It wasn’t pretty for large portions of a pedestrian 80 minutes of rugby at Kings Park this evening, but in winning 30-14 against the Lions, the Sharks have managed to haul themselves free of the chasing pack an move three points clear at the summit of the Currie Cup log, after two rounds.
In a first half to forget, it was the Lions who had the only real joy, with referee Mark Lawrence awarding them an early penalty try after the Sharks were adjudged to have infringed at a 5 metre defensive scrum. A pair of Meyer Bosman penalties, one early and one late, kept the home side in the hunt, despite an ill-disciplined and inaccurate performance that saw little going on with ball in hand.
A characteristic purple patch in the third quarter changed the complexion of the encounter, though. Bosman first edged the Sharks in front with a third penalty, before a great team move saw Sbura Sithole cross for his first try of the season, in the left-hand corner. Odwa Ndungane added a second not long afterwards and the Sharks suddenly found themselves 16 points to the good, at 23-7 after an hour’s play. The Lions fought back, though and managed a second score of their own as the fourth quarter got underway; Cobus Grobbelaar drove over off a lineout drive, with Butch James duly adding the extras.
It was the Sharks who laughed last, though, with captain Jean Deysel scoring the try of the game as he burst over after a good break from Bosman. A helter-skelter last 10 minutes produced no further score, though and the Sharks were left ruing the missed opportunities that may have seen them win this game with a bonus point.
For a second week running, though, they’ll be bloody pleased with just the win, given how they started.
Sharks (30): Tries: Sithole, Ndungane, Deysel. Conversions: Bosman (3). Penalties: Bosman (3)
Lions (14): Tries: Grobbelaar, penalty try. Converions: James (2)