Cape Town - The Sharks kept the pressure on the Cheetahs at the top of
the table after claiming an easy 53-0 win over the EP Kings in Durban on
The match was played in atrocious weather conditions with torrential
rain prominent throughout but despite that the home side dominated for
large periods and crossed for nine tries with their bonus-point try
secured by the half-hour mark.
The result means the Sharks are now in joint second place with the
Bulls in the standings although the men from Durban have a superior
The match also saw the return to action of Springbok flyhalf Patrick
Lambie, who got through the win unscathed after coming on at half-time.
Lambie showed no signs of the concussion sustained against Ireland in
June and contributed four points to the Sharks cause via a couple of
The Sharks controlled proceedings from the outset and scored their
opening try as early as the fourth minute when Andre Esterhuizen dived
over from close quarters.
With the hosts having the bulk of the possession for the next 10
minutes, they kept the ball mostly amongst the forwards and were duly
rewarded with tries by their captain Chiliboy Ralepelle and Jean-Luc du
Preez, from rolling mauls at lineouts inside the Kings' 22.
With the heavy downpour continuing as the half progressed, there were
numerous handling errors from both sides although the Sharks soon
celebrated when Inny Radebe went over in the left-hand corner after
Curwin Bosch set him up with a superb line break in the build-up.
The next 10 minutes was an attritional affair as the rain made it
difficult for the teams to play constructively and the Sharks went into
the sheds at half-time holding a 24-0 lead.
The second half was similar to the first with the Sharks continuing to dominate although the rain subsided during this period.
Michael Claassens, Francois Kleinhan and Etienne Oosthuizen soon
crossed for five-pointers from close range and when Wandile Mjekevu
crossed the whitewash on the hour-mark, it was only a matter of time
before the Sharks notched a half century of points.
The Kings didn't stop playing though and a combination of solid
defence from the visitors and some handling errors kept the Sharks at
bay but they were eventually rewarded when Khaya Majola crossed for
their ninth try just before full-time.
Tries: Esterhuizen, Ralepelle, Du Preez, Radebe, Claassens, Kleinhans, Oosthuizen, Mjekevu, Majola
Conversions: Bosch (2), Lambie (2)
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Rhyno Smith, 13
Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Wandile Mjekevu, 10 Inny Radebe, 9
Michael Claassens, 8 Francois Kleinhans, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Khaya
Majola, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 John-Hubert Meyer, 2
Chiliboy Ralepelle (captain), 1 Thomas du Toit
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Jean Droste, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Stefan Ungerer, 21 Patrick Lambie, 22 Neil Maritz
15 Lungelo Gosa, 14 Siviwe Soyizwapi,
13 Burton Klaasen, 12 Waylon Murray, 11 Sampie Mastriet, 10 Pieter-Steyn
de Wet, 9 Ricky Schroeder (captain), 8 Christiaan de Bruin, 7 Brandon Brown, 6
Vince Jobo, 5 Sebastian Ferreira, 4 Dylan Pieterse, 3 Justin Forwood, 2
Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Barend Portgieter
Replacements: 16 Warrick Venter, 17 Vukile Sofisa, 18
Etienne Oosthuizen, 19 Luke van der Smit, 20 Vian van der Watt, 21
Minenhle Mthethwa, 22 Alcino Isaacs