Sharks snatch last-gasp win

2011-07-22 21:42

Nelspruit - A blinding run from centre Marius Joubert in the dying minutes saved the Sharks as the defending Currie Cup champions clinched a 23-22 win over the Pumas in Nelspruit on Friday night.

Last season the Pumas had recorded a 22-21 victory over the Blue Bulls at the same Mbombela Stadium, but this time their defences broke within sight of another upset win.

The first half evolved into a battle of the flyhalves.

The Pumas took the early lead when Tiaan Marx slotted a penalty in the sixth minute, but French international Frederic Michalak levelled the scores three minutes later, setting the tone for the first half hour.

Each time the Pumas pulled three points clear through Marx, the Sharks drew level via Dale Chadwick, with the scores even at 9-9 after 30 minutes.

The Pumas were unable to capitalise on a few brief forays into the Sharks' half before the visitors surged forward.

The home team's defence worked hard to hold them off, but the defending champions eventually broke through when Michalak went over in the 32nd minute before converting his own try.

Three minutes later, however, the Pumas struck on the counter attack.

Coenie van Wyk caught the Sharks defence napping, and after a solo effort down the right wing, dotted down to narrow the gap.

Marx converted to level the scores, and could have snatched back the lead for the hosts two minutes later but sent a long range penalty, booted from within his own half, sailing wide of the posts.

He made up for it in the dying seconds before the break, however, with a successful kick that gave the hosts a 19-16 advantage after the first period.

Sensing weakness, perhaps, the Pumas returned from the break with purpose and Marx almost immediately stretched the advantage with a penalty.

Marx missed for the second time in the match in the 54th minute, but the Pumas would have been confident of holding the lead as they kept the visitors at bay.

The Sharks, though leaving it late, managed to draw ahead again with four minutes left on the clock.

Joubert broke down the right wing and offloaded to Michalak inches before the line as the Frenchman went over for his brace.

Michalak, who scored all the Sharks' points, except for the Chadwick try, again converted to hand the visitors a nailbiting win.


Pumas 22 – Try: Coenie van Wyk. Conversion: Tiaan Marx. Penalties: Marx (5).

Sharks 23 – Tries: Frederic Michalak, Dale Chadwick. Conversions: Michalak (2). Penalties: Michalak (3).


  • Kleinboet - 2011-07-22 22:14

    So it was a French win against a very spirited Pumas team. If this is the best the Sharks can put on the table, it is going to be a lo-o-o-o-ng season for them! It also puts into perspective the quality of the Blue Bulls team who lost so badly against the Sharkies last week! The Cheetahs should walk over them tomorrow.

      gmain - 2011-07-22 22:51

      nee man kleinboet.... these small teams always have a tendancy to cause trouble. methinks rather it should be a warning to the other teams that the sharks mean business, even if I didn't see the game.... sigh.

      Dan - 2011-07-23 06:40

      I you knew anything about sport, you would have known that what happends today or against one team has absolutely nothing to do with what happens next week or against another team. For instance, the Bulls always stuggle against the Cheetahs and on the other hand, the Bulls always has some advantage over the Stormers - doesn't matter in which form those teams are. Ladt year the Bulls was rampand and the Cheetahs pathetic, but the Bulls struggled. This year the Bulls struggled and the Stormers was in sublime form, but the Bulls gave then a good hiding on Newlands. That is just the way sport works. Guard against becoming bigger then the sport, the next match will nock you right down to earth. Give the smaller provinces with NO resources some credit guys. We know they won't last the season, but at least they try. The PUMAS had 2 great matches against the big money spenders in SA rugby over the past 2 weekends and should have won both. To be honest not a single PUMA player will even make the starting lineup of any of the big unions, but still they gave it their all. Maybe something the big unions and Boks can learn from this. Be a bit more humble and play as a team!!!!! Good one PUMAS.

      Dwarslat - 2011-07-23 08:04

      Ek was gisteraand in die Mbombela stadium en het gekyk hoe die Pumas die Sharks van die veld af speel. Die telling was 22 - 16 in die guns van die Pumas met minder as 5 minute se speeltyd oor. Die Sharks was uiters gelukkig om die een te wen.

  • Ken J May - 2011-07-22 22:57

    How lucky can you get!.....but their luck will run out when the play the Lions!!

      gmain - 2011-07-22 22:59

      u right, cos then skill is gonna come into play. 52-17 to the sharks 8)

      Ken J May - 2011-07-22 23:05

      @ your bets!!!

      Dan - 2011-07-23 06:41

      you are not suffering from day dreams, you suffer from wet dreams!

      Pasi - 2011-07-23 09:34

      You're right Ken, the Lions were lucky last weekend too.

      gmain - 2011-07-23 10:16

      okidokie Ken. i will gladly humble myself here if the lions come even close....

  • mike - 2011-07-22 23:03

    While they have limited injuries and field there best team the Puma's will prove a tough nut to crack for all the sides. Only when there depth is tested that things start to go wrong.

      Dan - 2011-07-23 06:44

      True, the Bulls, Sharks and to a lesser extent the Stormers are all playing with a truely second/third team combination. People should try and keep their comments realistic. Still a great performance by the PUMAS though.

  • Bricktop - 2011-07-22 23:07

    Although sharks fans are disappointed I have to say that this happens every now and again. Just be thankful for the victory, you still have a good team that are real title contenders for this year. ps The pumas at home are not that shabby. Last year they beat the bulls there.

      Jason de Villiers - 2011-07-22 23:46

      You are dead right,a win is a win,especially in this years Currie Cup!

      GraemeBB - 2011-07-23 00:05

      I am sure the Sharks fans will be dissapointed. The question is how good are the Pumas in the context of this CC? And how well will they perform when the top teams gets back some players after the Tri-Nations, and the Bok squad is reduced to 30 players. For me, I think the Pumas are stronger than we give them credit for. So, the Sharks should be quite happy with the away win.

      Bricktop - 2011-07-23 11:19

      I also believe that the pumas are a lot better than what we give them credit for. If you tell me we can get a one point win on any away game I will take that. I really dont know what to make of this years currie cup. It is really difficult to weigh the teams.

  • brinjal - 2011-07-23 07:08

    I'm quite happy with an away win, Pumas ran the Lions close last weekend, they are always tough at the start of the CC.

  • Greenpoizn - 2011-07-23 07:21

    Well done Sharks but well tried Pumas

  • dnahill - 2011-07-23 08:19

    Did anyone else find it painful trying to watch the game on SuperSports Streaming site?

      gmain - 2011-07-23 10:17

      yes... a waste of time if u ask me.

  • Bulldozer - 2011-07-23 08:23

    Didn't I tell you all early in the week that the Sharks peaked in round one and that it is downhill from here on in? Plot point 1: 8.5. Plot point 2: 7.2. Where's my friend Bob.........sorry Rob? He heeds to see this.

      UCTstudent - 2011-07-23 09:57

      Anyone notice how they said that after Joubert ran down the wing he offloaded to Michalak for the Frenchmans brace? Didnt he only score one try? This reporting is starting to really annoy me!

  • Anneleen - 2011-07-25 08:36

    Well done Sharks, though you had my nerves on end! GO SHARKS...FOREVER!!!

      jk - 2011-07-25 08:59

      more mevrou anneleen...

  • di - 2011-07-25 17:51

    Aiiii Sharks! Tannie se hart kan dit nie vat nie! Pleeeeeez don't do that to your fans again! Or is it just so that we don't get complacent hahahahaha! The teams played havoc with Superbru predictions!

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