Sharks hammer Lions

2011-10-15 21:15

Durban - The Sharks secured a home Currie Cup semi-final with an emphatic 53-9 win over the table-topping Lions in Durban on Saturday.

The coastal side ran in seven unanswered tries to ensure they host the Cheetahs in next week's first semi-final at the same venue.

Earlier on Saturday the Cheetahs beat Griquas 49-39 to give them a glimmer of hope of hosting one of the playoffs but their win proved to be in vain as the Sharks registered a bonus-point win. Despite scoring 14 tries against the Leopards, it was still not enough for the Blue Bulls to advance to this year’s Currie Cup semi-finals.

Their fate was in the hands of Western Province, who had to grind their way to a bonus-point victory over the Pumas in Cape Town on Saturday to secure a spot in the top-four.

Province beat the Pumas 43-18 to finish the regular season with a point ahead of the Bulls on 41 points setting up a semi-final berth against the Lions in Johannesburg next Saturday.

It is the first time since 2001 that the Bulls have not secured a playoff spot. The Lions, however, will now take on Province in the second semi-final at Ellis Park next Saturday. The Sharks came out like a team possessed as they were chasing the bonus-point victory over the log-topping Lions.

The Johannesburg-based side, however, were not in a mood to dish out favours as their defence held strong in the opening minutes.

The visitors drew first blood thanks to flyhalf Burton Francis’ boot as he succeeded with a penalty conversion eight minutes into the match.

After a number of relentless attacks, the Sharks finally found a breach in the Lions’ defences as flyhalf Frederic Michalak scored under the cross-bar six minutes later, with the pivot converting his own try.

Michalak enjoyed a flawless kicking performance on the night as he converted all seven of his side's tries and added two penalty conversions to their score.

Francis reduced the hosts’ lead to one-point with another penalty conversion on the first quarter mark.

The Lions, however, received a costly blow with 11 minutes left in the first half when lock Michael Rhodes was sin binned for a tip tackle.

The Sharks soon capitalised on the advantage of having an extra player on the field as eighthman Ryan Kankowski scored a five-pointer with seven minutes left in the half.

Centre Marius Joubert received a quick ball from a ruck on the 22 metre line, and then offloaded to a speeding Kankowski who dove over for the try, with Michalak converting to take the score to 14-6.

The Sharks struck once again eight minutes after the restart when Willem Alberts made his presence felt coming off the bench.

Alberts wriggled and turned his way to score his first try since returning from New Zealand, with Michalak converting.

Francis pulled back another three points with his third attempt at goal to take the scores to 21-9.

The hosts, however, were unwavering in their pursuit of securing the home semi-final which saw Kankowski scoring his second and the side’s fourth try to clinch the bonus-point.

With the monkey of winning with a bonus-point off their back, the Sharks continued their expansive play as they added three more tries to comprehensively beat the leading side of the round robin stage.

JP Pietersen, Jacques Botes and Stefan Terblanche added the final three tries, while Michalak also added two penalty conversions in the final 15 minutes of the match.


  • duncan.willis - 2011-10-15 21:25


  • lawrencemd - 2011-10-15 21:45

    This is one game that was clearly rigged , for the sharks to get a home semi .. Just wonder how much money changed hands .. SA rugby corrupt to the core , bet you the bookmakers are smiling all the way SARU should investigate and ban the members involved

      Mitch - 2011-10-16 00:18

      You are a tool Sir!

      werner.smidt - 2011-10-16 10:01

      How would this benefit the bookies, by the way . . . you leave your claim hanging . . also. You have to remember, the Lions haven't faced this much pressure since 2003.

  • Pieter - 2011-10-15 22:35

    It would be nice if the Lions will also lay back next week-end and let us do what we want with them, just like they allowed the Sharks to do today. But, they are not in the first spot for nothing and we had better beware if we have visions of playing in the final! Province, first get to the final and then we will talk again! Still, go Province, bring the Currie Cup home to where it belongs!

  • gavin.simpson.0 - 2011-10-15 23:21

    Now who could be the Sharks as they played today? It's amazing what a diff the forwards made... good to a full team back on the field.

  • Skinfaxi - 2011-10-16 00:19

    So sad that the Lions didn’t show up for the game. I was expecting a good contest but it seemed as if the Lions already sitting pretty at the top of the log didn’t see any reason to put their bodies on the line for a dead rubber. I don’t think the Sharks or Sharks supporters should read too much into this game.

      Skinfaxi - 2011-10-16 01:17

      Firstly Shado I’m a diehard Sharks supporter. But not a loud mouth bragger. Secondly we started with Lambie and Ndungane,(returning bokke) both of whom had outstanding games. At that stage the Lions had most of their playmakers on the bench. Thirdly Bis, Jannie and Alberts ran on after half time not “Late in the game”. Lastly the biggest criticism of the Sharks this season has been that they blow hot and cold. We shouldn’t be celebrating that the problem is solved just because we blew hot today.

      gavin.simpson.0 - 2011-10-16 09:22

      Skinfaxi... I agree with what you say about blowing hot and cold... but when the Sharks are hot... no one could beat us. The Lions do not have enough players to compete with the team that drilled them on Saterday........ Sharks forever.

  • joeballito - 2011-10-16 02:25

    My humble opinion......The Cup is going to rust in Durbs for another year.......

  • Johan - 2011-10-16 07:08

    Congrats Sharks....Not nice to loose...but next week you face your nemeses. If you played like last night you will win....For the Lions....I am sure they will win WP next week....we had nothing to loose last night and hence most of the playmakers where on the bench. Next weekend's rugby is going to be awesome!

  • Zion - 2011-10-16 08:56

    Given the circumstances of the Bokke demise in New Zealand it was quite easy to predict the demise of the Golden Lions and their game. Were it not for the RWC boost they received they would have ended up on the bottom. The final outcome of the Currie Cup will prove that. Just a case of "from dust to dust".

  • Juan - 2011-10-17 09:13

    As a Lions supporter well done sharks you deserved it all the way, John tried some new things for us but it didnt work for us. Getting back to the drawing board. We have to win the wp at Coca Cola park. Go LIONS........

      werner.smidt - 2011-10-17 11:07

      I gotta say, as a Shark supporter, I'm a little disappointed in the Lions. . .I mean, this is a Leopards score.

      jacques.ackermann - 2011-10-18 17:07

      thanks juan please kick those worthless wp boys out of the CC. good luck and all the best

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