Sharks vs Leopards – Woodburn Stadium

Written by Maria Delport (Letgo)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 11 Feb 2013 at 14:49
Tagged with : , , , ,

The Sharks scored 11 tries to start off their Super Rugby season on a high with a good warm-up match against a Leopards team who could never provide more resistance than just good practice for the Sharks. Before the match started the weather threatened to ruin a good warm up, with a light drizzle coming down consistently for an hour before the game, fortunately just before the game started the weather cleared and the cool air provided a perfect stage for an open and flowing first half of rugby.

John Plumtree made no changes to his run-on team in the first half, aside from the blood bin replacement of Charl McLeod 3 minutes into the game, which gave Cobus Reinach a 10 minute burst and a chance to make a good break and the final pass to Patrick Lambie who trotted over for the first try of the match in the 7th minute. Early on it was clear that the Sharks would play a wide game and try a few things amongst the backs. Patrick Lambie and Frans Steyn combined beautifully in the midfield, with the latter making quite a few clean line breaks from flat runs and short passes from the young flyhalf.

For a warm-up game especially the first half was not as scrappy as one would expect and the Sharks’ intensity and focus was a pleasant surprise on the night. Especially intensity at the ruck was great to see, with the forwards getting to the breakdown point quickly on attack which provided clean ball to the backs and on defence the guys also made quite a number of turnovers by good rucking and getting numbers to the breakdown.

Captain on the day Frans Steyn had a good outing providing go-forward ball with all of his possessions and as usual was strong on defence. He seemed calm and in control and by first judgement would do a good job as a captain. Penalties were always kicked for touch or the scrum was taken, to ensure that the game did not get too loose and we got enough practice in the areas where we needed.

The second half was a little scrappier than the first, but given that the rolling sub rule was put to full use in this half, it was to be expected. Louis Ludik replaced Odwa Ndugane on the wing to give Viljoen, one of the outstanding players on the night, an extended run at fullback. Burden, Daniel, Coetzee, Bresler, Beast, Jordaan and Reinach also came on in their respective positions to get a run in the second half. Lambie was subbed for Bosman in the 14th minute, but unfortunately injuries to Tim Whitehead and Keegan Daniel caused a bit of a reshuffle.

The Sharks would be relatively pleased with their first outing of the season. As mentioned before, Frans Steyn had an excellent game in the backs. Riaan Viljoen played one of his best games that I have seen him play in a Sharks jersey, with Louis Ludik being a bit quiet next to him on the wing in his second half. Both scrumhalves and flyhalves made a few wayward passes, which I guess is to be expected at this stage of the season. The forwards looked strong at the breakdown, our scrums were strong in both halves and the line-outs looked reasonable solid in the first half, but we never got a maul going and even got penalised trying to set up a maul on a few occasions.

Jacques Botes scored the second try from a great break (although there may have been some obstruction) from Mtembu. Lambie and Steyn combine nicely from a scrum again to get into the opposition 22 and Lambie finished off the move with a nice skip pass to put Odwa over in the corner. Mtembu scored the 4th try from one of two quick tap penalties, Charl McLeod taking this one and giving the ball to Allan Dell on the rampage making a good 20m, before quick ball from that ruck got out to Whitehead who made a beautiful pass to Mtembu to run down the touchline for his first score of the night. Mvovo scored the last try of the first half, this one came from a lost lineout by the Sharks, McLeod charging the clearing kick, Frans Steyn pouncing on the loose ball and offloading to Whitehead, the scrappy pass from him went to ground, but called backwards from theref and Steyn picked this ball up and offloaded to Mvovo for another try in the corner. Good kicking practice for Lambie. A sixth try was botched just before the end of the half, Steyn making another break from a 25m scrum, finding Mtembu in support, but his pass to Mvovo was just forward and Mvovo couldn’t take it to score what would have been a great try.

The first try in the second half came after more than 10min. We took another scrum from a penalty, again about 25m out. We had our backline stacked to the right and got Mvovo to within a meter of the line, with some beautiful hands. Deysel got the ball over from a pick and drive. The 7th try of the match went to the Captain and my Man of the Match, a quick tap from 5 meters out by Reinach, few teams will stop Frans Steyn from this close in. Jacques Botes scored his second try of the match in the 22nd minute of the second half, the 8th try for the Sharks. Four Minutes later Mvovo went over for his second, this was a well worked try going through a few phases with a couple of nice touches from Riaan Viljoen, not for the first time in the match. Allan Dell also got over for a try, after Bosman and Steyn combined well to get close to the line. The Leopards scored a try through their wing, a lapse in concentration from the Sharks, with the only slipped tackle of the match and a few handling errors leading to this try. Mtembu and the forwards had the last say of the match, scoring a pushover try from a 5 meter scrum.

Woodburn stadium, even in rainy weather was packed. It was great to see Sharks fans from this area coming out in their numbers to support the Sharks and they were rewarded with a great display of rugby by the Sharks and those who were willing to wait a while even got to meet the players, as the team made time to go out onto the field after the game to meet the fans, sign autographs and pose for a couple of pictures.

Sharks 71 – 8 Leopards

Tries: Lambie, Botes (2), Ndugane, Mtembu (2), Mvovo (2),Deysel, Steyn, Dell
Converstions: Lambie 5 (7), Bosman 3 (4)

Tries: Venter
Penalty: Welthagen


  • so based on this, there was a change to the announced squad, with Marcell Coetzee taking part…. was he in Jandre Marais’ place?

  • Comment 1, posted at 11.02.13 14:52:32 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 1) : Jandre Marais was there too, as far as I could see. Some of these guys look very similar running on the field… almost all the locks except Bresler and his mullet, but I think Jandre was also there.

  • Comment 2, posted at 11.02.13 15:00:17 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Thanks Letgo πŸ˜€

  • Comment 3, posted at 11.02.13 15:03:28 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 2) : ok cool thanks.

    This really is an awesome report… thanks so much for taking the time to put it together.

  • Comment 4, posted at 11.02.13 15:05:39 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Well done Letgo! I was writing things down during game, but then got too excited and abandoned the whole endevour! I guess I will never cut it as a journalist, especially a rugby one? I wasn’t impressed with Line outs though, I remain extremely worried in this regard for this S15! The handling I thought was brilliant considering that the ball must have been very wet. It rained quite consistently in 1st half I remember fighting with fools in front of us and their umbrella πŸ‘Ώ

  • Comment 5, posted at 11.02.13 15:11:27 by Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette Reply

    Sharksmad - The Blog's Dudette
  • I was waiting for this from you πŸ™‚ hope you enjoyed the game πŸ™‚

  • Comment 6, posted at 11.02.13 15:20:23 by Uli Reply
    Valued Sharksworld Supporter
    Uli Boelie
  • Glad to hear that the guys have focussed on the breakdowns with Bissie missing.

    How were the scrums? Dell working the leopards prop?

    Hopefully we can sort out the lineouts asap!

    Cant wait! Bring on the Cheetahs!

  • Comment 7, posted at 11.02.13 15:57:40 by MikeVS Reply


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