Cape Town - The Sharks retained their unbeaten status in the Currie Cup when
they secured a 37-21 win over the Golden Lions in Durban on Saturday.
The home side dominated for long periods although it took them
some time to get going as wet weather made handling and underfoot conditions
They eventually outscored the Golden Lions by four tries to
three and Robert du Preez finished with a 17-point haul courtesy of four
conversions and three penalties.
The Sharks opened the scoring in the third minute via a Robert
du Preez penalty but the visitors struck back in the eighth minute when Sylvian
Mahuza had an easy run-in for the opening try after gathering a perfectly
weighted crossfield kick from Shaun Reynolds.
Reynolds added the extras but that would be the last time the
visitors would trouble the scorers during the opening period as the Sharks
would dominate the rest of the half.
Du Preez added two further penalties which would give his side a
9-7 lead midway through the half.
In the 24th minute, Kobus van Wyk gathered a pass from Curwin
Bosch on the Lions' 22-metre line and set off on superb run, in which he beat
three defenders, before offloading to Dan du Preez, who crossed for the home
side's first try.
10 minutes later, Du Preez turned provider and after gathering
the ball at the back of a scrum on the Lions' five-metre line, he offloaded to
Louis Schreuder, who dotted down despite the attentions of two defenders.
Four minutes later, things went from bad to worse for the men
from Johannesburg when Marvin Orie was yellow carded for foul play after an
off-the-ball incident with Hyron Andrews.
And just before half-time, Luke Stringer extended the Sharks'
lead when he barged over from close quarters after Dan du Preez was stopped
close to the try line in the build-up.
Robert du Preez converted all three tries which meant the home
side held a comfortable 30-7 lead at half-time.
The Sharks continued to dominate after the break and secured
their bonus-point try in the 49th minute when Schreuder threw an inside pass to
Dan du Preez, who crossed for his second try from close range.
The Lions were more competitive during the rest of the match and
on the hour-mark James Venter scored their second try off the back of a lineout
drive deep inside Sharks territory.
In the 75th minute, Wandisile Simelane did well to boot the ball
upfield and beat Sbu Nkosi in a foot race before diving on the ball behind the
home side's tryline to add some respectabilty to the final score.
Tries: Dan du Preez (2), Louis Schreuder, Luke Stringer
Conversions: Robert du Preez (4)
Penalties: Du Preez (3)
Golden Lions 21
Tries: Sylvian Mahuza, James Venter, Wandisile Simelane
Conversions: Shaun Reynolds (3)
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Luke Stringer, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Gideon Koegelenberg, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle (captain), 1 Juan Schoeman
Substitutes: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Ruben van Heerden, 19 Jacques Vermeulen, 20 Cameron Wright, 21 Sbu Nkosi, 22 Aphelele Fassi
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Shaun Reynolds, 9 Ross Cronje (captain), 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Len Massyn, 6 James Venter, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Rhyno Herbst, 3 Johannes Jonker, 2 Pieter Jansen, 1 Sti Sithole
Substitutes: 16 Corne Fourie, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 Reinhard Nothnagel, 19 Driaan Bester, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Gianni Lombard, 22 Wandisile Simelane