Lions loss knocks Sharks XV back into the pack

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Vodacom Cup on 21 Mar 2011 at 13:51
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A disappointing second half against the Golden Lions in Johannesburg saw Sean Everitt’s Sharks XV succumb to a 23-15 loss. More worryingly, though, the side slid from pole position on the South Section log right back into fifth spot on the back of the loss, which yielded no log points.

The Sharks XV were unbeaten going into the contest, having scored bonus-point wins against the Bulls, Welwitschias and Valke in their opening three games, but a lack of accuracy and attention to the basics cost them dearly on a day when the weather conditions made running rugby impossible. Relying on the individual skills of game breakers has, to date, papered over some of the cracks in the first few weeks but with the same factors identified as a cause for concern for the coaches after each of the wins, the time has now come for the team to take a long hard look at getting these aspects right.

The XV kept in touch with the Lions in the first half, courtesy of tries to Guy Cronje and Piet Lindeque – the latter an audacious intercept form 60m out – but with Andre Pretorius using all of his experience to dictate play, the visitors were definitely found wanting as the game progressed. A frankly awful second half saw them unable to add to the 15 they’d scored in the first half, with Pretorius’ late penalty the only score at all in the second 40. That kick moved the Lions out to an 8-point lead, crucially denying the Sharks a bonus point as well. For the Sharks XV, goal-kicking was again a concern, with neither Cronje brother really stamping authority on matters from the tee. One wonders if it isn’t time for either Fred Zeilinga or Lindeque to be given the kicking duties on a full-time basis.

With the Pampas XV and EP Kings both recording their fourth successive win, as well as Western Province and the Cheetahs recording victories, the Sharks are now well back on the log, although the impact of the looming points deduction for the Kings is yet to be seen (they should, in theory, lose all of their points to date for fielding ineligible players, but for now, they top the log pending an appeal of that decision). The Sharks face a slightly easier game this weekend as they take on the Tasol Solar Griffons (what a mouthful!) in Empangeni. The coaches will know, though, that anything less than a disciplined, clinical bonus-point win will be, quite frankly, a disaster. The team’s difficult games – against Griquas, the Pumas and the Leopards, are all still coming up.


Golden Lions 23 – Tries: Dusty Noble, Divan Ferguson. Conversions: André Pretorius (2). Penalties: Pretorius (3).

Sharks XV 15 – Tries: Guy Cronjé, Piet Lindeque. Conversion: Guy Cronjé. Penalty: Ross Cronjé.


  • Didnt the EP Kings lose their log points?

  • Comment 1, posted at 21.03.11 13:59:30 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • Hard luck boys. However, they were playing against good opposition on paper. When I saw Pretorius, Mokuena, Chavhanga, Noble… I thought they would battle.

  • Comment 2, posted at 21.03.11 14:01:56 by Starvekos Reply

  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 1) : did you read the article? 🙂

  • Comment 3, posted at 21.03.11 14:02:37 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 3) : Only the 1st paragraph 😳 I got distracted 😛

  • Comment 4, posted at 21.03.11 14:05:16 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 4) : sigh.

  • Comment 5, posted at 21.03.11 14:12:38 by robdylan Reply
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  • I reckon we might see some reinforcements this week… I doubt they’ll take Richards to London if he’s not going to be in the match 22. Ditto Swannie and Chadders.

  • Comment 6, posted at 21.03.11 14:13:23 by robdylan Reply
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  • Lineque need to get a run!!! On 13…

  • Comment 7, posted at 21.03.11 14:46:32 by BoerSeun Reply

  • @Starvekos (Comment 2) : Was a tough game. Rain did not help much. The tight forward like Jandre Marais and Kyle Cooper had very good games. I was very impressed with the work rate of Marais. Would like to see younger brother Peet start with him on lock. Mossie had a few runs but defense lacked bit. The backs need to step up their defense. Their more experienced opposition outsmarted them on the day. Come on boys get back to the top

  • Comment 8, posted at 21.03.11 15:16:13 by FS Shark Reply

    FS Shark
  • There are so many objectives that a team can achieve without winning the Voda/Cup e.g. game time for senior team fringe players, experience to young players. In the long term my feeling is that our guys would have learnt a ton playing in these conditions cos for one they attempted to keep the ball in hand. We seemed to be on a suicide mission by trying to play this positive, entertaining rugby when Mother Nature was saying “Kick! Kick! and then Kick again!”.
    I don’t think we’re going to win the Voda/Cup in 2011 but looking at the bigger picture, Sharks rugby as a whole might turn out to be bigger winners than the team that does eventually walk off with the spoils.

  • Comment 9, posted at 21.03.11 16:30:09 by beet Reply
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  • @beet (Comment 9) : you know how much I like a positive angle on things… and I think you are right.

    But I also feel that the unions is looking at this team and saying “prove that you have a future in our set up by bringing home this trophy”. I hope I’m wrong about that, but I’m not so convinced that I am.

  • Comment 10, posted at 21.03.11 16:37:17 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : 100% correct. Why do you play this lovely game? Just for fun? I doubt it.

  • Comment 11, posted at 21.03.11 17:30:33 by FS Shark Reply

    FS Shark
  • I just wonder how long it`ll take the Lions to realise they need to start Andre Pretorius in the super rugby team instead of this one . . . 🙄

  • Comment 12, posted at 22.03.11 14:53:53 by Original Champion Reply
    Original Pierre

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