Durban - A brace of tries by Springbok wing Lwazi Mvovo helped the Sharks
charge to the top of the Currie Cup table with a convincing 50-26
bonus-point victory over the Free State Cheetahs at Kings Park in Durban
The hosts crossed the whitewash seven times in
total with SP Marais, Mvovo and Heimar Williams all going over during
the first half.
Tim Whitehead, Mvovo, Keegan Daniel and Cobus
Reinach added further tries after the break allowing the KwaZulu-Natal
side to oust Western Province at the summit of the log by virtue of a
superior points difference.
They started out with a bang by crossing for the opening try inside the opening 160 seconds.
the visitors were on the defensive from an off-side call against
Lappies Labuschagne, Fred Zeilinga looped over a pass to the left where a
free Marais ran over.
Riaan Smit landed the first points for the Free Staters just after the 10-minute mark when Charl McLeod came in from the side.
hosts secured their second try in the 14th minute after errors by
Johann Sadie and Elgar Watts -- the former’s kick charged down by Peet
Marais and the latter allowing the straightforward rebound to roll
through his legs.
Mvovo was the beneficiary after the subsequent
scrum, collecting a pass from Zeilinga on the left, beating three
tacklers and diving over.
Flyhalf Zeilinga again missed the
conversion, but then knocked over his first points when a penalty was
awarded against Davon Raubenheimer for not releasing.
Smit penalty followed, before the Sharks crossed for a third try after
24 minutes when Zeilinga slipped a pass outside to Williams to run in,
once again on the left.
The confident Sharks number 10 added two
more kicks, the conversion and a penalty for side entry by Lodewyk de
Jager as the coastal outfit led comfortably 23-6 until the 31st minute
when Raymond Rhule sped away down the left to score thanks to some quick
hands in the Cheetahs midfield.
Zeilinga and Smit then exchanged further penalties before the break, when the Durbanites led by 10.
That was cut to seven straight after when Smit sent over another goal-kick when McLeod was offside.
defending allowed Whitehead to land the bonus-point try after 45
minutes with the midfielder outpacing the forwards and darting in on the
The next score came almost 15 minutes later for the hosts as Mvovo ran onto a raking Kyle Cooper pass to score on the right.
added a sixth try with 12 minutes to play, the captain scoring after a
strong attacking line-out five metres out, while Reinach added another
following a strong Jaco van Tonder run.
AJ le Roux added a late
try for the Cheetahs, but it was little consolation for Naka Drotske’s
men as their home semi-final hopes took a blow.
50 (26): Tries: SP Marais, Lwazi Mvovo (2), Heimar Williams, Tim
Whitehead, Keegan Daniel, Cobus Reinach.
Conversions: Fred Zeilinga (3).
Penalties: Zeilinga (3).
Free State Cheetahs 26 (16): Tries: Raymond Rhule, AJ le Roux. Conversions: Riaan Smit (2). Penalties: Smit (4)