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Commentary by Sport24's Herman Mostert
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Sharks pivot Frans Steyn on the charge... (Getty Images)
Metres run: Blues 522-278 Sharks
Carries: Blues 162-62 Sharks
Defenders beaten: Blues 15-12 Sharks
Clean breaks: Blues 4-4 Sharks
Tackles made: Blues 62-153 Sharks
Missed tackles: Blues 12-15 Sharks
Turnovers won: Blues 3-9 Sharks
Kicks in play: Blues 29-36 Sharks
Rucks won: Blues 120-46 Sharks
Rucks lost: Blues 8-1 Sharks
Mauls won: Blues 6-6 Sharks
Lineouts won: Blues 13-8 Sharks
Lineouts lost: Blues 2-2 Sharks
Scrums won: Blues 8-3 Sharks
Scrums lost: Blues 2-0 Sharks
Penalties conceded: Blues 9-13 Sharks
Thanks for tuning in! The Sharks picked up four points for their victory and extended their lead atop the South African conference and the overall standings.
The Blues leave North Harbour with a single point for losing by seven or fewer points, but stay bottom of the New Zealand conference and 10th in the overall log.
In next weekend's Round 16 action, the Sharks host the Stormers in Durban (Saturday, May 31 at 19:10), while the Blues welcome the Hurricanes to Eden Park (Saturday, May 31 at 09:35).
FULL-TIME: Blues 23-29 Sharks
The Sharks have now won 10 matches in a row in Super Rugby against the Blues!
80' - The Sharks win their lineout and hold on until full-time!
Blues pinged for holding on. Prattley the Pratt, again ... - Front Row Grunt
79 ' - Another Blues player penalised for taking a Sharks player out without the ball! The Sharks can boot it up field and play out the final minute...
78' - Blues throwing everything at the Sharks now. Can the Sharks hold on for the final two minutes...?
77' - Ryan Kankowski has replaced Tera Mtembu for the final three minutes.
76' - An intercept from Nonu almost leads to a Blues try, but some good scrambling defence by the Sharks keeps the hosts at bay...
Ma'a Nonu finding the going tough... (Getty Images)
Sharks scrum had murdered Blues all bight - even with 7 men - yet they still get pinged... - Craig Ray
72' - Charl McLeod has also replaced Cobus Reinach at scrumhalf for the Sharks.
72' - West kicks the PENALTY and it's GAME ON!
Blues 23-29 Sharks
71' - The Blues win a scrum penalty close to the touchline. West will line up to try and get his team back in touch...
70' - Frans Steyn is now back from the sin-bin and it's 15 against 15 for the final 10 minutes.
69' - SP Marais kicks the PENALTY from in front.
Blues 20-29 Sharks
69' - From the ensuing kick-off, Blues reserve prop Sam Prattley takes out a Sharks player without the ball and is penalised!
Good to see the referee is taking action against that, especially after what happened in Christchurch last week!
68' - Ihaia West CONVERTS from the touchline.
Blues 20-26 Sharks
68' - TRY AWARDED!
The TMO ruled the pass was 'fine' and not forward out of Nonu's hands.
It was a tough call that. Definitely a home town decision made!
67' - TMO CALL
Blues wing Tevita Li scores in the corner but the TMO must check a final pass which appeared to be forward from Ma'a Nonu.
65' - Wave after wave of attack by the Blues again halted by some resolute Sharks defence...
63' - SHARKS REPLACEMENTS
Daniel on for Botes, Chadwick on for Mtawarira and Adriaanse on for Jannie du Plessis.
62' - Terrific defence by the Sharks on their own line forces a turnover!
The Blues' lack of patience is costing them big time...
61' - YELLOW CARD
Another Sharks player is off. This time it's Frans Steyn.
I have to agree with the referee there though. The Blues were hot on the attack and again the Sharks cynically gave away a penalty. Each time the Blues hit the red zone, the Sharks seem to transgress...
59' - A desperate Blues are looking to hit right back. They get an attacking lineout five metres out...
That just adds to my surprise that Cobus Reinach is not in the Springbok squad. Surely he's the future? Mehrts shedding tears! - Dan Retief
56' - Reinach showed there is no substitute for pace! His dad was a former Springbok sprinter and also played on the wing for the Boks...
55' - CONVERSION by Steyn.
Blues 13-26 Sharks
54' - TRY!
Scrumhalf Cobus Reinach scores next to the posts for the Sharks!
It came completely against the run of play with the Blues on the attack inside Sharks territory. The ball squirted out of the ruck before a Sharks player booted it down-field for the pacy Reinach to follow up and score!
53' - 15 AGAINST 15
Jannie du Plessis has returned from the sin-bin for the Sharks.
52' - The Blues concede a penalty right on the Sharks tryline when they are caught holding on too long on the ground.
Joost van der Westhuizen visits former Sharks scrumhalf Ryan Walker and his family, along with current Sharks lock Anton Bresler (Twitter)
51' - The Blues have made a big call, replacing flyhalf Simon Hickey with Ihaia West.
50' - PENALTY slotted by Steyn.
Blues 13-19 Sharks
49' - They follow it up by winning a penalty. Steyn to line up, about 15m in from touch...
48' - Amazingly the Sharks - with 7 men - win a tighthead against a Blues scrum!
47' - A promising Sharks attack inside the Blues 22m area ends when substitute Lourens Adriaanse knocks it on... Poor skills by the prop!
43' - CONVERSION by Hickey.
Blues 13-16 Sharks
43' - TRY AWARDED!
The TMO rules nothing wrong. Correct decision made. Braid just ripped the ball out of a team-mate's grasp. No off-side there!
43' - TRY OR NO TRY?
Blues captain Luke Braid goes over under the posts but the referee wants to check with the TMO.
He thinks Braid was in an off-side position when he took the ball from a team-mate...
42' - Not surprisingly the Blues opt to scrum...
41' - YELLOW CARD
Sharks prop Jannie du Plessis is sin-binned. The Sharks conceded three penalties in succession there on their own line and the referee grew tired of it...
40' - The Blues get an early attacking chance inside the Sharks 22m area after Cobus Reinach's kick is charged down...
40'- Welcome back for the second half.
Hickey gets play started...
FIRST HALF STATS
Metres run: Blues 216-185 Sharks
Carries: Blues 61-46 Sharks
Defenders beaten: Blues 3-7 Sharks
Clean breaks: Blues 0-2 Sharks
Tackles made: Blues 48-57 Sharks
Missed tackles: Blues 7-3 Sharks
Turnovers won: Blues 1-3 Sharks
Kicks in play: Blues 17-18 Sharks
Rucks won: Blues 47-32 Sharks
Rucks lost: Blues 4-0 Sharks
Mauls won: Blues 3-4 Sharks
Lineouts won: Blues 7-5 Sharks
Lineouts lost: Blues 1-1 Sharks
Scrums won: Blues 2-2 Sharks
Scrums lost: Blues 1-0 Sharks
Penalties conceded: Blues 5-9 Sharks
Pita Ahki runs into Frans Steyn.... (Getty Images)
HALF-TIME: Blues 6-16 Sharks
40'- But a Sharks knock on brings an end to the first half...
39' - The Sharks get one last attacking chance inside Blues territory on the stroke of half time...
38' - Sharks defence seems to be smothering an impatient Blues here...
35' - Steyn misses hit first kick of the night, pulling it to the left...
34' - Another kickable penalty for the Sharks. Steyn to line up from 45m out, in the middle of the field.
33' - PENALTY slotted by Steyn.
Blues 6-16 Sharks
Blues shun 3 points and now back in their own half .. And about to go down by 3 points ... Dof rugby ... 13-6 - Front Row Grunt
32' - The Sharks - back in Blues territory - win their second penalty of the game and Steyn will line up from close to the touchline...
31' - Brilliant defence on their own line from the Sharks!
Lock Etienne Oosthuizen wins a penalty on the ground to give Steyn the chance to bring relief...
28' - The Sharks have alarmingly already conceded 9 penalties, compared to the 1 by the Blues.
29' - Blues back inside Sharks territory and win another penalty. They opt against kicking for posts and set up an attacking lineout five metres out.
27' - DROP GOAL!
After the Blues lose their own lineout, Frans Steyn responds by slotting a 37m drop goal from the ensuing passage of play!
Blues 6-13 Sharks
26' - Tera Mtembu has passed his concussion test and is back on.
25' - The Sharks are penalised at the ensuing scrum on the Blues line, which gives Hickey the chance to bring relief for the hosts...
24' - The TMO correctly rules no indiscretion from the Blues. It was just a knock on from Pietersen...
Good to see a TMO make a correct call for once....!
24' - TMO CALL
Sharks wing JP Pietersen nearly scores in the corner after following up on a grubber from Daniel but knocks it on.
However, the referee wants to see if he was taken out without the ball...
Oh dear. Mtembu just got Kainoed! - Sportbilly
22' - Sharks flank Tera Mtembu is off for a concussion test after a monster hit from Jerome Kaino. Keegan Daniel replaces him...
21' - A concerted period of attack brings the Blues back into Sharks territory... The hosts are throwing it around nicely, while the Sharks are more keen to keep it on the boot...
19' - But the Sharks are off the hook as Blues scumhalf Bryn Hall is pinged for throwing the ball skew into the scrum. Good to see the referee punishing it for once...
18' - Frans Steyn shockingly kicks the ensuing kick-off directly into touch.
He made too many errors like that against the Brumbies a few weeks ago. Lets hope that was the last one...
17' - PENALTY converted by Hickey.
Blues 3-3 Sharks
15' - The Sharks are penalised at the ensuing scrum. Hickey will line up again...
15' - An untidy lineout by the Blues on the Sharks 22m line, but they get an attacking scrum after a Sharks knock on...
13' - But the Sharks are off the hook as Hickey pulls his penalty attempt to the right...
12' - From the ensuing kick-off, the Blues win a penalty after the Sharks are penalised for "truck-and-trailer" while attempting a maul...
12' - Blues lock Tom Donnelly has gone off for a concussion test.
12' - CONVERSION by Steyn.
Blues 3-10 Sharks
11' - TRY!
Sharks skipper Bismarck du Plessis barges over after a concerted period of attack by the Sharks.
9' - The Blues try to run it out from their own 22m area, but lose possession to give the Sharks an attacking chance...
8' - PENALTY converted by Hickey.
Blues 3-3 Sharks
6' - The Blues hit right back and win a kickable penalty. Simon Hickey to line up, about 15m in from touch...
6' - That was also a century of points this season for Steyn!
5' - PENALTY converted by Frans Steyn from about 30m out and in front.
Blues 0-3 Sharks
4' - A brilliant counter from the Sharks sees them surge right up into Blues territory. The hosts go off-side which allows the first chance for points...
3' - An early Blues penalty allows them to bring play into the Sharks 22m area, but a dropped ball by Ma'a Nonu sees the Sharks counter-attack...
2' - Five kicks in play in the first two minutes.
1' - There's an early aerial battle on the go. The Blues have already failed to handle one high ball. Perhaps a ploy the Sharks could opt to utilise...
9:35 - Frans Steyn gets play started...
9:34 - The Blues are wearing special jerseys tonight.
CLICK HERE to read why...
9:33 - CONDITION
A little bit of rain around in North Harbour, which could make handling a bit tricky!
9:32 - Bismarck du Plessis leads out the Sharks - clad in an all-white strip.
9:32 - TWEET
Great to see so many #CellCSharks fans at North Harbour Stadium. - The Sharks
#halfwayline #goodseats Lets go - Nick Prince
Finally at the game!! Got good seats!!!!! I'm so exited - Miti Talake
9:14 - DID YOU KNOW?
The Sharks have won their last nine matches in a row against the Blues, with their last defeat coming way back in 2005!
LISTEN TO THE EXPERTS!
Rugby buffs, Sport24 Editor Garrin Lambley and Chief Writer Rob Houwing are expecting a "Titanic battle" between the Blues and Sharks in Auckland.
Can we make some noise for The Saaaaks!Will miss the game but hoping the boys can end the tour successfully - Breyton Paulse
Heading into the match in Albany the Sharks currently top both the SA Conference and the Overall standings, while the Blues find themselves bottom of the NZ Conference and 10th in the Overall log.
On paper it therefore appears to be an easy win for the Durban side!
Sharks fan doing what all SA rugby fans do best - braaing! (via email)
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Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Aki Aso (Japan)
TMO: Aaron Peterson (New Zealand)
2013: Sharks won 22-20, Durban
2012: Sharks won 29-23, Auckland
2011: Sharks won 26-12, Durban
2010: Sharks won 23-10, Durban
2009: Sharks won 35-31, Auckland
2008: Sharks won 22-17, Durban
15 Lolagi Visinia, 14 Frank Halai, 13 Pita Ahki, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Simon Hickey, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jerome Kaino, 7 Luke Braid (captain), 6 Peter Saili, 5 Tom Donnelly, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock
Substitutes: 16 James Parson, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Angus Ta'avao, 19 Hayden Triggs, 20 Steven Luatua, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Albert Nikoro.
15 SP Marais, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Sibusiso Sithole, 12 Paul Jordaan, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Francois Steyn, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Willem Alberts, 7 Lubabalo Mtembu, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Ryan Kankowski, 20 Keegan Daniel, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Heimar Williams
Welcome to Sport24's LIVE scoring and interactive commentary on today's Super Rugby match between the Blues v Sharks in North Harbour!