pretty evenly-matched affair, with the Sharks’ two early tries (to fullback Sean Roinson and scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer) the stand outs in a half where they let indiscipline get the better of them. Free State flyhalf Jan Strumpher nailed 3 penalties and his side was well in the contest, at just 9-12 down, a few minutes into the second half.
According to our man on the scene, good old Beet, the Sharks clicked nicely after that third penalty. There was more fluency and decisiveness in what they did and they introduced speed – especially from phase ball – and cut out handling errors. They were also helped by some less-than-pretty first-time tackling by the Free State at times. Tries were scored in short order by wing Alcino Izaacs, number 8 Jean Pretorius, flyhalf du Preez and centre Tyler Fisher, with du Preez’s effort made possible by a great break by speedy flanker Andrew van Tonder.
Ungerer added four conversions to ensure a more-than-comfortable 22-point winning margin which will serve Ettiene Fynn’s team well as they prepare to face SWD this coming weekend.
Scorers: Sharks u19: Tries by Robinson, Ungerer, Izaacs, Pretorius, du Preez, T Fisher. Conversions: Ungerer (4).
Free State u19: Try by Luan de Bruin. Conversion by Strumpher. Penalties: Strumpher (3).