Sharks outclass Lions to secure first place

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks on 30 Sep 2017 at 11:55
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The Sharks made better use of the rainy conditions at Kings Park last night to comprehensively defeat the visiting Golden Lions 24-10, a late, long range try to the visitors providing some rather undeserved scoreline flattery.

It was clear from the outset that the stronger Sharks pack, marshaled superbly by a tactically superior halfback combination, had the Lions’ number, but it was in midfield that the most telling nails were hammered in the Gauteng team’s coffin; Marius Louw and Tristan Blewett combined superbly from the outset to deliver a rock-solid defensive wall to which their much-vaunted Lions counterparts had no answer.

With rain falling steadily throughout the contest (one which even had to be suspended for 10 minutes due to lightning and the associated safety concerns) it was clear that both teams would favour the arial route and hope to feed off opposition mistakes. Accuracy with the boot thus becomes key and the Lions unfortunately just weren’t able to make enough of their kicks contestable enough to force the Sharks into errors – in fact, the only score of the first half came from just such a kick that found Michael Classens in acres of space and under no pressure. He returned the favour and with the Sharks forwards swarming onto the Lions deep in their 22, it wasn’t long before big Thomas du Toit had rumbled over for the opening try. Two penalties to Curwin Bosch (in atrocious kicking conditions) saw the Sharks open up a handy 11-0 lead in the first quarter and there was no change to this scoreline at half time.

The Sharks continued to dominate in the second half, preventing the Lions from making any ground with ball in hand whilst also dealing quite comfortably with a serious of aimless chips and up-and-unders form the Lions halfbacks. Garth April in particular caused much havoc running those kicks back at the Lions, although opportunities to finish in the conditions were hard to come by. Jaco van der Walt finally got his team on the board via a penalty about 10 minutes into the half, before Bosch cancelled that out immediately afterwards. The Sharks then cemented the win with a second try, Odwa Ndungane stepping past two defenders for a brilliant score after snaffling an intercept pass in the Lions’ 22… such was the visitors’ desperation at that stage that they’d resorted to trying to run from their own line.

Bosch added a trademark drop goal as the game wore down to make the result safe at 24-3, only for a bit of hasty play in the Lions 22 late in the game to backfire; an untidy pass from Cam Wright to Inny Radebe spilled outrageously forward out of the flyahlf’s hands, with Lions replacement Anthony Volminck making good use of his pace to sprint 80 meters for the score. It was scant consolation for a Lions team that had no answers on the nights and quite deservedly left Kings park with no log points.

The Sharks are in a different position. Their current points tally of 47 (including a 10-game unbeaten run) means they cannot be unseated from first place on the Currie Cup table – a position they’ve not held since 2012. The team will now enjoy a bye before a meaningless encounter against Western Province, ahead of a run of home knock-out games to come.

Well done to coach Rob and the team for yet another fantastic result.

Sharks (24): Tries du Toit, Ndungane. Conversion Bosch. Penalties Bosch (3). Drop-goal Bosch
Lions (10): Try Volminck. Conversion van der Walt. Penalty van der Walt.


  • So proud of our team! Man the hard work is paying off now…just 3 more victories…go boys!!!

  • Comment 1, posted at 30.09.17 12:03:29 by DuToit04 Reply
  • Just a quick question which of these players were in the opening game against cheetahs.

  • Comment 2, posted at 30.09.17 18:43:00 by coolfusion Reply
  • Louw has really stepped up and is becoming a real Super rugby option at 12! Tristan has also surprised me as he’s been good in all the games! And the forwards wow they’re showing some real mongrel!!!!
    Hope the players and coaching staff enjoy a well deserved break before the WP and play off games!!!

  • Comment 3, posted at 30.09.17 22:03:52 by JD Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 2) : players that started was Odwa, Louw, Keegan (at 8), Vermeulen and Ross Geldenhuys. On the bench was Tyler Paul, Wright and Inny.

  • Comment 4, posted at 30.09.17 22:13:53 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 4) : Big difference hey?

  • Comment 5, posted at 30.09.17 22:43:37 by coolfusion Reply

  • Couldn’t watch any rugby – on holiday somewhere without TV or reception. Very chuffed to hear the result and that the centres played well. Excitement! Well done, men!!
    P.S. Now sitting at Clarens Brewery tasting craft beer…

  • Comment 6, posted at 01.10.17 12:32:49 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 6) : oh lekker!!! Just love Clarens and the Eastern Free State very beautiful there!!! Enjoy it!

  • Comment 7, posted at 01.10.17 16:28:40 by JD Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 5) : biggest difference is the aggression and mongrel shown by the team!!! Also “fringe” players stepping up and performing putting real pressure on the established players and coach!!!

  • Comment 8, posted at 01.10.17 16:33:57 by JD Reply
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  • Morning guys… I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but from what I saw on Saturday night, the Lions made us look better than we actually were. It didn’t feel like we really dominated any specific areas of the game as we should have. Also, watching the game with a Lions supporter made me see even better how crap they really were. Kicking up and unders when they had the overlap, etc. Don’t get me wrong, the Sharks were good, but despite the weather, the scoreline should have been bigger given how crap the Lions were. Not clinical enough from our guys

  • Comment 9, posted at 02.10.17 07:30:56 by Karl Reply

  • Another good win in terrible conditions. First place secured so cannot complain about that- well done to RDP and the players. Whether they have the BMT and finals mentality to win it we will see but finishing top of the log is a great improvement on recent years to well done.

  • Comment 10, posted at 02.10.17 09:00:34 by SheldonK Reply

  • Wish I could have caught this one. Will look out for the rebroadcast this week.

  • Comment 11, posted at 02.10.17 10:46:09 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Karl (Comment 9) :
    I’m sorry, but that comment is just crazy. Conditions like that even up match ups and the bounce of the ball becomes a lottery. We won convincingly because we played the conditions better, handled the high ball very well and were generally more clinical. Nobody did us favours and to expect more is just silly.

  • Comment 12, posted at 02.10.17 11:37:23 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Karl (Comment 9) : No boet 1 week before we faced same conditions and looked worse. We made us look better by getting all those things right that went wrong in that previous game.

  • Comment 13, posted at 02.10.17 11:46:55 by coolfusion Reply

  • @JD (Comment 8) : I mean those individuals as well.

  • Comment 14, posted at 02.10.17 11:48:03 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 14) : yes for sure this is very close to a Super rugby team! Now bring back the bokke, Jap players and rumored new signings and things are looking good for next year!!!

  • Comment 15, posted at 02.10.17 12:51:00 by JD Reply
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  • @Big Fish (Comment 12) : We did handle the conditions better, but their constant kicking away of the ball from the outset was all on them. Hell, even their centres were kicking from the start. We were good, but they were absolutely shite

  • Comment 16, posted at 02.10.17 13:20:25 by Karl Reply

  • @Karl (Comment 16) : I suspect they reviewed footage from the Bulls’ game in a wet and humid Kings Park and decided something along the lines of “if it’s going to rain, let’s never hang onto the ball in our half”. It’s almost inevitable you’re going to spill it sooner rather than later and you probably don’t want to scrum the Sharks in your own half if you can avoid it. It’s not a bad strategy in those conditions but your exit game needs to be spot on.

  • Comment 17, posted at 02.10.17 13:57:40 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 17) : That much could be true… Although, i felt like the Lions outscrummed us a few times. Their disallowed try for example. They wheeled that scrum like crazy

  • Comment 18, posted at 02.10.17 16:13:16 by Karl Reply


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