KSA Shark ©

Sharks outlast bumbling Bulls

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :Bulls, Currie Cup, In the news, Sharks on 7 Sep 2008 at 07:14

The Sharks have moved into top spot on the Currie Cup log standings after disposing of the Blue Bulls courtesy of a 34-25 win at Absa Stadium in Durban on Saturday.

Rugby 365 reports that the Bulls had many chances to open up a substantial lead over their hosts, but some crucial handling errors, and five missed kicks at goal from Blue Bulls flyhalf Morné Steyn ultimately sealed their fate.

Bulls fullback Tiger Mangweni, who had such a superb match against Western Province last week, was culpable this time round, spilling a routine pass with the try-line virtually under his nose in the second half. That was the most blatant of many scoring opportunities wasted by the Bulls, which came back to haunt them in the end.

On the positive side, there were great performances all over the park, and not necessarily by the star Springbok names one would usually expect. Bryan Habana had a match he’d rather forget, but the Ndungane twins, Odwa and Akona, both played superbly on opposing sides.

It was a slightly scrappy start to this crucial top-of-the table clash and eventually it was the Sharks who were left to rue a slow start as they conceded a soft try early on, when Francois Steyn found himself on the receiving end of a solid hand-off from Wynand Olivier.

The Bulls centre offloaded to Marius Delport in the tackle, and the outside centre made no mistake as he crashed over to open the scoring in the match.

Flyhalf Morné Steyn added the extra two to hand the Bulls a 7-0 lead.

However, the Sharks were unfazed and it wasn’t long before they levelled things at 7-7 after wing Odwa Ndungane scored a great try in the corner after showing up Springbok colleague Bryan Habana, who dallied in defence.

The second quarter saw both sides battle bravely as they tried to assert their ascendancy but it was clear that there were two very evenly matched teams on the Absa Stadium turf.

Sharks scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar slotted a penalty to score the last points of the first half. The home side went into the break with a tenuous 10-7 lead.

The Sharks came out of the blocks faster in the second period, and quickly extended their lead to 17-7 after replacement wing JP Pietersen scored a majestic try following a quick turnover by the Sharks loose forwards.

The Bulls fought back magnificently though and two quick tries to lock Victor Matfield and then the in-form Olivier made it 17-17 with 20 minutes to play.

A few minutes later and suddenly the Bulls were the ones with a 25-17 advantage after Steyn slotted another penalty and Olivier crossed for another try.

The Sharks though hit back superbly with a try from fullback Stefan Terblanche. The try and conversion by Pienaar made it 25-24 to the Bulls with just under 15 minutes left on the clock, and the match was back in the balance.

This thrilling clash reached another twist when Pienaar slotted a great penalty to make it 27-25.

But the see-saw encounter reached the climax it deserved. That ending was provided in emphatic fashion by mercurial Sharks No.8 Keegan Daniel, who scored a magnificent individual try to make it 34-25 with the conversion, and break the Bulls resistance for good.

Daniel received the ball on the halfway line, summed up the Bulls defence, and chipped into space, gambling against Bryan Habana.

The bounce of the ball embarrassed the Bulls’ Springbok wing, while Daniel had to use all his skill to gather the ball, evade the cover defence and smash his way over the line for an incredible try which effectively put the match beyond doubt.


For the Sharks:
Tries: Ndungane, Pietersen, Terblanche, Daniel
Cons: Pienaar 4
Pen: Pienaar 2

For the Bulls:
Tries: Delport, Matfield, Olivier 2
Con: Steyn
Pens: Steyn


Sharks: 15 Stefan Terblanche, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Francois Steyn, 12 Bradley Barritt, 11 Waylon Murray, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Keegan Daniel, 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Johann Muller (captain), 4 Alistair Hargreaves, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Skipper Badenhorst, 1 Deon Carstens.
Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Patric Cilliers, 18 Steven Sykes, 19 Albert van den Berg, 20 Skholiwe Ndlovu, 21 Rory Kockott, 22 JP Pietersen.

Blue Bulls: 15 Tiger Mangweni, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Marius Delport, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Wikus van Heerden, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Danie Rossouw, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Derick Kuün, 1 Jaco Engels.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Rayno Gerber, 18 Juandré Kruger, 19 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 20 Heini Adams, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Dewald Potgieter,


  • It was a great game. Both the Sharks and the Bulls had chances they did not take. I am impressed with the way the Boks in these two sides have lifted the CC level a bit, whereas WP’s and Cheetahs’s Boks largely failed to do the same. The Sharks have now accomplished what I thought they would by resting the couple of Boks that they did. It was to show that they could beat the Bulls without them. I think they have achieved mental superiority with this move and have to congratulate their coaching team.

    The only thing that still bothers me are the fact that they could not take the chance of sending Kockott on, for the game was too finely balanced at that stage. Ruan needs to be told in all honesty that he is still regarded as the best 9 in Natal and shortly in Sa as well, but that he could equally be the best 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 if he chooses to do so. And then to point out to him that we seriously lack a decent 10.

    On the subject of 10, surely Morne Steyn does something right for Meisiekind to be as brilliant as he was? Not to take any credit away from Wynand, he was simply magnificent.

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.09.08 08:26:25 by Silver Fox Reply
    Silver Fox
  • Yeah baby! What a game. Just shows you how the returning boks can set the game alight. I thought both the Ndugane twins were brilliant. Bismark was at his bulldozing best and the hands from the whole team were great. Must say the Bulls will be kicking themselves. They scored 2 soft tries which should have put them out of sight. Akona’s two chip-throughs embarassed our cover defense and questions must be asked there. But we showed a lot of spirit to come back. And the coup-de-grace was Daniel making Habana look stupid. Forget Gillette, it’s time you did an ad for humble pie, mate!

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.09.08 08:27:43 by CapeShark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • @Silver Fox (Comment 1) :

    The only thing that still bothers me are the fact that they could not take the chance of sending Kockott on

    To me that just says SOOOOOOOOOOO much though.

    Plumtree did the right thing 100%.

    He didn’t do adhere to the standard practice of using the subs just because he has them like so many of the other coaches do.

    The game was close, and bringing on subs would just have changed the setup unnecessarily

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.09.08 09:29:30 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 3) : Yes, you are right, that’s what I said? Now to have a situation where Kockott find himself on the bench that way, will result in losing the guy, which I do not think the Sharks, and in the future, maybe the Boks can afford. 🙂

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.09.08 09:42:11 by Silver Fox Reply

    Silver Fox
  • @Silver Fox (Comment 4) :

    There are enough situation though where ALL the subs will be used. As an example when the team has a substantial lead with 30 or 20 min to go. Why tire the players on the pitch when you can use your subs.

    Also there will be enough statrts for Kockott or any sub under a decent rotation system so i am not to concerned by the worrie of losing players.

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.09.08 10:03:01 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Funny thing pressure.

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.09.08 11:23:56 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 6) :


  • Comment 7, posted at 07.09.08 13:06:46 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Stefan Terblanche had an absolute blinder. Showed he’s still got plenty left in his legs!

    I think the main reason Jean Deysel was quieter than usual was that the Bulls had marked him as our danger man and he was heavily marked! His workrate was still excellent and he always gives us go forward!

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.09.08 21:49:03 by Villie Reply
    Competition Winner

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