LIVE

    Sharks stunned by Highlanders

    2014-04-25 21:17
    Durban - A solid first-half display from the Highlanders against an injury-disrupted Sharks proved to be key as the Super Rugby leaders were stunned 34-18 at Kings Park in Durban on Friday night.

    As it happened: Sharks v Highlanders

    Richard Buckman, Aaron Smith and Shane Christie all scored tries in the opening 40 minutes, before Malakai Fekitoa's superb solo score wrapped up the win.

    Tim Swiel kicked all the points for the hosts, who suffered a first home loss of the season in their final game before a tough tour to Australasia starting next week.

    The Sharks, who stayed top of the log despite the loss, were dealt a blow before kick-off when captain Bismarck du Plessis and Jean Deysel were ruled out through injury with Kyle Cooper and Ettienne Oosthuizen drafted in.

    The Highlanders began well by taking the lead inside three minutes when the home side were penalised at the scrum, allowing Lima Sopoaga to slot over.

    From the restart, Aaron Smith knocked on allowing the Sharks their first attack, and when the ball was spread to the left, Lwazi Mvovo thought he had scored the opening try, only for television official Shaun Veldsman to rule that Charl McLeod's pass was forward.

    However, advantage was being played for a breakdown infringement and Tim Swiel levelled the score in the seventh minute.

    The rookie number 10 missed his second kick at goal from wide on the right when Patrick Osborne erred, but made amends by putting his side in front after 14 minutes when Nasi Manu was caught making a side entry at the ruck.

    The Highlanders, though, grabbed the opening try after 16 minutes when Buckman did excellently to finish Shaun Treeby's superb grubber kick that pierced open the home defence on the right.

    Another penalty straight after the restart, this time for off-side against the New Zealanders, allowed Swiel to cut the gap to one, although more relentless pressure cut open the Sharks defence for a second time after 27 minutes as Aaron Smith went in under the posts.

    And after Swiel squandered another penalty, the competition pace-setters were shocked when Christie was on the end of a huge maul from the visitors leaving the home crowd dumbstruck at 24-9 after only 34 minutes.

    Fortunately, Swiel found his range with a tough kick after the hooter leaving the deficit at 12 at the changeover.

    Jake White's men needed a big second half and they got the perfect start with Swiel landing three more points after Ben Smith failed to roll away.

    Things got better for them when Joseph Wheeler received a yellow card for playing the man in the air at an attacking line-out - Swiel bringing the gap to just six.

    The Durbanites failed to capitalise on their man advantage, with the Otago side taking the lead back to nine points with 14 minutes to play through another Sopoaga penalty.

    Fekitoa then scored the try of the game when he collected the ball on the halfway mark and weaved his way through a whole host of players, before touching down close to the post to seal the bonus-point point try and with it, the win.

    Scorers:

    Sharks: 18 - Penalties: Tim Swiel (6)

    Highlanders: 34 - Tries: Richard Buckman, Aaron Smith, Shane Christie, Malakai Fekitoa; Conversions: Lima Sopoaga (4); Penalties: Sopoaga (2)

    Teams:


    Sharks:


    15 Lwazi Mvovo, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Sibusiso Sithole, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira

    Substitutes: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Tera Mtembu, 20 Ryan Kankowski, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Heimar Williams, 23 SP Marais

    Highlanders:

    15 Ben Smith, 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Shane Christie, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Chris King, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Kane Hames

    Substitutes:16 Ged Robinson, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Ma'afu Fia, 19 Josh Bekhuis, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Trent Renata, 23 John Hardie


    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    257 comments
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    • Blitz
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
    • SS1
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
    • SS2
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
    • SS3
      Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    Most Read
    Commented
    /Sport

    Fixtures

    13 February 2015
    • Crusaders v Melbourne Rebels, Christchurch 08:35
    • Brumbies v Reds, Canberra 10:40
    • Lions v Hurricanes, Johannesburg 19:10
    14 February 2015
    • Blues v Chiefs, Albany 08:35
    • Sharks v Cheetahs, Durban 17:05
    • Bulls v Stormers, Pretoria 19:10
    15 February 2015
    • Waratahs v Western Force, Sydney 07:05

    Results

    02 August 2014
    26 July 2014
    19 July 2014
    12 July 2014
    11 July 2014
    06 July 2014
    05 July 2014
    04 July 2014
    28 June 2014
    27 June 2014
    31 May 2014
    30 May 2014
    24 May 2014
    23 May 2014
    18 May 2014
    17 May 2014
    16 May 2014
    11 May 2014
    10 May 2014
    09 May 2014
    03 May 2014
    02 May 2014
    26 April 2014
    25 April 2014
    19 April 2014
    18 April 2014
    12 April 2014
    11 April 2014
    05 April 2014
    04 April 2014
    29 March 2014
    28 March 2014
    22 March 2014
    21 March 2014
    15 March 2014
    14 March 2014
    08 March 2014
    07 March 2014
    01 March 2014
    28 February 2014
    23 February 2014
    22 February 2014
    21 February 2014
    15 February 2014

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Does the Waratahs' Super Rugby victory give the Wallabies an edge heading into the Rugby Championship?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.