Sharks hang on against impressive Bulls

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Bulls, Original Content, Sharks on 21 Oct 2017 at 16:17
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The Currie Cup Final will take place in Durban next weekend after the Sharks recorded a 37-27 win over the Blue Bulls in today’s semi-final.

The game could not have started better for the hosts, with Lukhanyo Am scoring a simple try in just the third minute. The nervous Bulls committed a silly handling error in their 22 and Curwin Bosch found Am in acres of space form the resulting Sharks scrum. Bosch nailed the conversion and then found Kobus van Wyk with a lovely pass not long after to see the winger score a second for the Sharks. With under 10 minutes on the clock and a 14-0 lead, the Sharks were sitting pretty.

The Bulls never lay down or gave up and got themselves back into contention via a Pierre Schoeman try, after Jean-Luc du Preez knocked on a regulation kick-off. Marnitz Boshoff added the extras and a penalty and suddenly the Bulls were right back in it at 14-10. To the Sharks’ credit, they stuck to their guns and profited again, when Bulls’ flanker Tim Agaba was sin-binned for a professional foul. A try to Louis Schreuder followed, as the Bulls again played silly buggers in their own 22. Ruan Botha – a deserved man of the match – scored the Sharks’ fourth just before the break, charging down a telegraphed Ivan van Zyl clearance , regathering and loping through to score under the posts. At 28-13 up, the Sharks will have felt it was theirs to lose going into the second half.

Van Zyl made good for his blunder early in the second period, scoring a cracking try after Jean-Luc had again botched a kick-off. Bosch kept the Sharks slightly ahead via a penalty (31-20) but when captain Burger Odendaal scored a third for the Bulls, it was suddenly a very close contest. To the Sharks’ credit, though, they played the big points better and Bosch closed out the game via another penalty and a cheeky drop to see his side end 10 points to the good.

Sharks (37): Tries Am, van Wyk, Schreuder, Botha. Conversions Bosch (4). Penalties Bosch (2). Drop-goal Bosch.
Bulls (27): Tries Schoeman, I van Zyl, Odendaal. Conversions Boshoff (3). Penlaties Boshoff (2).


  • Now give us the good news that it’s all hands on deck next week….

  • Comment 1, posted at 21.10.17 16:22:41 by coolfusion Reply
  • @coolfusion (Comment 1) : worried about Nkosi, of course

  • Comment 2, posted at 21.10.17 16:28:06 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 2) : did not look good…hope he is okay, poor guy will be gutted to miss the final,not to mention EOYT

  • Comment 3, posted at 21.10.17 16:29:05 by HeinF Reply

  • Immelman bugged the heck out of me, pinging the Sharks consistently but giving the Bulls a mulligan for infractions. April had poor game, Nkosi not his usual self.

  • Comment 4, posted at 21.10.17 16:30:56 by SeanJeff Reply
  • great showing from replacement front row

    well done aker with all those runs and completing all his lineout throws

  • Comment 5, posted at 21.10.17 16:32:13 by revolverocelot Reply

  • @SeanJeff (Comment 4) : we have had worse this season, but Immelmann was hoping for a bulls win

  • Comment 6, posted at 21.10.17 16:46:38 by jdolivier Reply

  • Can we please get a different fullback for the final. Someone like Smith or Ben 10.

  • Comment 7, posted at 21.10.17 16:54:22 by sudhir Reply

  • @sudhir (Comment 7) : Maybe bring Ben10 back at 10 and Bosch at 15, Ben 10 is good defensively and he steals a lot of ball, Bosch can still do the kicking.

  • Comment 8, posted at 21.10.17 17:16:35 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Nkosi dislocated elbow.

  • Comment 9, posted at 21.10.17 17:20:07 by robdylan Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 8) : you guys are drunk.

    In a Currie Cup final?

    Come on – pass it around

  • Comment 10, posted at 21.10.17 17:20:28 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 11, posted at 21.10.17 17:27:21 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : ouch…how long is he out for?

  • Comment 12, posted at 21.10.17 17:35:14 by HeinF Reply

  • Swys de Bruin not afraid to sub his entire front row after 30 min

  • Comment 13, posted at 21.10.17 17:46:12 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : Ja. Replacement with a player who hasn’t played in how many games? Bar injury I doubt any coach would take that gamble.

  • Comment 14, posted at 21.10.17 17:55:54 by coolfusion Reply

  • @sharks_lover (Comment 8) : Big gamble that.

  • Comment 15, posted at 21.10.17 17:56:32 by coolfusion Reply

  • Is Rhyno Smith injured?

  • Comment 16, posted at 21.10.17 17:57:45 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 15) : Surely not a bigger gamble than having April there the way he’s going.

  • Comment 17, posted at 21.10.17 17:59:39 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 15) : I know but you cannot have another game from April like that, no defense at the back is huge risk, If Smith is better i would feel better with him playing.

    I also think with Nkosi out maybe Robert should Risk am on the wing and revert back to Louw and Blewett combo at 12 and 13. As much as i have always rated Odwa i fear his lack of pace too could hurt us.

  • Comment 18, posted at 21.10.17 18:01:15 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Bummed for Nkosi, dislocated elbow surely means time-out on the side. But with any player, injuries are part of the game, and you learn more about yourself when you have to make a comeback! He has done tremendously well this season for us, gutted for him.

    I would take a 1 point win in a Semi-Final, so super chuffed with the result, and really like what Mitch is doing with the Bulls, we need a strong Bulls and Province, with an already strong Lions squad for Super Rugby.

    Some momentary lapses, some iffy moments, but that is knockout rugby, and we WON!

  • Comment 19, posted at 21.10.17 18:20:50 by Richard Reply

  • Hope we’re better against Province next week.

  • Comment 20, posted at 21.10.17 18:50:02 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • Balls to the wall next week. No sleepy Sunday game. Guess Odwa will get his CC final after all.

  • Comment 21, posted at 21.10.17 19:10:28 by coolfusion Reply

  • @Spirit of Rugby (Comment 17) : Rusty player vs 50 50 player. I think odds are on April side. Will be interesting to see what the decision on wing will be. WP have some pretty quick wings.

  • Comment 22, posted at 21.10.17 19:12:40 by coolfusion Reply

  • My bet would be to drill April extra hard this week.

  • Comment 23, posted at 21.10.17 19:14:13 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 23) : Probably the right thing to do, but eish if he is as bad is today we in trouble, cannot afford passengers.

  • Comment 24, posted at 21.10.17 19:39:18 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 22) : Rusty and chomping at the bit vs rusty and lackadaisical. No contest for me.

  • Comment 25, posted at 21.10.17 19:41:59 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @coolfusion (Comment 23) : I don’t think discipline and commitment is part of April’s love language.

  • Comment 26, posted at 21.10.17 19:44:18 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • @Spirit of Rugby (Comment 26) : Well it’s a tough call and may cost a seasons worth of work. Glad it isn’t mine.

  • Comment 27, posted at 21.10.17 20:30:00 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 27) : Haha yes likewise 😀

  • Comment 28, posted at 21.10.17 22:55:35 by Spirit of Rugby Reply
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  • what i liked was we never got flustered no matter how much the bulls tried to ruff us up. we were comfortable the whole time. Yeah we had lapses but we kept them at arms length. nice result with RdP growing this team so nicely. Imagine Jnr at flyhalf and bosch at fb??

  • Comment 29, posted at 22.10.17 07:41:03 by Dunx Reply

  • I know Robert du Preez will not take risks in the final and no doubt this will be the Sharks team and for me this will be the Sharks big weakness.
    I also know Rob Sharksworld (lol) would think me drunk but if we keep the same backline minus Nkosi we will be in serious trouble, WP have huge pace in their backline and also very good defense

    15 April (too scared to tackle) (Bosch)
    14 Odwa ( I would play AM here )
    13 AM (Blewett)
    12 Louw
    11 Van Wyk
    10 Bosch (as good as he is he does not cover his channel with defense) (Ben10)
    09 Schreuder
    08 Dan
    07 JL Dup
    06 Keegan
    05 Botha
    04 Paul
    03 Ross
    02 Marais
    01 Du Toit (not 100% fit)

    16 Akker
    17 Schoeman
    18 Hubert-Meyer
    19 Drostdy
    20 Vermeulen
    21 Claassens
    22 Smith
    23 Tythan Adams

    Another option is maybe playing Odwa at 15 and Blewett or AM on the wing.

    Of course I do not have access as to who may be returning from injury like Ward or Deysel ut they have also been out injured for more than 2 months and would not be match fit.
    So in my view the injury to Nkosi is far bigger than most think.

    At 10 i would consider Ben10 as he is the best defending 10 at the Sharks right now, also steals balls like a fetcher, Bosch i would move to 15 and April can have the week off

    If the Sharks are to win they have to up their defense big time like they did 3 weeks ago against the Lions. If AM cannot be moved to wing then play Blewett there but Blewett does lack pace for a wing.

    15 Odwa/Bosch
    14 Am/Van Wyk
    13 Blewett
    12 Louw
    11 Van Wyk/AM
    10 Bosch/Ben10
    09 Schreuder

    At least that backline would be defensively more sound. I remember watching Ben 10 in his last match for the Sharks and he was defensively superb in the game, also stole 2 or 3 balls at the breakdowns, Odwa at 15 also would be a better option and an experienced one.

    So i know many will scoff at the idea but if we play the same backline as Saturday we will be in trouble.

  • Comment 30, posted at 22.10.17 10:54:39 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Lambie btw was superb for Racing last night

  • Comment 31, posted at 22.10.17 11:32:35 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • Sometimes I wonder if I am still suffering from all the chemicals I consumed in the sixties.
    Jokes aside you go watch a live game packed with excitement that gives up seven tries.action till the final whistled brutal encounter.
    Sharks were never ever behind,Bulls never gave up ,what else could you want, this is exactly why I started watching this game this team in the first place.
    Whole beautiful experience rounded off by the captains winning try.and then you read the doom and gloom on this site.
    Shit a few guys dropped a few balls, but guess what we won.
    Would rather have paid for and watched our semi final than the other one.
    This team delivered this year, for me anyways I get to watch the final

  • Comment 32, posted at 22.10.17 12:25:23 by The hound Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 31) : He was in their previous game too. They must be glad they made the deal.

  • Comment 33, posted at 22.10.17 12:55:52 by coolfusion Reply

  • Well yesterday’s game just vindicates my decision for Ruan as our player of the year.

  • Comment 34, posted at 22.10.17 12:56:56 by coolfusion Reply

  • @coolfusion (Comment 33) : @coolfusion (Comment 34) : Yup : Lambie would have been handy in our squad next year, even if we only played him at 15 and kept him away from the big hit tackles, Spilled milk as they say.

    As for player of the year? I was very stuck between Ruan and Thomas and both were very good yesterday, you may not know it but Thomas is playing through a bad ankle very heavily strapped and in the scrums you must realize he cannot or does not have the ability to put full force on his right ankle so khudos to him. Also has a right upper leg strain, man gives his all.

  • Comment 35, posted at 22.10.17 13:09:04 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 32) : @The hound (Comment 32) : Even though I agree Hound the fact is the WP have a better pack than the Bulls and a better backline, for us to beat WP we need to up our defense like it was vs the Lions 3 weeks ago or were in shit.

  • Comment 36, posted at 22.10.17 13:17:29 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @sharks_lover (Comment 35) : No argument about Thomas. For me he is almost always player of the year even when he wasn’t technically as good as he is now. His whole heart and mind has always been with this union. Same with Lambie. And I hope same with Ruan.

  • Comment 37, posted at 22.10.17 14:48:37 by coolfusion Reply

  • @The hound (Comment 32) : must say I’m glad the final is in Durbs and really hope the home crowd motivate the guys to a huge performance!!! Enjoy the final!!!

  • Comment 38, posted at 22.10.17 19:05:53 by JD Reply
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  • Comment 39, posted at 22.10.17 20:33:10 by sharks_lover Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 32) : As always the voice of reason. Imagine if Sharksworld had existed in the 80s. It would have needed a suicides anonymous number attached.

  • Comment 40, posted at 23.10.17 03:54:05 by MikeSebMatt Reply

  • It seems Nkosi will be out so definitely think Odwa will come in and probably Smith to come onto the bench.
    JL DuPreez prob had his worst game in a Sharks jersey so thankfully thats behind him before the final. Anyone else notice that the Bulls targeted him for the kick-offs. Overall very glad with the win. Still think we give away far too many soft and silly penalties, especially for offside. Gelant needs to go on overseas tour and i liked the look of their no.6 flank. Before the start of CC i would have welcomed a semi final spot nevermind a final…really hoping the guys have one last big push. On a side note its also KZN vs WP in the Gold Cup final with False Bay hosting Rovers in Cape Town.

  • Comment 41, posted at 23.10.17 09:27:28 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 41) : The Aussies targeted him as well in test in Bloem and he struggled a bit at the kickoffs

  • Comment 42, posted at 23.10.17 09:54:13 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 42) : It is interesting- perhaps they see a weakness in how he carries the ball?

  • Comment 43, posted at 23.10.17 10:13:13 by SheldonK Reply

  • @SheldonK (Comment 43) : If I recall he fumbled the first kickoff he attempted to take, and after that Foley seemed to try and target a few kickoffs in his direction.

  • Comment 44, posted at 23.10.17 10:24:39 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 44) : So kinda the same as Saturday then againt the Bulls, think there was one fumble, a dropped ball and one ripped in contact

  • Comment 45, posted at 23.10.17 10:31:03 by SheldonK Reply


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