Sharks stop Province in their tracks

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks, WP on 31 Oct 2010 at 15:27
Tagged with : , , , , ,

John Plumtree’s masterful Currie Cup Class of 2010 shocked many a pundit last night as they romped to an emphatic 30 points to 10 win over Western Province in the Currie Cup Final. Plumtree’s men outscored their Cape rivals by three tries to one, with heroic 20-year-old flyhalf Patrick Lambie scoring all but 5 of his side’s points.

The game was billed as too close to call, with scribes and knowledgeable rugby men variously giving it to Province, on the basis if their individual superiority, or the Sharks, based on home-ground advantage and better cohesion as a team. Those backing the latter outcome proved to be far more correct than they could have imagined, with the Sharks producing a vintage display of “suffocation rugby” that was, if possible, even better than the performance dished out to beat the Blue Bulls in the rain two weeks ago. While the Sharks ere still clearly carrying a few scars from that game – which could be seen in a quieter-than-normal first half from Willem Alberts as well as a few slipped first-up tackles – it was evident from very early on in this encounter that they simply wanted the win far more than their hyped-up adversaries did.

Province started like a house on fire – sweeping upfield and pressurising the Sharks into a penalty within the opening minutes, which Willem de Waal duly converted. The Sharks initially looked a little jittery and it was Province who held the upper hand at the breakdown for fully 5 minutes at the start. After Pat Lambie had equalised the score with a penalty of his own, Province broke through some lacklustre tackling and burst into Sharks territory, only to be robbed of possession by a scintillating Bismarck du Plessis turnover in his side’s 22. The ball was spun out to Charl McLeod, who chipped expertly for Lwazi Movvo to chase up the left flank. The burly winger was well stopped by Province hooker Deon Fourie a few short metres out, but the Sharks scrumhalf was on hand to collect the pop and finish the job he had stared. It was just rewards for McLeod, a player who has been instrumental to the Sharks’ success in 2010 and who gave Province hassles all of the first half, before being replaced. Lambie nailed the conversion and despite only being 7 points behind, Province inexplicably stopped playing the game for the next 20 minutes and allowed the Sharks to build up a lead that they were never able to reel in.

It started with Pat Lambie scoring the try of the match, scampering through two half-hearted tackle attempts from 25 metres out, before knocking Schalk Burger to the ground with a massive hand-off and sauntering over next to the uprights. His conversion moved the score out to 17-3, before two quick penalties gave the Sharks a massive 23-3 lead heading into the last quarter of an hour of the first half. It was this 20-minute period that saw the Sharks enjoy total dominance over their opponents in every facet of the game and had Lambie managed to nail either of the successive 50-metre-plus attempts he had before half-time (both came agonisingly close), Province would have had no hope at all in the second half. As it was, they were incredibly fortunate that Francois Louw wasn’t yellow carded for repeated tackle infringements.

As all good dramas do, this one had a twist, though and for Province, the ten minutes leading up to half time proved fruitful, as they finally managed to get their hands on the ball and build some momentum. A good drive from a lineout 5 metres out saw Schalk Burger go over for a try, which was duly converted by de Waal to bring them within 13 points going into half time. There were some worried faces in the Sharks camp, since the momentum seemed to have inexorably shifted and the faithful knew that a team containing the likes of Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana and Gio Aplon can erase a two-try deficit within a matter of minutes.

It was, however, not to be, as the Sharks’ resolute defence dominated a second half in which Province emerged the clear victors in terms of possession and territory. Some improved play amongst the forwards, coupled with a breakdown in the Sharks discipline, saw the home side pinned in their 22 for large periods of the second half as referee Craig Joubert repeatedly penalised the Sharks for infringements at the tackle. Burger, inexplicably, caught the same disease that had affected Victor Matfield during the semi-final and instead of instructing his metronomic flyhalf to chip away at the lead, repeatedly opted to kick for the corner, on a day when his own lineout was not on song. Further to that, the Sharks, after being caught out by the Province rolling maul once in the first half, were determined not to succumb again and it is frankly baffling that the Province captain – a 60-test Bok veteran – couldn’t work out that his Plan A had failed and adopt a different approach. That said, Province were unable to get their ball-in-hand game working on the day either, with uncharacteristic knock-ons and breakdown turnovers the order of the day for large portions of their evening.

It was the Sharks who had the last laugh, however, as they burst out of their own territory with 10 minutes to go, sensing that they had the game won. A period of unrelenting pressure on the Province goal line saw Lambie eventually burst through for his second, after he pounced on a ball that squirted out of the side of a ruck. His personal haul of 25 points saw the young flyhalf awarded man of the match, but the award could easily have gone to Andries Strauss or Bismarck du Plessis, both of whom were utterly superb on the day.

At the end of the day – and the season – it was yet another sterling team performance that pulled this one off for the Sharks and Stefan Terblanche, speaking through the tears as he held the golden cup aloft, could not have summed it up better. “If you look across there,” he said, pointing to his fellow warriors, “you will see a TEAM”,

Sharks (30). Tries by Charl McLeod and Pat Lambie(2). 3 conversions and 3 penalties by Lambie.
WP (10): Try by Schalk Burger. 1 conversion and 1 penalty by Willem de Waal.


  • I did not think it was going to be that easy,but whatever…
    So we have the most tries and best defensive record because of the 3 tries to 1?

  • Comment 1, posted at 31.10.10 15:35:36 by Honey Badger Reply
    Honey Badger
  • No matter how many times I see Burger’s “try” it still looks as though it was grounded short. Burger’s arm was on the line, the ball wasn’t. So the score should be 30 – 3.

  • Comment 2, posted at 31.10.10 15:49:33 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Butchie34 (Comment 2) : I suppose this will all depend on which side of the fence you are sitting. But then again I’m glad I did not have to make the call on that one.

  • Comment 3, posted at 31.10.10 16:21:01 by Farlington Reply

  • Well reality is setting in and there has been a calm in my house all day. The kind of calm you would find on a battle field after a war. Maybe I’m just too tired to make too much of a noise after celebrating until the early hours of the morning.

    I may well have missed out on a opportunity of a life time to be there but had to many contributing factors that halted my trip.

    ANY HOOT…if my neighbours had any doubts as to which team I support, that was all put to rest last night. I await an official compliant later in the week 😆

  • Comment 4, posted at 31.10.10 16:37:49 by Farlington Reply

  • Burger really had a poor game.

    I have always loved his intensity and heart, but he played very dirty yesterday, and the decisions not to go for poles, with the kicker he had, coupled with how we kept on breaking their drives, was utterly stupid.

  • Comment 5, posted at 31.10.10 16:38:30 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Just noticed the modification of the Sharkworld logo… NICE!!

  • Comment 6, posted at 31.10.10 16:40:20 by Farlington Reply

  • Fish I’m not so sure he expected the Sharks to build-up such a lead so early. It got him flustered and caused him to make bad calls. Does that perhaps mean that he does not have what it takes to captain a side on such a big occasion?

  • Comment 7, posted at 31.10.10 16:43:48 by Farlington Reply

  • The sharks conceded that try from the maul on purpose to give wp false hope that they can maul us again! In so they didn’t go for poles! 🙂

  • Comment 8, posted at 31.10.10 16:54:28 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Farlington (Comment 6) : I’m no graphical whizz, but I hope you can make out what I was trying to achieve… 🙂

  • Comment 9, posted at 31.10.10 16:58:27 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : rob I think you meant ”As it was, they were incredibly fortunate that Francois Louw wasn’t yellow carded for repeated tackle infringements.” 😉

  • Comment 10, posted at 31.10.10 17:05:35 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Ben (Comment 10) : what you said 😳

  • Comment 11, posted at 31.10.10 17:06:44 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : lol eish we did it man so proud of the boys! Who’s the chokers?

  • Comment 12, posted at 31.10.10 17:15:12 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Ben (Comment 12) : Sorry Boet, Weer Probeer didn’t choke so much as the Sharks shoved the second place medals down their throats.

    Loved Stefan Terblanche’s speech after winning the cup. Showed the spirit of the team and how the whole team was bonded.

    Especially loved how he ignored Maria Ramos in walking up to collect the silverware after ABSA’s snub this week.

  • Comment 13, posted at 31.10.10 17:33:04 by Butchie34 Reply
  • @Big Fish (Comment 5) : Looking back at the Game if Burger had taken the first penalty it would have been back to the halfway and start again Then anything could have happened It would have pulled them back to 10 down and who knows the way we were playing we may well have scored and then the game for Province would have been gone
    What is interesting is that Joel called the kick to the corner on the first penalty-i think based on the “fact” that they had outmauled us but he is a mampara anyway so what does he know
    But having said that I agree that Burger is not a good captain Job should have stayed with Van Zyl
    Did anybody see Fleck’s face whilst he sat in the box?

  • Comment 14, posted at 31.10.10 17:46:57 by Fattmann Reply
    Competition Winner
  • @Fattmann (Comment 14) : did you see fleck’s face when he went up to take the runner up medals

  • Comment 15, posted at 31.10.10 17:50:43 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Big Fish (Comment 5) : Agree. Extremely disappointed with the decisions not to go for post. WP started to panic too early.

    Then again the Sharks were so dominant that they broke Province’s back within the first 20/30 min.

    It was one of those days were one got the feeling that the Sharks would have won no matter what. And WP simply weren’t good enough.

    Twice in one year WP have been handed a lesson in a final. Hopefully they take the lessons to heart.

  • Comment 16, posted at 31.10.10 18:11:47 by McLovin Reply

  • Sharks forwards are scary. And Deysel still to be added. 😯

  • Comment 17, posted at 31.10.10 18:18:32 by McLovin Reply

  • I’m already looking forward to next season. 😎

  • Comment 18, posted at 31.10.10 18:19:20 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 17) : and Mostert, Smit, Skeate…

  • Comment 19, posted at 31.10.10 18:38:27 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 19) : Yip. The saying ‘be afraid be very afraid’ comes to mind.

  • Comment 20, posted at 31.10.10 18:41:55 by McLovin Reply

  • Skeate was added as a bit of a joke 🙂 although he’ll look great on the posters!

  • Comment 21, posted at 31.10.10 19:10:20 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator

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