Disappointing campaign comes to an end

Written by Pierre McLeod (pierre_mackie)

Posted in :EP Kings, Original Content, Sharks, Vodacom Cup on 13 May 2015 at 09:46
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , ,

The Cell C Sharks XV’s Vodacom Cup campaign came to a disappointing end when they lost to the Eastern Province Kings at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday night.

Both teams scored a try and a penalty in the first half, but the Sharks failed to add anything to their half time score as the Kings added two more tries and a penalty to record a convincing 23 – 8 win.

The Kings camped in the Sharks’ twenty two during the early stages, which resulted in three points after former Sharks player Hansie Graaff slotted an easy kick to give the Kings a 3 point lead after 6 minutes.

A few minutes later new recruit Garth April leveled the scores for the Sharks after 15 minutes.

More pressure from the Kings resulted in their first try after Paul Jordaan was yellow carded for slowing the ball down inside their 22. Luther Obi went over in the corner as he stretched their lead to 8 – 3, Graaff was unsuccessful with the touch line conversion.

Sharks scrumhalf, Hanco Venter leveled the scores after the kick-off as he went over in the left hand corner. April missed the conversion as scores were level at 8-all with 17 minutes to half time.

Both teams threw the ball wide trying to get it to their quicker outside backs. April kept the Kings’ defence on their toes as he often joined the backline from fullback. Samoan wing, Paul Perez kept a few of his former team mates busy on attack but neither player did anything to the score board as the game remained 8-all at the break.

The second half started pretty much the same as the first half when Kings’ eighthman Paul Schoeman scored his team’s second try after 6 minutes. Graaff missed his second kick of the night as the Kings took a 13 – 8 lead.

Not much happened in the 30 minutes leading up to the Kings’ third try. April missed a penalty which would have given them a two point deficit. Sharks inside centre Marius Louw had a few storming runs keeping a few defenders busy, but again not changing anything to the score board.

Kings replacement, Scott van Breda added three points to give his team an eight point lead as the game reached the final ten minutes.

It was only when Tera Mtembu failed to field an up-and-under from Graaff on the half way, that the Kings turned something into nothing. The loose ball was kicked through and ended as a five pointer when replacement Enrico Acker dotted it down behind the Sharks’ tryline. Van Breda added the extras as the Kings took a 23 – 8 lead with five minutes remaining.

The Sharks really struggled to get any form of momentum. Their forwards struggled against the more experienced Kings, and their back kept the Kings guessing with April adding some spark from fullback, Perez and Louw had one or two strong carries but the Kings were quick to close down on their space.

A disappointing campaign came to an end for both sides, as the Kings remained a thorn in the fins of the Sharks as they were last year when they beat the Durbanites 27 – 11 in their final match in Durban.

The Sharks ended their 2015 Vodacom Cup campaign in sixth place with 11 log points, as they only managed to win two of their seven matches. They scored 180 points which included 24 tries and conceded 165 points which included 22 tries.


EP Kings: (8) 23 – Tries: Luther Obi, Paul Schoeman, Enrico Acker. Conversion: Scott van Breda. Penalty: Hansie Graaff.

Sharks XV: (8) 8 – Try: Hanco Venter. Penalty: Garth April.


  • To be really honest though, Smit inherited this problem from Van Zyl and the previous board. Here it is about your talent pipeline that should comprise of u/21 Sharks players of 2 to 4 years ago. We really need to start being competitive at age group level to see the results not just in the Sharks side but the Vodacom Cup in the next 3 to 5 years. For now….buy. Raid the likes of the Lions, Pumas, Boland, SWD and EP Kings remembering that a young talented player will always bring more value in the long run than an average senior player. For example, how the did we not identify Sergel from the Kings?

  • Comment 1, posted at 13.05.15 10:09:12 by GreatSharksays Reply
  • So people asking why the Sharks buy in guys- because this is how good our depth is. I said it years ago when our Bok laden Super side was winning games but we had to rely on them as depth was nowhere…well now that Boks are injured/suspended and moved on the lack of depth is severely exposed. Look at how the KZN side has done at Craven week- when last did we win a fianl? or play in a final? Besides this year (and this only in the Shield) look how UKZN has fared? Our u19 and u21 results? So those wanting us to back the youth coming through…are you sure about that?

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.05.15 10:37:06 by SheldonK Reply
  • @SheldonK (Comment 2) : For me it is not the issue that we buy. It is the profile of the players we do buy. We need to be buying more younger (19-21 year old) players and get them into the system, than buying so many 27-32 year olds.

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.05.15 10:40:49 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 3) : Fair comment- think its a risk/reward thing. Take the risk on buying a youngster vs buying someone who has been there done that. I think they still have faith in their youth structures so hoping by buying an older guy he will play a year or two then be replaced by someone coming through…problem is the guy coming through isnt happening at the moment.

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.05.15 10:43:33 by SheldonK Reply

  • Do yourselves a favour, have a look back at the team sheets for the campaign and see whether at any stage there were even 50% of the same players playing together each week – you will be shocked! How can you win a tournament, or even come close, with different personnel each week and absolutely no continuity or tried and tested combinations?

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.05.15 10:48:59 by Julesgr8ter Reply
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  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 1) : I hear you about Van Zyls reign, and then I look at how the team did when he was still around…chalk and cheese.

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.05.15 11:06:26 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 1) : Lions seem to have most players signed up until next year . Feel free to raid the other unions tough 😛

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.05.15 11:06:32 by Zibbie Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner
  • @Julesgr8ter (Comment 5) : This is true, Strudwick highlighted it inthat interview with Pastoorhaai.

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.05.15 11:07:18 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • @Julesgr8ter (Comment 5) : Thats a fair comment…however only valid if opposition select the same time week on week which i very much doubt too

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.05.15 11:07:33 by SheldonK Reply

  • @GreatSharksays (Comment 1) :

    And Also , i think you are forgetting were all the best school boy talent ends up in SA . Go raid the Bulls . they have heaps of talent sitting around not being utilized . Players just waiting for the shot at the big time

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.05.15 11:11:58 by Zibbie Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 9) : Yes, would be interesting to analyse that across the teams and see who ends up top of the log – This is one of those debates that could go along with Youth /Experience / Continuity / Combinations in key positions

  • Comment 11, posted at 13.05.15 11:21:10 by Julesgr8ter Reply
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  • @Julesgr8ter (Comment 5) : I am pretty sure the Vodacom Cup teams of all the unions with a team competing in Super Rugby will be in a similar boat.

  • Comment 12, posted at 13.05.15 11:34:59 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 3) : Everyone was laughing at the Bulls for contracting so many youngsters but look at them now!!! Who’s laughing and who’s crying now!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 13, posted at 15.05.15 15:49:54 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 12) : I stand to be corrected but WPRI and Bulls have around 35 guys at U19 level, 35 at U21 level, a separate Currie Cup/ VC squad and then a separate SR squad. It would seem that only the likes of Pollard and Jesse,for example, are then played out of their age group while the majority go through the ranks creating continuity and depth without having to crisis manage – I still think it would b an interesting excercise to c what continuity was in these two teams’ VC match day teams

  • Comment 14, posted at 15.05.15 16:03:20 by Julesgr8ter Reply
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  • @Julesgr8ter (Comment 14) : sounds like you’re signing up to do some research for us 🙂

  • Comment 15, posted at 15.05.15 22:17:56 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 15) : Ok so I have done the analysis – just having a blonde moment and not sure how to insert the spread sheet! Needless to say exactly as I thought – WP and Bulls have consistency, continuity and combinations

  • Comment 16, posted at 16.05.15 13:49:17 by Julesgr8ter Reply
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  • @Julesgr8ter (Comment 16) : email them to me, Jules? I’ll turn it into something.

  • Comment 17, posted at 16.05.15 14:38:55 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator

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