Vodacom Super 14

Sharks win Durban thriller

2010-04-03 19:02
Ruan Pienaar (File)
Durban - The Sharks overcame a 12-point deficit to defeat the Reds 30-28 in their Super 14 match in Durban on Saturday.

The Reds led 21-9 two minutes after half-time, with flyhalf Quade Cooper inspiring some dazzling backline play.

Sharks captain John Smit admitted his team had to change their tactics in the second half.

"We were too loose in the first half. The Reds have got some unbelievable backs and we realised we had to tighten things up and play in their half."

The match turned when the Sharks started to control play with their forwards. The Reds conceded penalties in trying to stop rolling mauls, which in turn led to the Sharks winning lineouts and driving again.

Reds captain Will Genia said his team had opted for a running strategy.

"Coming out after half-time we started really well and we thought we did enough to win it. But the Sharks absorbed a lot of pressure and played really well."

The Sharks dominated the first ten minutes after kicking off into the wind and took an early lead through a Ruan Pienaar penalty goal.

But Cooper transformed the match with some dazzling individual play in the 11th minute.

With his team on the attack for virtually the first time, he made a break which took the Reds into the Sharks 22.

The movement broke down but when the ball was recycled the flyhalf jinked past three defenders to score under the posts.

Although the home team took the lead again, with Pienaar landing two more penalties, the Reds looked the more dangerous team on attack and they scored a second try two minutes before half-time when Cooper's pass put Will Chambers into a gap and the centre forced his way over.

Cooper converted both tries to put the Reds 14-9 ahead at half-time.

Fullback Peter Hynes made two probing runs at the start of the second half before Cooper again put Chambers into space for the Reds' third try.

But the Sharks hit back almost immediately and tries by right wing Odwa Ndungane, flank Jacques Botes and left wing JP Pietersen put them 30-21 ahead, only for the Reds to come back with a try by replacement prop Greg Holmes 12 minutes from the end.

The Reds earned two bonus points, scoring four tries and losing by fewer than seven points.

The Sharks had injury worries, with Smit leaving the field clutching an elbow eight minutes from time. Eighthman Ryan Kankowski and lock Alistair Hargreaves were also hurt.

In next weekend's Round 9 action, the Sharks have a bye while the Reds travel to Johannesburg to face the Lions.

Teams:

Sharks:
15. Patrick Lambie, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Stefan Terblanche, 12. Riaan Swanepoel, 11. JP Pietersen, 10. Andy Goode, 9. Ruan Pienaar, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Alistair Hargreaves, 4. Steven Sykes, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. John Smit (captain)

Substitutes: 16. Craig Burden, 17. Tendai Mtawarira, 18. Wilhelm Steenkamp, 19. Jean Deysel, 20. Rory Kockott, 21. Andries Strauss, 22. Lwazi Mvovo

Reds:
15. Peter Hynes, 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Will Chambers, 12. Anthony Faingaa, 11. Digby Ioane, 10. Quade Cooper, 9. Will Genia (captain), 8. Jake Schatz, 7. Daniel Braid, 6. Scott Higginbotham, 5. Van Humphries, 4. Adam Byrnes, 3. Laurie Weeks, 2. Sean Hardman, 1. Ben Daley

Substitutes: 16. Saia Faingaa, 17. Greg Holmes, 18. Jack Kennedy, 19. Rob Simmons, 20. Leroy Houston, 21. Ben Lucas, 22. Rod Davies

Read more on:    super 14  |  durban  |  cape town  |  reds  |  sharks
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