Currie Cup

WP rock Sharks to win Currie Cup title

2017-10-28 17:41
Damian Willemse (Gallo)

Durban - Western Province scored 18 unanswered points in the second half to stun the Sharks and the Kings Park faithful to win the Currie Cup in Durban on Saturday. 

The Sharks had led 21-15 at half-time, but an error-ridden display from the hosts in the second period cost them their first title since 2013. 

In the end, it finished 33-21 to the visitors. 

You simply cannot win rugby matches if you don't secure ball from your set piece and you miss first-time tackles, and the Sharks will know that better than anyone after this encounter. 

The Western Province scrum dominated all evening, while poor tackling from the Sharks in the second half cost them dearly. 

The visitors never stopped believing, and like they were in Durban two weekends ago, they were simply too clinical for the men in black and white. It is coach John Dobson's first piece of major silverware as Western Province coach. 

The Sharks were off to a flying start and were stopped just short of the line in the opening minute, but they didn't have to wait long to strike the first blow of the match. 

It came in fairy tale fashion as veteran Odwa Ndungane, playing his 251st and final game for the Sharks, finished off a move down the left flank in trademark fashion after Marius Louw had made the initial line break. 

Flyhalf Curwin Bosch kicked a good conversion from the touch line, and the hosts were 7-0 up inside four minutes. 

Province hit back straight away, and it came from their dominance at scrum time. 

Having already destroyed the Sharks front row in one scrum, the visitors did it again when they were just five metres out from the Sharks line. 

Nizaam Carr, immense for Province on the night, broke off the back of the scrum and played flyhalf Robert du Preez, who then found Huw Jones before the Scottish centre went over relatively uncontested. 

The Sharks continued to be bossed at scrum time, but they extended their lead to 10-7 with a well-struck Bosch penalty after the Province line was pinged for offsides. 

Then, on 18 minutes, the Sharks had their second.

Having kept it close for a number of phases, the Sharks forwards were edging their way towards the Province line. 

Jean-Luc du Preez had gone close, but his brother Dan capitalised on that momentum by picking up and darting over from close range. 

Bosch, this time, missed from the touchline but the Sharks had moved into a 15-7 lead. 

The Sharks were then dealt a massive blow when Jean-Luc du Preez was forced off the field with a twisted ankle, and the replays suggested that it was a bad one. 

With the Springbok end-of-year tour around the corner, that injury may hurt the national side too.

Robert du Preez then struck with a penalty to make it 15-10, but ill-discipline from WP hooker Bongi Mbonambi then cost his side another three points after he played Dan du Preez off the ball. 

Bosch kicked the resulting penalty, and the Sharks were 18-10 ahead as the half hour mark approached.

The threat of the Bosch drop goal had been well-documented in the build-up to the match, but when he did pull the trigger on that front it was out of nowhere. 

The Sharks had been pummelled in yet another scrum and when the ball eventually found its way to Bosch, the 20-year-old smashed a drop from just inside the Province half that sailed through the uprights. 

That put the hosts 21-10 up and in that moment Bosch displayed how much of an impact he can have in big matches. 

Carr then came close to scoring for WP, but replays showed that he hadn't grounded legally. But, from the resulting set piece, Province would get their reward. 

They were patient on attack and sucked in the Sharks defence before the space was created for Dillyn Leyds to score in the left corner. 

It was a try at the perfect time for Dobson's men and just the boost they needed going into half time, and even though Robert du Preez struck the upright with his conversion, WP had done enough to get right back in it and they trailed 21-15 at the break.

The second half was always going to be intense, and it was the visitors who struck with two tries in five minutes to rock the Sharks. 

Bosch, so important for the Sharks in the first half, was at fault defensively for both tries. 

First, he was steamrolled by Carr off the base of a scrum before the WP No 8 offloaded to Cobus Wiese to score an easy try. 

Du Preez missed that conversion to leave his side 21-20 down, but they were ahead when Seabelo Senatla also ran over Bosch before offloading to Jones. 

The WP centre beat Sharks fullback Garth April far too easily, scoring his second try as WP took a 27-21 lead to leave Kings Park silent.

A Robert du Preez penalty on the hour mark made it 30-21 to WP, who had taken 20 minutes to score 15 unanswered points in the second half as the WP flyhalf began to grab a hold of the contest. 

If the Sharks were going to win their first Currie Cup since 2013, it would take a serious effort in the final quarter. 

Bosch, having a nightmare second half, then missed a second routine penalty on the day that would have closed the gap. 

As the Sharks continued to be owned in the scrums, they battled to create the pressure they needed to mount a serious challenge in the final minutes.

Rob du Preez then kicked his third penalty, taking it out to 33-21, and the Sharks were well and truly beaten.

Sport24's @LloydBurnard is in Durban covering the Currie Cup final...

Scorers

Sharks 21 (21)

Tries: Odwa Ndungane, Dan du Preez

Conversion: Curwin Bosch

Penalties: Bosch (2)

WP 33 (15)

Tries: Huw Jones (2), Dillyn Leyds, Cobus Wiese

Conversions: Robert du Preez (2)

Penalties: Du Preez (3)

Teams:

Sharks

15 Garth April, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Odwa Ndungane, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit

Substitutes: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Tristan Blewett, 23 Rhyno Smith

Western Province

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.

Substitutes: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Kobus van Dyk, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Werner Kok, 23 Dan Kriel

Read more on:    sharks  |  western province  |  currie cup  |  durban  |  rugby
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