Sharks deliver a special win for their fans

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Lions, Original Content, Sharks on 13 Aug 2017 at 09:43
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

The Sharks fought back from a nightmare first half to deliver an emphatic 47-31 victory over the Lions at Ellis Park in last night’s Currie cup clash. For the second time in a week, an act of Lions indiscipline resulted in a red card that changed the complexion of the match.

Fans – including this one – can be forgiven for thinking that it was all going to go horribly wrong in this game. The Sharks, after all, had delivered scintillating bonus-point wins over Griquas and the Blue Bulls already over the previous seven days and despite boasting a better team on paper, they simply didn’t appear to be mentally or physically up for the game in the first half. Losing Thomas du Toit – their talisman in the tight five – early on to a leg injury was a big blow and while the Sharks huffed and puffed, making errors aplenty, it was the Lions who capitalised. Rohan Janse van Rensburg and Jacques Nel scored within minutes of each other in the opening quarter and when Anthony Volminck added a third – off a long-rage turnover – it appeared the Sharks were staring at a record hiding, conceding points at nearly one a minute. A fourth try to replacement scrumhalf Marco Janse van Vuuren on the half hour secured a bonus point for the Lions and with the Sharks yet to register any points (24-0) thing were looking bleak indeed.

Credit to Ruan Botha for calling for one more big effort before half time. A penalty on the whistle which could easily have been kicked dead, was used to set up a lineout, from which the Sharks ensured good continuity and finally breached the defence through Tera Mtembu, off a good Benhard Janse van Rensburg break . Trailing 24-5 at the break wasn’t a lot better, but at least it was something.

A score to Lions flanker Fabian Booysen came after the break at the game appeared all done with more than half an hour left and a 31-5 scoreline in favour of the home side. The Sharks, though, refused to lie down and surged back strongly, scoring again through irrepressible flanker Jacques Vermeulen. Referee Egon Seconds had no choice but to flourish red after Lions hooker Robbie Coetzee caught Vermeulen in the eye with his boot as the latter went over; a penalty on the centre spot after the try resulted in the Sharks again piling on the pressure in the Lions’ 22.

Against a creaking 7-man scrum, the Sharks ate away at the lead. First came a penalty try, and then a score to Louis Schreuder (on debut) as he scampered over after another retreating Lions scrum in front of their posts. Now trailing just 31-26, the Sharks’ task was made more difficult as the Lions found a way to move to uncontested scrums, thus nullifying a major Sharks advantage.

This team was not going to let go of a victory that was in their grasp, though and continued to apply the pressure, scoring the try that would give them the lead through the unlikely form of prop John-Hubert Meyer. Further scores to Vermeulen again and Keegan Daniel right at the end ensured a big margin of victory and propelled the Sharks to the top of the log.

Fans simply cannot ask for more than three bonus-point wins in eight days – and a maximum haul of 20 log points from the previous four fixtures. The Sharks now go into a deserved bye week but must surely feel that this trophy is their to lose in 2017.

Lions (31): Tries R Janse van Rensburg, Nel, Volminck, Janse van Vuuren, Booysen. Conversions van der Walt (3).
Sharks (47): Tries Mtembu, Vermeulen (2), Schreuder, Meyer, Daniel, Penalty Try. Conversions April (5).


  • At halftime I was ready to give up. What an extraordinary second half comeback. ????????????

    Some standouts for me, Jacques Vermeulen, Terrors best game for Sharks, KD (top 5 favourite players of all time). Despite a lot of criticism the baby face assassin Bernard is my pick for fly half, yip I prefer him to CB. Great defence good eye for the gap just needs to improve kicking out of hand. At last we have 2 no 9’s of quality, center’s look well stocked, Nkosi is going to be a legend.

    Yip it’s a great day to be a Shark????????????

  • Comment 1, posted at 13.08.17 09:54:14 by Bayshark Reply
  • @Bayshark (Comment 1) : And so say all of us

  • Comment 2, posted at 13.08.17 10:25:19 by jdolivier Reply
  • That bitch called Karma is haunting the Lions big time of late! But well done to the Sharks for making the most of the extra man on the field.

  • Comment 3, posted at 13.08.17 10:25:23 by boertjie101 Reply
  • Where is baylion? Strange no comments from him

  • Comment 4, posted at 13.08.17 10:25:51 by jdolivier Reply
  • What the injury status on The tank and Vermeulen?

  • Comment 5, posted at 13.08.17 10:30:30 by coolfusion Reply
  • @coolfusion (Comment 5) : Also how was Akker vd Merwe first outing for sharks?

  • Comment 6, posted at 13.08.17 10:34:27 by coolfusion Reply
  • It was actually a damn fine win by the Sharks considering the schedule, the altitude and the fact that they were playing against a more rested team. Having such a big second half in those circumstances had to be applauded.

  • Comment 7, posted at 13.08.17 10:44:25 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 7) : But we have been having slow first halves for a while now. What is up with that?

  • Comment 8, posted at 13.08.17 12:05:36 by coolfusion Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 7) : For sure, and even though some do not realize it the Sharks had scored 2 tries before Coetzee got sent off and I believe had started getting on top so who knows from there had Coetzee not been so stupid.

  • Comment 9, posted at 13.08.17 12:09:34 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Always expected the Sharks to beat an understrength Lions team. But almost went tits up.

    Fortunately Robbie Coetzee stepped up in the Sharks’ hour of need.

    Certainly one would expect any side worth their salt to beat a 14 man team. Hardly the stuff of legends.

    Still, job well done by the Sharks. Can only play what’s in front of you.

  • Comment 10, posted at 13.08.17 13:07:16 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 10) : Are the Lions understrength? Is this not their Currie Cup,squad as it stands with guys away in Japan and leaving for greener pastures? Or are there other guys they can still call on?

  • Comment 11, posted at 13.08.17 14:08:02 by pastorshark Reply
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  • I still have a concern about how porous our midfield defence was…we can’t always come back like this…
    But there was just soooo much to appreciate about that last half an hour…

  • Comment 12, posted at 13.08.17 14:09:32 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @McLovin (Comment 10) : according to rugby365 the lions were expected to win by 7

  • Comment 13, posted at 13.08.17 14:18:20 by byron Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 10) : Can clearly recall a 14man sharks team beating the crusaders in Christchurch. Any given day, anything can happen

  • Comment 14, posted at 13.08.17 14:20:35 by jdolivier Reply

  • @pastorshark (Comment 12) : new flyhalf, new inside center, am moved back to outside center. Ill forgive them this game for being disorganised

  • Comment 15, posted at 13.08.17 14:20:37 by byron Reply

  • @byron (Comment 15) : Sure, but when considering the make-up of our backline, Am and Ward in the centres still has to be first prize…

  • Comment 16, posted at 13.08.17 14:26:04 by pastorshark Reply
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  • It took a kick to the head to ignite the sharks

  • Comment 17, posted at 13.08.17 15:26:00 by Dunx Reply

  • @pastorshark (Comment 16) @pastorshark (Comment 16) : we have a lot of talent in the backs at the moment. What we need is some continuity.

  • Comment 18, posted at 13.08.17 15:29:09 by byron Reply

  • 3 games in 8 days in ridiculous. I’ll gladly take 15 points in the circumstances.

    And it’s about time one of the decisions went against the Lions anyway. 😉

  • Comment 19, posted at 13.08.17 15:48:46 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @byron (Comment 13) : What do they know? 😈

    I predicted a bonus point win. I’m a believer. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 20, posted at 13.08.17 15:51:30 by McLovin Reply

  • @jdolivier (Comment 14) : Now that’s the stuff of legends. One to tell the grandkids about. 🙂

  • Comment 21, posted at 13.08.17 15:53:07 by McLovin Reply

  • Vermeulen has been very impressive, big fan. Man we have to great options in the back row!

    Huge credit to the lads for this one, going far down early on but showing great spirit and not putting their heads down, 10/10.

  • Comment 22, posted at 13.08.17 17:03:37 by Here be dragons Reply

    Here be dragons
  • @McLovin (Comment 21) : If rugby is stil played in that era

  • Comment 23, posted at 13.08.17 17:13:39 by jdolivier Reply

  • Personally thought that the turning point in the game was at the end of the first half when Ruan decided to take the penalty and go for the corner flag which produced a try – this decision showed confidence in the team which is a huge catalyst in motivation and shows inspirational leadership. Rob’s ability to ‘chat’ at half time and have the guys take the game to the next level in the second half, plus his timing on instituting replacements, cannot be underestimated. The full pack had played around 100 minutes each in 3 days at altitude, so even if the first half wasn’t pretty, and was thwart with mistakes, for these guys to show the resilience to bounce back was amazing – I am exceptionally proud of the character shown by our guys! Brilliant Sharks!

  • Comment 24, posted at 13.08.17 19:08:13 by Julesgr8ter Reply
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  • Sheesh, what was Robbie Coetzee thinking? Or was he even thinking…

  • Comment 25, posted at 13.08.17 19:34:10 by The Great Couch Shark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • @Dunx (Comment 17) : :mrgreen: I see what you did there :mrgreen:

  • Comment 26, posted at 13.08.17 19:50:17 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @The Great Couch Shark (Comment 25) : Jealousy, maybe he wanted the sharks contract

  • Comment 27, posted at 13.08.17 21:31:11 by jdolivier Reply

  • My thoughts on this game are more tempered. Not wanting to be pessimistic. If you break the game down without emotion there are more positives and negatives.

    overall in relation to the log four wins on the bounce all with 4 try (or more) bonus points is great.

    However its been a crazy two weeks, losing guys to the boks, injuries, playing three games in 8 days etc

    Now the squad and rest and reassess, and look closely at issues that need addressing

    Even though we are not playing next week I look forward to the wp vs lions game next week, especially since we play wp at newlands in our next match on the 26th and we lost to them there in the cc last year.

    Having cam and LS around to fight for the 9 jersey is awesome

    I cant wait for ryno smith to be back with his signature bursts of speed and tactical kicking.

    It really sucks that Hyron got injured in the second game as he and botha seem to be full of running in that game, making for a mobile pair of locks. hope to see him back soon as well.

    April and ben may have struggle in the first half, but the whole team seemed lost, once we got our confidence back they both looked dangerous.

    I know odwa is in the squad for experience, but at this point his as effective as the frog was in SR, bring sithole back into the mix.

    Great technique from JHM for the try by the way

    Ross again looked much better at tight head than he did in his first game for us, which makes sense as he just got to durban for the first game and maybe didnt have the biggest guys supporting him in that game

    all in all we have 7 games left, lets see what we can do

  • Comment 28, posted at 13.08.17 23:07:37 by revolverocelot Reply

  • This was an amazing weekend for Rugby. Besides the three (3) good winnings in CC, I also enjoyed some woman World cup rugby. Some of these ladies are not very “good” on the eyes, but they also play good Rugby. I would strongly encourage those who loves Rugby, to watch some of these matches – they really good. The French just ran amok with Austria – what a good game.

  • Comment 29, posted at 13.08.17 23:38:51 by BluffShark Reply

  • Yep, it was a special win, thank you Sharks.

  • Comment 30, posted at 14.08.17 08:56:17 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • Any idea how it was that the Lions seemed to be the team that ran out of steam in the second half while we got stronger as the game went on. That was weird considering that this was our 3rd game in 7 days and it was played at altitude.

  • Comment 31, posted at 14.08.17 08:58:59 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • I missed 30 minutes of the first half and almost decided not to watch, but I’m so glad I did. Great to see the Sharks show the ruthless streak I have been calling for for ages. Now we need to do this against the minnows as well, not show up expecting to win.

  • Comment 32, posted at 14.08.17 09:04:44 by StevieS Reply
  • And on the red card, there were actually 3 cardable offences on Vermeulen in the run up to and after the try. On his run to the line he is tackled around the head and neck (1st offence) and after he scores he gets kicked in the face by Robbie Coetzee (2nd offence) and still after this incident one of the Lins players lying on the ground to Vermweulens left kicks backwards making contact with Vermeulens backside (offence 3). I hope a citing commissioner has a proper look at that clip as it seems as if one of the incidents could go totally unpunished when the second kick could just as easily have made contact with somones face and in this case it was the studs that were leading the motion to the point of contact.

  • Comment 33, posted at 14.08.17 09:07:08 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • Akker seemed to enjoy the victory over his old team big time.

  • Comment 34, posted at 14.08.17 09:07:58 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 34) : It does say something doesn’t it…

  • Comment 35, posted at 14.08.17 10:12:10 by DuToit04 Reply

  • Oh my goodness the hype on sport24 about the try scored by wp flyhalf is ridiculous… Maybe the guy is talented but surely not try of the season…there was an obstructive runner 1st off all and against that bulls defence anybody will look good seriously those guys are so biased towards wp and stormers its almost unreal oh my shit

  • Comment 36, posted at 14.08.17 10:14:54 by DuToit04 Reply

  • How Special was that from our beloved Sharks! Soooo Proud of the boys they really wanted it and stepped up! Well done guys!

  • Comment 37, posted at 14.08.17 10:16:44 by DuToit04 Reply

  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 33) : I also thought that Hacjivah Dayimani should have been yellow carded for playing the ball offside when the penalty try was awarded

  • Comment 38, posted at 14.08.17 10:33:51 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • At one stage i thought the Sharks were going to catch 50 in this game. They looked tired and clueless in the first 50min and looked a completely different side in the second half. Hope we havnt got too many serious injuries after this crazy schedule. For me a big move forward would be for the sharks to make the semi finals this year playing consistently well and improve their handling. Anything after the semi is a bonus for morale going into super rugby.

  • Comment 39, posted at 14.08.17 10:42:42 by SheldonK Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 38) : There was also a late dive onto Vermeulen when he scored his 2nd try under the sticks.

  • Comment 40, posted at 14.08.17 10:56:28 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 39) : our goal from here must be to win Currie Cup

  • Comment 41, posted at 14.08.17 11:06:23 by robdylan Reply
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  • @StevieS (Comment 32) : Now if only we can learn to play a decent first half as well.

  • Comment 42, posted at 14.08.17 11:34:54 by coolfusion Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 41) : We havnt made the semi finals in alst couple years. So baby steps for me. Yes we in a good position but i still want to see improved in aspects of our play, the results secondary. I see they wanting to change CC to a single round and playoffs from next year.

  • Comment 43, posted at 14.08.17 11:37:47 by SheldonK Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 42) : for sure!!! Lions had the same problem with the last 3 odd Super rugby games and used altitude to win games in the second half but Crusaders made them pay big time in the final. Sharks needs to learn from that!

  • Comment 44, posted at 14.08.17 11:58:54 by JD Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 39) : @robdylan (Comment 41) : @coolfusion (Comment 42) : for sure with Rob here Sharks goal must be to win Currie cup.

  • Comment 45, posted at 14.08.17 12:26:02 by JD Reply
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  • My internet is absolute garbage these days so I can’t stream DSTV anymore. Followed the scoreline on my phone up until the 44th minute when it ran out of juice. Charged it and switched it on again an hour or two later. Was mightily surprised. Well done Sharks, that must have been amazing to watch live.

  • Comment 46, posted at 14.08.17 12:36:18 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 46) : it actually was amazing…. never seen this era of Sharks go about dismantling a weak opponent before

  • Comment 47, posted at 14.08.17 12:48:26 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 47) : When you 24/5 down can hardly call that weak opposition.
    Best game since we beat Crusaders in Christchurch with 13 men.

  • Comment 48, posted at 14.08.17 13:04:39 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 48) : I mean once Coetzee went off.

  • Comment 49, posted at 14.08.17 13:30:45 by robdylan Reply
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  • I never picked that up, will check in the highlight package.

  • Comment 50, posted at 14.08.17 13:35:36 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • Halftime I was also fearing the worst.. Even though we had a 1 man advantage we still had to go and outscore the Lions. Well done manne!!

  • Comment 51, posted at 14.08.17 13:37:46 by RedSharkUtd82 Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 49) : Got it,weakened,

  • Comment 52, posted at 14.08.17 13:39:12 by The hound Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 47) : @robdylan (Comment 49) : Its a funny one, did the sending off of Coetzee suddenly make them weak and poor opposition, weakened yes but they seemed to just fall to pieces…..and run out of puff. I dont understand that. Mind you the Sharks came back from the kick off in a ruthless mood and just did not give them room to breathe.

  • Comment 53, posted at 14.08.17 13:39:31 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 52) : fair enough. That’s a better adjective.

  • Comment 54, posted at 14.08.17 13:56:54 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 53) : either way, the Sharks just did not give an inch. That part was great to watch.

  • Comment 55, posted at 14.08.17 13:57:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • I see Robbie Coetzee has been cleared to play this weekend.

    “Coetzee received a red card in the 51st minute against the Sharks after his boot made contact with an opposition player’s face, but his actions were deemed as “entirely accidental” with no intention of kicking his opponent”

    Can of worms being opened here….

  • Comment 56, posted at 15.08.17 09:41:43 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 56) : Also think it is ridiculous. I thought they were emphasising that intent has no effect on being found guilty or not. Kick to the head should be serious. He was trying to kick the ball out, which he is not allowed to do anyway (if I remember the rules correctly). Wonder who were the brilliant group of people that cleared him.

  • Comment 57, posted at 15.08.17 09:53:44 by HeinF Reply

  • @HeinF (Comment 57) : Yes, all the above and it was noticeable that a fair amount of time (in the context of the pay) had passed before Coetzees action. His actions were reckless, negligent and very dangerous.. This decission is sending the wrong message to many players – say sorry but that was not the intention.

  • Comment 58, posted at 15.08.17 11:16:36 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • Unfortunately, I do think rules are being applied as and when and who its fits. It might also be applied as in most court cases on who has the best representation. In this country (and not to talk politics) there seems to be overwhelming evidence of certain irregularities of our president, but to no avail as no action has been taken against him.

    On a different note, I heard from one of the presenters from Kyknet’s Superrugby program that according to the laws the Lions team was supposed to proceed with 13 players when they decided to “release” one of the props from the match. Law 3.6 (d) Uncontested scrums states that “In a squad of 23 players, or at the discretion of the Union/match organiser, a player whose departure has caused the referee to order uncontested scrums cannot be replaced”

  • Comment 59, posted at 15.08.17 22:55:55 by BluffShark Reply


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