Bonus point joy for Sharks at Loftus

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Bulls, Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 10 Aug 2017 at 09:53
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The Sharks have surged to second place on the Currie Cup log courtesy of a rare bonus-point victory over the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versveld in Pretoria. The visitors scored four tries in their 28-20 victory – the third bonus point in as many outing as Robert du Preez’s side seem to finally be finding their attacking mojo.

The Sharks struck early, with Sbu Nkosi taking advantage of some lacklustre Bulls defence to weave through for a try in just the second minute. Garth April missed the tricky touchline conversion, but any Sharks joy was short-lived. Jeremy Ward went off with a deep forearm gash in the fourteenth minute, forcing a backline reshuffle that saw Odwa Ndungane come on at wing and Kobus van Wyk move to outside centre. The resulting defensive confusion contributed, I’m sure, to the horrendous lapse that saw impressive Bulls centre Burger Odendaal score under the posts moments later. Tony Jantjies converted from bang in front to secure a 2-point lead, but the Sharks hit back virtually straight away as Franco Marais went over off the back of a lineout drive.

April extended the lead via a penalty (after again missing the conversion) but the Sharks battled to exert any further dominance in the half, with at least two try-scoring opportunities not taken due to sloppy execution in the red zone. Jantjies closed the half off with a penalty of his own, and things were delicately poised at 10-13 going into the break.

The teams continues to feel each other out as the second half commenced, with the Bulls doing plenty of the playing but ultimately failing to make much ground thanks in part to strong Sharks defence, but also to their own poor option-taking. Replacement Sharks halves Cameron Wright and Benhard Janse van Rensburg added a bit more impetus for the visitors, with the latter finding Lukhayno Am with a pass against the direction of play in the 51st minute, about 30 metres out. The impressive centre, looking more and more like a Bok with each outing, cut back and found acres of space, evading several tackles on his way to the try-line. April’s conversion saw the Sharks lead by ten, but that lead was again cut back after another Jantjies penalty.

While the Sharks, to be fair, never really looked like losing, it was also clear that they weren’t quite managing to put that final nail in the Bulls’ coffin. April found three more, but the lead was again cut back to just three points when Ruben van Heerden scored for the Bulls in the 64th minute. To the untrained eye, it appeared that he had picked up the ball from inside a ruck, but referee Quinton Immelman either didn’t know that law or didn’t care to apply it. Once more, the result was in the balance with the Bulls trailing 20-23.

It fell to April, who was very good on the night, to finally make the result safe, going on a weaving run to score the winner (and bonus point try) 13 minutes from time. With that extra point in the bag and a two-score buffer, the Sharks finally looked as though they may have put the result to bed and while the Bulls did again have plenty of opportunities in the last ten minutes, again they failed to make much impression against a Sharks outfit that had the smell of victory in their nostrils.

It’s now on to Ellis Park and the Lions, but this Sharks team are already looking like they might be capable of doing something special this season and will have plenty of time to atone even if that third match in eight days proves a hurdle too far.

Bulls (20): Tries Odendaal, van Heerden. Conversions Jantjies (2). Penalties Jantjies (2)
Sharks (28): Tries Nkosi, Marais, Am, April. Conversion April. Penalties April (2)


  • Didn’t bother watching the match, seems I missed a decent game.

  • Comment 1, posted at 10.08.17 10:11:47 by Poisy Reply
  • Great win by the Sharks. It’s never easy at Loftus.

    Does anyone know of a link (which doesn’t need a VPN, such as with Supersport’s website) of game highlights?

  • Comment 2, posted at 10.08.17 10:13:29 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • oh I love this, Rob!!! Especially living in Pretoria and parading with my Sharks jersey! I can take a loss against anyone…just not the bulls or western province…Definitely something special brewing here… 😎 😆 :mrgreen: 🙂

  • Comment 3, posted at 10.08.17 10:14:59 by DuToit04 Reply

  • @DuToit04 (Comment 3) : It was a great game to watch. I am chirping my bulls friends in Durban.

  • Comment 4, posted at 10.08.17 10:17:39 by Dunx Reply

  • @Poisy (Comment 1) : you missed a good one mate! I thought Tera had a decent game! and Am was just so good – my kids refer to him as “little Beast”! 🙂 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 5, posted at 10.08.17 10:18:49 by DuToit04 Reply

  • Radebe at 10 is a fail. We were clearly the better team and to much easy meters for Bulls in that space allowed them to stay in game. His decissions are also not clear most times. And just to touch on the ref panel. (yes we can complaint when winning also) they missed plenty. Ref also reversed a penalty for chat (not back chat) but only when Bulls looked to get momentum. And then they stuffed it up themselves with great defense from Sharks. I hate that there are certain refs that you know beforehand are going to make the 50/50 calls against another team. Anyway, some good signs. This Sharks team can build

  • Comment 6, posted at 10.08.17 10:19:01 by ebenp Reply

  • @Dunx (Comment 4) : It’s our turn! 😆 😎

  • Comment 7, posted at 10.08.17 10:19:55 by DuToit04 Reply

  • April’s kicking was shocking, that is where Bosch is so good best kicker we have had for a long time.

  • Comment 8, posted at 10.08.17 10:21:56 by The hound Reply
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  • @DuToit04 (Comment 7) : I’d like it to be our turn to watch some rugby, we play three games in a row away, how is this possible.

  • Comment 9, posted at 10.08.17 10:24:16 by The hound Reply
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  • It was mostly an entertaining game. Sharks left many points out there (6 in conversions alone). Sharks have conceded 2 tries in their last 3 games (should actually only have been 1) Lineouts were mostly good and we stole a fair amount of their ball. Scrums were weird, totally dominating one scrum and the next one being dominated. All in all I think the camp can fell pretty good about where they are right now.

  • Comment 10, posted at 10.08.17 10:27:38 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 8) : I was just as shocked, if i remember correctly he was actually an accurate kicker in beginning of Super Rugby…it is a concern

  • Comment 11, posted at 10.08.17 10:36:45 by DuToit04 Reply

  • @DuToit04 (Comment 11) : let’s be fair guys. the conversions April missed (at least the two in the first half) were both from very wide angles and with one he hit the post. It’s not like the oke missed regulation goal kicks.

  • Comment 12, posted at 10.08.17 10:38:18 by robdylan Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 9) : easy – The Sharks always get the short straw from SA Rugby – what is the use in complaining. I noticed the bulls have it : Home Away Home Away Home Away…

  • Comment 13, posted at 10.08.17 10:38:46 by DuToit04 Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 12) : I agree everyone cannot be 100% all the time, but it would have made the scoreline, points diff on log table look bit better though…maybe he needs the weight of his afro shifted for that extra movement in his kick :mrgreen: BTW – I envy any guys that can do an afro

  • Comment 14, posted at 10.08.17 10:43:15 by DuToit04 Reply

  • Was a good game despite the short turn-around and personnel losses.

    I thought the ref was very good.

  • Comment 15, posted at 10.08.17 10:43:43 by Big Fish Reply
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  • @DuToit04 (Comment 14) : Nobody beats Bob Ross. 😀

  • Comment 16, posted at 10.08.17 10:59:58 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @Spirit of Rugby (Comment 16) : that’s like the perfect afro right there man! I love it! 😎

  • Comment 17, posted at 10.08.17 11:03:03 by DuToit04 Reply

  • @ebenp (Comment 6) : Too early to make that call. We’ve been spoilt by the likes of Lambie and now Bosch staking their claim so early in their Sharks careers. Come to think of it, it is something of a national mindset rather than one limited to only the Sharks. We just need to keep in mind that certain players are exceptions to the norm while other will probably need at least a proper season or two under the belt.

  • Comment 18, posted at 10.08.17 11:03:48 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @DuToit04 (Comment 17) : Pretty fly for a white guy 😎

  • Comment 19, posted at 10.08.17 11:07:12 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • Going to be interesting to see how RDP rejigs the side for the Lions game..

  • Comment 20, posted at 10.08.17 11:12:13 by SheldonK Reply

  • @Spirit of Rugby (Comment 16) : A ginger afro is something to behold.

  • Comment 21, posted at 10.08.17 12:01:22 by MysticShark Reply
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  • @MysticShark (Comment 21) : 😆

  • Comment 22, posted at 10.08.17 12:27:22 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 20) : here’s my call (opting for continuity) :
    15 Garth April

    14 Kobus van Wyk

    13 Marius Louw
    12 Lukhanyo Am,

    11 Sibusiso Nkosi

    10 Inny-Christian Radebe
    9 Michael Claassens

    8 Tera Mtembu

    7 Jacques Vermeulen 6 Keegan Daniel

    5 Ruan Botha (captain) 4 Tyler Paul

    3 Ross Geldenhuys 2 Franco Marais 1 Thomas du Toit

    16 Akker van der Merwe
    17 Juan Schoeman
    18 John-Hubert Meyer
    19 Jean Droste
    20 Cameron Wright
    21 Benhard Janse van Rensburg
    22 Odwa Ndugane/ Wian Vosloo

  • Comment 23, posted at 10.08.17 13:00:38 by DuToit04 Reply

  • @DuToit04 (Comment 23) : Good suggestion. And im all for continuity- just depends how the guys bodies are feeling. Some would have played 3 games in 7 days.

  • Comment 24, posted at 10.08.17 13:18:18 by SheldonK Reply

  • I would love to start Akker against the Lions. I’m still so chuffed that we signed him. And then we need better backup props, I’m sorry but Schoeman and Meyer just does not instill me with any kind of confidence. When is RdP giving that prop of ours that played for the Kings a chance?

  • Comment 25, posted at 10.08.17 13:23:41 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 24) : sure but some motivation could be the bye after this one…big ask as it is physical teams…how do these situations get managed/resolved is there consultation with the players meaning are they actually asked if they are up to it on an individual basis? What sort of conditioning should be done to accommodate such schedules?

  • Comment 26, posted at 10.08.17 13:41:37 by DuToit04 Reply

  • @KingRiaan (Comment 25) : He started the last 2 games

  • Comment 27, posted at 10.08.17 13:57:45 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 27) : he mean Mzamo Majola, not Ross Geldenhuys

  • Comment 28, posted at 10.08.17 14:01:55 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 28) : That’s correct

  • Comment 29, posted at 10.08.17 14:06:55 by KingRiaan Reply

  • Hmmmmm no credit to Cam Wright for his try? Not even in the list of tries scored

  • Comment 30, posted at 10.08.17 14:51:47 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Spirit of Rugby (Comment 2) : The Sharks have shared short highlights on their Facebook page. Highlight for me was the great running and handling by the backs. A lot more straight running.

  • Comment 31, posted at 10.08.17 15:03:15 by T-Shark Reply

  • @T-Shark (Comment 31) : Thanks!

  • Comment 32, posted at 10.08.17 15:08:00 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 12) : personally I think it was a bit strange that Ben10 did not take the conversion of April’s try as you could see April was exhausted after that run.

  • Comment 33, posted at 10.08.17 16:03:20 by JD Reply
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  • @DuToit04 (Comment 23) : @SheldonK (Comment 24) : I’m also for continuity but would start with Schoeman, Akker and Meyer, Wright at 9, [email protected] , Louw 12 and Am 13.

  • Comment 34, posted at 10.08.17 16:18:34 by JD Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 30) : Age is catching up with me…….I am mixing up games. 🙄 😯 👿

  • Comment 35, posted at 10.08.17 16:23:37 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 35) : hopefully you’re thinking about the upcoming Lions game!!!

  • Comment 36, posted at 10.08.17 16:53:00 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 36) : eish….I just don’t know anymore. 😉

  • Comment 37, posted at 10.08.17 16:58:04 by Dancing Bear Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 36) : I suppose it happens when you play matches on Friday, Wednesday, and Saturday, they all seem to run together in an aging muddled brain!

  • Comment 38, posted at 10.08.17 16:58:47 by Dancing Bear Reply
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