Sharks demolish Bulldogs
Fred Zeilinga (Gallo Images)
Durban - The Sharks XV made a winning start to their Vodacom Cup campaign as they cantered to a 72-6 win (half-time 20-6) win over the Border Bulldogs at Kings Park in Durban on Friday.
Flyhalf Fred Zeilinga was the star of the show for the hosts as the pivot scored 32 points courtesy of two tries, two penalties and eight conversions.
Left wing Sizo Maseko and outside centre Tyler Fisher both crossed for two tries apiece as the Sharks XV ran in 10 tries in total with Border replying through two penalties from flyhalf Karlo Aspelling.
The Sharks XV grabbed their first try in the 18th minute after an incisive touchline break from eighthman Lubabalo Mtembu resulted in a five-pointer for right-wing S'bura Sithole.
Zeilinga converted the try before he and Aspelling once again traded penalties to leave the score 13-6 in the home team's favour after 27 minutes.
Fisher dotted down in the 29th minute after a powerful midfield surge from prop Allan Dell which saw the burly front-ranker gallop all of 20 metres.
The hosts then provided the try of the contest with just three minutes left in the half.
Border had been hard on attack, on the Sharks XV tryline, but they turned the ball over with Zeilinga breaking free before carrying the ball up to Border's 10-metre line before the pivot off loaded to Tyler who sprinted clear to score a converted try.
It took the Sharks XV less than two minutes of the second half to grab their bonus point try when Zeilinga stretched out to score in the tackle after the home team had opted for a quick, tap penalty five metres from Border's tryline.
The Sharks XV had into a 32-6 lead and they continued to impose their dominance as they ran in further tries through Maseko, inside centre Heimar Williams, replacement fullback Gouws Prinsloo, Zeilinga and lock Jandre Marais.
Sharks XV - Tries: S'bura Sithole, Tyler Fisher (2), Fred Zeilinga (2), Sizo Maseko (2), Heimar Williams, Gouws Prinsloo, Jandre Marais; Conversions: Zeilinga (8); Penalties: Zeilinga (2).
Border Bulldogs - Penalties: Karlo Aspelling (2).