Fred Zeilinga and the Sharks have made the Waratahs pay for an ill-disciplined performance in Durban tonight, with the young flyhalf kicking 19 points in a big 32-10 win for the home side.
An uninspiring first half saw plenty of niggle, yet little in the line of constructive play. An earl penalty to Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley was soon cancelled out by Zeilinga, as the teams opted for a ball-in-hand style which was somewhat stymied by the humidity. With the Tahs looking to make ground via big Jacques Potgieter, it took some crushing defensive blows from the likes of Willem Alberts and Jean Deysel to turn the tide – as the territorial contest swung in the home side’s favour, so the Waratahs proclivity for breakdown infringements brought Zeilinga more into the contest, with the young man putting over two further penalties in the opening quarter.
Frans Steyn took the margin out beyond a single score when he nailed a characteristic monster penalty in the 38th minute, to hand the Sharks a reasonable 12-3 lead heading into half time.
Castigated this season for their “slow third quarter”, it was in fact the 20 minutes after half time that sealed the result for Jake White’s side this week. As they began to dominate the collisions and the scrum contest, the Waratahs frustration boiled over, with Bismarck du Plessis soon pleading with referee Mike Fraser to intervene in order to stop the Waratahs’ “punching”. The message sank in and captain Dave Dennis was duly sin-binned minutes later for starting an off-the-ball scuffle. With the numerical advantage, the Sharks pushed home and scored their first try in the 50th minute, as Ryan Kankowski held on at the back of a lineout drive.
Zeilinga’s conversion pushed the Sharks out to a comfortable 19-3 lead, which became 22-3 ten minutes alter as he goaled another penalty. With the Waratahs now chasing the game and completely outgunned in the scrum contest, Keegan Daniel pounced, tapping a scrum penalty from 5m out to run in the Sharks’ second.
Foley’s late consolation try did little to alter the course of the game, with Zeilinga ending the contest as he kicked his fifth penalty of the night (and seventh successful kick from seven) on the hooter to seal a memorable win.
Sharks 32: Tries Ryan Kankowski, Keegan Daniel. Conversions Fred Zeilina (2). Penalties Zeilinga (5), Frans Steyn.
Waratahs 10: Try Bernard Foley. Conversion Foley. Penalty Foley.Tweet