Cape Town - A commanding first half performance saw the Sharks beat Boland 41-20 in Wellington on Friday.
The visitors moved to the top of the standings after another bonus-point victory, this time in an impressive away performance.
This was always going to be a tough task for Boland, who just weren't
strong or polished enough to keep up with one of the heavyweights of
With this result the Sharks confirmed their status as one of the
favourites to win the competition with three wins a row. They blew
Boland away in the first half, but took their foot off the pedal in the
second which resulted in a muddling second half.
The home side made life difficult for themselves early on when Marnus
Hugo was sent off for slapping the ball down with the Sharks on the
attack. The men from Durban spent the first 10 minutes of the game in
the Boland 22, a territorial dominance which enabled them to take an
early 14-3 lead through tries by Odwa Ndungane and Inny Radebe.
The Sharks were dominant in the scrums and dangerous on the
counter-attack which put a lot of pressure on the home side's defence.
They couldn't cope and slipped too many tackles, missing as many as 15
in the first half alone. It was this poor defence which allowed Andre
Esterhuizen to plant the ball on the line after barging through three
Chilliboy Ralepelle secured the bonus-point try for his team on the
stroke of half-time, driving over from a ruck after the Sharks secured a
5m line-out. It gave them a 29-3 lead at the break which effectively
ended the game as a contest.
Boland faught back in the second stanza with tries by Danwel Demas
and Sergio Torrens which gave them some hope of catching up with the
Sharks, but then Hanco Venter finished off a move which started with a
superb off-load by Keegan Daniel. Franco Marais added another
five-pointer before Boland captain Ryan Nell scored an individual try to
give the scoreline some respectability.
Tries: Demas, Torrens, Nell
Tries: Ndungane, Radebe, Esterhuizen, Ralepelle, Venter, Marais
Conversions: Bosch (3), April
15 Nico Scheepers, 14 Sergio Torrens, 13 Christopher Bosch, 12 Ryan
Nell (captain), 11 Danwel Demas, 10 Adriaan Carelse, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Zandré
Jordaan, 7 Jacques Engelbrecht, 6 Shaun Adendorff, 5 Hanno Kitshoff, 4
Shaun McDonald, 3 Basil Short, 2 Francois Esterhuyzen, 1 Stephanus
Substitutes: 16 Clemen Lewis, 17 Abongile Mnyaka, 18 Francois Hanekom, 19
Joubert Horn, 20 Kenan Cronjé, 21 Jovelian de Koker, 22 Theuns Kotzé
15 Curwin Bosch, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Heimar
Williams, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 S’bura Sithole, 10 Inny Radebe, 9
Stefan Ungerer, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Tera Mtembu, 6 Keegan Daniel (captain), 5
Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Chiliboy
Ralepelle, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Substitutes: 16 Franco Marais, 17 John-Hubert Meyer, 18 JC Astle, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Hanco Venter, 21 Wandile Mjekevu, 22 Garth April