Cape Town - The Sharks ran out convincing 28-20 winners against a decidedly
weakened Western Province side in the final round of regular season
Currie Cup matches at Newlands on Saturday.
kick-off, the stage was set for a dead rubber because the result of the
earlier Golden Lions - Free State Cheetahs game meant that the Newlands
outcome would have no bearing on the eventual log positions by the time
the regular season ends later on Saturday evening.
needed little to strike up cohesion and their spirited start caught WP napping. They were good for two tries in the opening four
minutes when the WP defence was in disarray but the Durban visitors
had to settle for a lone unconverted touchdown by centre Sibusiso
WP regained their composure soon afterwards
and launched a few raids into the Sharks' half where they won ninth and
15th minute penalties.
Flyhalf Kurt Coleman goaled both and WP snatched a one-point lead (6-5), which lasted only two minutes
after Sharks flyhalf Lionel Cronje goaled a penalty (8-6).
through the first half, both teams seemed to throw the ball about with reckless
abandon, and often at the risk of intercepts. WP were enjoying the
major share of possession and they made it count as they ran the
Sharks' defence ragged.
The result was two converted tries in the
space of five minutes and this passage of play seemed to suggest that
this backstop WP side were every bit as enterprising as the 'first'
team. First centre Pat Howard rounded off splendidly after the WP backline showed delightful touches and then in the 25th minute Coleman
sliced through a gap for his side's second try (20-8).
WP continued to impress with a steady stream of attacking sorties, much to
the delight of the 27 000 crowd, but they were twice held up a whisker
from the tryline and had to return to the dressing room for the
half-time break without further advance.
Cronje was on target with a penalty on the stroke of half-time to reduce the lead to nine points (20-11).
the break, the Sharks were again first out of the blocks and managed to
pin WP down in their own half for about 10 minutes after the
The Sharks effort during this stage of the match was
worth far more than the six points from two Cronje penalties but
right wing Tonderai Chavhanga failed to gather a scoring
pass with the tryline at his mercy (20-17).
to shake the Sharks' hold on the match suffered a setback when their
flank Rynhardt Elstadt was yellow-carded for a side entry at a loose
scrum, and Cronje added insult to injury by goaling the resultant
penalty, which levelled scores at 20-all.
The Sharks' pressure
lasted just past the hour mark and they were helped along by several
penalties which WP conceded. One of these penalties was booted
into touch to set up a maul from the resultant lineout and reserve prop
Lourens Adriaanse peeled over for Sharks' second try, which went
By the 65th minute, WP had virtually cleared their substitutes bench but the fresh legs could not regain the initiative.
the entire second half was played in the Western Province half and the Sharks
would have been disappointed that they had not put the game beyond their
opponents by at least the hour mark.
Four minutes from the end Sharks substitute Fred Zeilinga goaled a penalty to round off the scoring in the match (28-20).
WP will host the Blue Bulls in the semi-finals next weekend, while the Sharks will be away to the Golden Lions in Johannesburg.WP:
Tries: Pat Howard, Kurt Coleman
Conversions: Coleman (2)
Penalties: Coleman (2)
Tries: S'bura Sithole, Lourens Adriaanse
Penalties: Lionel Cronje (5), Fred Zeilinga
15. Dillyn Leyds, 14. EW Viljoen, 13. Pat Howard, 12. Michael van der Spuy, 11. Devon Williams, 10. Kurt Coleman, 9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Rohan Kitshoff, 5. Gerbrandt Grobler, 4. Jurie van Vuuren, 3. Brok Harris (captain), 2. Neil Rautenbach, 1. Oli Kebble
Substitutes: 16. Stephan Coetzee , 17. Justin Ackerman, 18. Gavin Annandale, 19. Anton van Zyl, 20. Patrick O’Brien, 21. Godlen Masimla, 22. Chevandre van Schoor
15. SP Marais, 14. Tonderai Chavhanga, 13. S’bura Sithole, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Lionel Cronje, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Tera Mtembu (captain), 7. Etienne Oosthuizen, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Marco Wentzel, 4. Stephan Lewies, 3. Matt Stevens, 2. Monde Hadebe, 1. Thomas du Toit
Substitutes: 16. Franco Marais, 17. Dale Chadwick, 18. Lourens Adriaanse, 19. JC Astle, 20. Khaya Majola, 21. Conrad Hoffmann, 22. Fred Zeilinga