Durban - Sharks coach John Plumtree described
his side’s victory over the Blue Bullson Friday night as an “arm
wrestle” and was content to come out on top, albeit narrowly, in
miserable, wet conditions in Durban.
The coastal side moved
briefly to the summit of the Currie Cup log with a 13-12 win at Kings
Park, in a match marred by swirling rain and a controversial red card
for hooker Pieter Dixon.
They dropped back to second position on
Saturday after the Golden Lions regained their three-point lead at the
top of the standings.
“It was just really an arm wrestle, wasn’t it? A battle of inches,” Plumtree said.
“The Bulls pack were heavy and we had to try and contain them.
proud of the way the boys really dug it in because we were at times
getting manhandled a bit on the gain line and in the mauls, so it was a
tough night for them. They’re exhausted.
“Obviously territory was a big thing -- kicking, contestables and set-pieces -- so there was hardly any rugby played.”
home side, who trailed 9-5 at the break, outscored the Pretoria
visitors by two tries to none after Paul Jordaan and Keegan Daniel
crossed in each half.
But it was the debatable dismissal of Dixon
that emerged as perhaps the most talked about incident of the game
after the veteran hooker was red carded in the 70th minute for a kick to
the head of Bulls flank Arno Botha -- a call made by the television
“I could understand a penalty because he was reckless. It was stupid," Plumtree said.
“But it was certainty not intended and he’s certainly not that type of guy. It’s probably the first red card in his life.
“Hopefully he would have paid the ultimate price with the sending off and not having to sit out anymore.
"So it was reckless, but whether it deserved a red card, I don’t think so.”
Bulls dropped to the bottom of the table, with only three wins from
eight games, after the Cheetahs secured a much needed victory over
Griquas on Saturday.
Bulls captain Dewald Potgieter felt his side
adopted the right game plan and had done everything they needed to do,
apart from getting the result.
“We played the game the right way, especially in these weather conditions," Potgieter said.
"We created some opportunities but lost the ball at crucial times.
“Congratulations to the Sharks for closing out the game.
“Tactically we did quite a good job, but hats off to the Sharks, they’re a quality team.”