Sharks hammer hapless Rebels
Durban - The Sharks recorded their biggest Super Rugby victory on Saturday with a 64-7 humiliation of the Rebels at Kings Park.
The home side ran in a record 10 tries as the Rebels disintegrated in the second half to suffer their heaviest defeat in the competition.
The Sharks had managed just three tries in their previous four matches in Super Rugby this season but found the going easy against a hapless Rebels side who were out-muscled in the forwards and out-run in the backs.
VIDEO: Sharks v Rebels, highlights
Coach John Plumtree was livid with his team's insipid display in their 29-10 loss to the Brumbies last weekend and made seven changes for the visit of the Rebels. He got the response he had sought.
The home side led 24-0 at the break, with the blustery conditions making kicking difficult.
Two of the first half tries came from pure muscle though as loose-forwards Marcell Coetzee
and Jacques Botes both mauled the ball over the line.
Fullback Louis Ludik had opened the scoring as he went over in the corner as the Sharks stretched the Rebels defence, while the fourth try in the first half came when captain Keegan Daniel
just about managed to get the ball over the line from close quarters.
It was one-way traffic in the second half as the Sharks ran in six more tries.
Hooker Kyle Cooper spotted a gap in the Rebels defence and ran the ball home from 20 metres out before scrumhalf Cobus Reinach intercepted a wild Scott Higginbotham flick to sprint home from the halfway line.Tendai Mtawarira
scored his first Super Rugby try when he barged over the line and substitute loose forward Ryan Kankowski
dazzled the Rebels defence with his line of running to canter in unopposed.
Daniel set Ludik in for his second, before Riaan Viljoen
, who was on the pitch for Pat Lambie at flyhalf, added the 10th try.
The Rebels did get a consolation through Higginbotham, but it will have done little to lift the mood of coach Damien Hill. The Sharks' previous biggest Super Rugby victory was a 53-11 win over the Force last season. Scorers:Sharks:Tries:
Louis Ludik (2), Marcell Coetzee
, Jacques Botes, Keegan Daniel
, Kyle Cooper, Cobus Reinach, Tendai Mtawarira
, Ryan Kankowski
, Riaan Viljoen
Conversions: Patrick Lambie
(2), Meyer Mosman (5)Rebels:
Try: Scott Higginbotham
Conversion: James O'ConnorTeams:
15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen
, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Meyer Bosman
, 11 Lwazi Mvovo
, 10 Patrick Lambie
, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Keegan Daniel
(captain), 7 Marcell Coetzee
, 6 Jacques Botes, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Craig Burden 17 Jannie du Plessis 18 Jandre Marais 19 Ryan Kankowski
20 Charl McLeod 21 Frans Steyn
22 Riaan ViljoenRebels:
15 Angus Roberts, 14 Jason Woodward, 13 Mitch Inman, 12 Lachlan Mitchell, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Gareth Delve (captain), 7 Scott Fuglistaller, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Luke Jones, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Nic Henderson
Substitutes: 16 Shota Horie, 17 Paul Alo-Emile, 18 Cadeyrn Neville, 19 Jordy Reid, 20 Nic Stirzaker, 21 Rory Sidey, 22 Richard KingiHAVE YOUR SAY:
Does the Sharks demolition-job of the Rebels indicate that they mean business again after losing badly to the Brumbies the previous week? Or are the Rebels too weak a side to judge exactly where the Sharks are currently at? Send your thoughts to Sport24