Cape Town - The Sharks, inspired by captain
Keegan Daniel, ran in four tries to deepen the crisis at the Blues with a 29-23 victory in their Super Rugby clash at Eden Park on
The Sharks scored tries through
lock Steven Sykes and fleet-footed hooker Craig Burden from intercepts
in the first 17 minutes but looked to have been reined in when the Blues
took the lead soon after halftime.
They roared back with tries
from Daniel and centre Tim Whitehead inside two minutes, however, to
open up a gap that the Blues could not bridge despite their obvious
desperation to clinch a second win of the season.
As it was, the
willing but error-prone Blues could manage only two tries through
experienced All Black prop Tony Woodcock and centre Benson Stanley and
remain rooted to the bottom of the New Zealand conference.
Number eight Daniel seemed to be all over the park, dogged at the tackle
and breakdown and dynamic with ball in hand and it was his intercept
and 50 metre run in the fourth minute that allowed Sykes to open the
"We haven't been very consistent on the trip but to
come to the home of rugby and get five points, we're very happy with
that," he said in a pitchside interview.
"We had to defend most
of the half and that's been one of downfalls so I'm proud of the way we
defended and then we scored the four tries to get the bonus point so
we're very happy."
Blues centre and World Cup winner Ma'a
Nonu, by contrast, typified his team's lack of cutting edge by running
into tacklers all evening and sharing in a glut of handling errors.
intercept tries, that's 14 gift points and against a team like the
Sharks that's too many points," said Blues skipper Keven Mealamu.
"The boys are trying really hard out there but these little things
really cost us, you can't win in this competition with that many
15 Rudi Wulf, 14 Hadleigh Parkes, 13 Benson Stanley, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Rene Ranger, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Chris Lowrey, 7 Daniel Braid, 6 Luke Braid, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 Keven Mealamu (captain), 1 Tony Woodcock
Substitutes: 16 Tom McCartney, 17 Tevita Mailau, 18 Ali Williams, 19 Peter Saili, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Michael Hobbs, 22 George MoalaSharks:
15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Louis Ludik, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Keegan Daniel (captain), 7 Jean Deysel, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Dale Chadwick
Substitutes: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Jandre Marais, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 Jacques Botes, 21 Meyer Bosman, 22 Frederic Michalak