31 - 27
2014/07/19 | 17:05 |  Super Rugby | Kings Park, Durban |  Full Time
Super Rugby

As it happened: Sharks v Highlanders

2014-07-19 19:05
Last Updated at 02:26

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Commentary by Sport24's Herman Mostert

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Sharks flank Marcell Coetzee on the charge... (Gallo Images)


Sharks captain Bismarck du Plessis received the best player award.

The Sharks have qualified for the Super Rugby semi-finals for the 8th time in their history! They will face the Crusaders in Christchurch next weekend, while the Waratahs will host the Brumbies in Sydney.

FULL-TIME: Sharks 31-27 Highlanders

Well done to the Sharks. They were the better team. Their utter dominance at scrum time proved key in this victory!

80' - The Sharks successfully take the restart and McLeod sends it to Lambie who boots it out. The Sharks win!

79' - PENALTY slotted by Steyn.

Sharks 31-27 Highlanders

78' - Steyn will line up with 62 seconds left on the clock...

There will be time for one more play after this.

78' - Oh dear, Chavhanga drops the ball with an open tryline in front of him. But referee Steve Walsh goes back for a penalty advantage.

77' - With 3 minutes left, the Sharks are playing the game in the right side of the field - inside the Highlanders 22m area.

75' - The Highlanders try to run it out from deep inside their own territory but knock it on after some good pressure defence from the Sharks...

73' - The Sharks are in front with 7 minutes remaining!

73' - PENALTY slotted by Steyn.

Sharks 28-27 Highlanders

72' - Yet again the Highlanders scrum collapses in front of their own tryline. Penalty to the Sharks. Steyn to line up an easy kick...

Adriaanse and Chadwick are now on at prop for the Sharks, by the way.

71' - Oh dear, Jean Deysel knocks the ball on with the tryling begging... He did remarkably well to barge through a few defenders close to the tryline but lost the ball as he stretched out to score.

70' - Sharks throwing everything at the Highlanders now, but key errors are halting their charge...


Sharks have been good in parts, but handling skills in SA rugby are still lacking. Some appalling drops tonight - David Moseley

67' - Lambie will play flyhalf.

67' - Sharks subs: McLeod on for Reinach and Lambie on for Sithole.

63' - CONVERSION by Sopoaga.

Sharks 25-27 Highlanders

62' - TRY to the Highlanders!

Centre Phil Burleigh scores another sublime try for the Highlanders.

It started after Reinach failed to kick out which enabled Ben Smith and Patrick Osborne to counter from halfway.

58' - JP Koen is now on at prop for the Highlanders. He was born in Springs and played for the Valke back in the 2002 and 2003 seasons.

The 30-year-old simply cannot scrum any worse than the Highlanders have tonight...

57' - Steyn misses his conversion attempt to the right...

Sharks 25-20 Highlanders

55' - TRY to the Sharks!

The Sharks attack on the blindside and replacement wing Tonderai Chavhanga sprints about 35m to score in the corner. Pace to burn! And he didn't even pull a hamstring!

53' - CONVERSION by Steyn.

Sharks 20-20 Highlanders

52' - TRY AWARDED to the Sharks!

Bismarck du Plessis is credited with the try after pouncing in a loose ball which spilled out at the base of the scrum...

52' - TMO CALL

The Highlanders scrum crumbles right on their own goal-line. The Sharks pounce and think they may have scored...

51' - No they can't. JP Pietersen loses it in contact after several phases. The Sharks' composure is letting them down a bit here tonight...

50' - Sharks inside the red zone. Can they finish?


Frans Steyn launches a kick down-field... (Gallo Images)

48' - Sharks sub: Tonderai Chavhanga on for Lwazi Mvovo at left wing.

47' - PENALTY slotted by Sopoaga.

Sharks 13-20 Highlanders

45' - Kickable penalty for the Highlanders as Willem Alberts is caught off-side inside the red zone...

The Highlanders got into the favourable field position after SP Marais let a ball bounce which ended up bouncing horribly for the hosts.

44' - This time there's some effective maul defence by the Highlanders - and again they counter up-field...

43' - The Sharks win a penalty close to the touchline when the Kiwis transgress at a Sharks driving maul. The Sharks opt for five-metre a lineout...

42' - The first scrum of the second half again yields a Sharks penalty...

42' - Highlanders sub: Tom Franklin on at lock for Jarrad Hoeata.

41' - The Sharks must just go back to basics here. Play with the forwards and not give the Highlanders any loose ball to counter-attack with.

18:05 - Welcome back for the second half as Sopoaga starts play!


I think if the 'Landers get first try of 2nd half, big question will be: do the Sharks have another gameplan? - Rob Houwing

HALF-TIME: Sharks 13-17 Highlanders

The Sharks must be wondering just how they find themselves behind at the break...

40' - CONVERSION by Sopoaga.

40' - TRY to the Highlanders!

Prop Kane Hames rounds off a simply remarkable team try. It comes after the Highlanders took a quick tap inside their own 22m area...!

39' - The Sharks are penalised at the ensuing driving maul and the Highlanders counter up-field...

38' - Smith's decision backfires after the Sharks win a penalty on the ground...

A brilliant punt down-field from Steyn gives the Sharks a lineout on the Highlanders 22m line.

37' - The Highlanders win a kickable penalty but scrumhalf Smith takes a quick tap instead...

36' - Steyn's penalty attempt hits the right-hand upright. The Highlanders gather and clear...

34' - Another penalty at scrum time for the Sharks. Steyn will line up a tough kick from close to the touchline...

33' - Fekitoa also scored a brilliant individual try in the game earlier this season when the Kiwis upset the Sharks 34-18 at the same ground. For the Sharks' sake, lets hope this is not a bad omen...

32' - Sopoaga lands  the tricky CONVERSION.

Sharks 13-10 Highlanders

31' - TRY to the Highlanders!

All Black centre Malakai Fekitoa scores a brilliant individual try after bursting through the Sharks midfield defence. He sprinted about 35m to round off...

30' - Sharks sub: Jean Deysel has replaced Anton Bresler, who appears to have picked up a rib injury. He looks in severe pain.

29' - PENALTY converted by Steyn.

Sharks 13-3 Highlanders

28' - A Sharks penalty in range after the Highlanders go off-side at another dominant Sharks driving maul...

Steyn, knowing he has the advantage, attempts a cross-kick which doesn't work out, but referee Steve Walsh goes back for the penalty.

26' - SP Marais lines up a drop goal from halfway. It's a terrible kick but ends up working out fine as it rolls out in the corner close to the Highlanders tryline!

25' - PENALTY converted by Lima Sopoaga.

Sharks 10-3 Highlanders

24' - A kickable penalty for the Highlanders as Jannie du Plessis is caught off-side in the middle of the park...

Lima Sopoaga will line up from about 35m out...

23' - A Sharks free-kick at the ensuing scrum gives them the chance to get out of the danger zone. My word, these Kiwis are struggling at scrum time...

22' - The visitors are almost over, only a late knock on saves the Sharks - and SP Marais' blushes...

21' - A mistake from SP Marias who kicks out directly into touch to give the Highlanders a great attacking chance in the red zone...

18' - The Highlanders launch a counter attack via a brilliant break from scrumhalf Aaron Smith. Only some good scrambling Sharks defence keeps them out... 

17' - NO TRY!
Replays show Du Plessis' knee touched the ground before he got up and attempted to score. A penalty is awarded to the Highlanders instead for a double movement by the Bok prop.

Sharks captain Bismarck du Plessis is not happy, but the correct call was made...

17' - TMO CALL!

Jannie du Plessis appears to have gone over under the posts, but the TMO is called into action. I think it's a try...

15' - The Sharks are almost in again but Sithole is tackled out in the corner.

However, a skew lineout throw close to their own tryline then puts the Kiwis under more pressure.

The Sharks opt for another scrum...


Highlanders set piece a massive concern early on - Laurie Fisher

14' - CONVERSION slotted by Steyn.

Sharks 10-0 Highlanders

12' - TRY to the Sharks!

Marcell Coetzee barges over after a dominating driving maul following a lineout.

It's Coetzee's 8th Super Rugby try and 3rd this season.

10' - The Sharks absolutely demolish another Highlanders scrum! They get a penalty close to the touchline. They set up a lineout...

9' - Kankowski steals a Highlanders lineout to bring the Sharks inside the red zone, but a later knock-on halts the hosts' charge...

8' - The second scrum of the game is also a solid one by the hosts. That's an area they MUST target today...

5' - The Sharks win a penalty in the first scrum of the game. It gives Steyn the opportunity to get them out of their own half...

4' - A bit of an aerial ding-dong battle going on at present. Both teams reluctant to run...

2' - That last penalty has taken Steyn past 150 points this season.

2' - PENALTY slotted by Steyn.

Sharks 3-0 Highlanders

1' - An early kickable penalty to the Sharks who attacked strongly inside the Highlanders 22m area. Steyn will line up, about 20m in from touch.

17:06 - It's a real poor crowd in at Kings Park. Plenty of open seats for a knockout game!

17:06 - Frans Steyn gets the game started!

17:01 - The Highlanders will be in their predominantly green away kit today, with the Sharks in their customary black and white.


The Highlanders going through their paces prior to kick-off - Alistair Hogg


Lock Stephan Lewies has pulled out for the Sharks shortly before the game. He is replaced by Ettienne Oosthuizen with Tera Mtembu coming in on the bench.

Lewies has a tendinitis problem in his knee.


Sport24 Editor Garrin Lambley and Chief Writer Rob Houwing give their views - and predictions - on the Sharks v Highlanders playoff clash

Click here to hear their thoughts...


If the Sharks beat the Highlanders today, they will play the Crusaders in Christchurch in the semi-finals?


Sharks coach Jake White has drawn inspiration from 2014 Soccer World Cup champions Germany ahead of his team's playoff clash against the Highlanders.

Click HERE for the full article...


A midfield match-up, the scrumhalves, the battle between the pilferers on the deck and an arm-wrestle at scrum-time come under focus as Sport24 pinpoints a quartet of areas that could tilt the balance between the Sharks and Highlanders.

Click HERE to read the full article...


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Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Cobus Wessels (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)


2014: Highlanders won 34-18, Durban
2013: Highlanders won 25-22, Dunedin
2012: Sharks won 28-16, Durban
2010: Sharks won 30-16, Dunedin
2009: Sharks won 23-15, Durban
2008: Sharks won 19-17, Dunedin
2007: Sharks won 23-16, Durban
2006: Sharks won 26-11, Dunedin
2005: Highlanders won 43-7, Durban
2004: Sharks won 36-35, Dunedin



15 SP Marais, 14 Sibusiso Sithole, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Paul Jordaan, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frans Steyn, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Ettienne Oosthuizen, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1 Thomas du Toit

Substitutes: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Tera Mtembu, 20 Jean Deysel, 21 Charl McLeod, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Tonderai Chavhanga


15 Ben Smith (co-captain), 14 Richard Buckman, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Patrick Osborne, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Nasi Manu (co-captain), 7 Shane Christie, 6 Elliot Dixon, 5 Joe Wheeler, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Chris King, 2 Ged Robinson, 1 Kane Hames

Substitutes: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Matias Diaz, 18 JP Koen, 19 Josh Bekhuis, 20 Tom Franklin, 21 Fumiaki Tanaka, 22 Trent Renata, 23 Gareth Evans

Welcome to Sport24's LIVE scoring and interactive commentary on today's Super Rugby match between the Sharks and Highlanders in Durban!

  • 80'

    PENALTY, SHARKS, STEYN! 31-27. Steyn adds another three-pointer for the hosts, after several Highlanders are caught offside one defence!

  • 80'

    The sharks win the restart and set up a ruck, before the ball comes out to Pat Lambie, who boots it into touch! The final hooter has sounded and the Sharks have booked their spot in the semi-finals. It was a close and entertaining match but in the end, the hosts are deserved winners. The Highlandrs delivered a gallant display, but in the end they came up just short. The Sharks face the Crusaders in Christchurch next weekend and the Waratahs host the Brumbies in the other semi-final in Sydney.

  • 80'

    Sharks 31 Highlanders 27

  • 78'

    The Sharks are on the attack inside the Highlanders' 22 but the visitors are showing great resilience on defence! Chavhanga and Pat Lambie are both stopped just short of the line!

  • 76'

    The Highlanders are running the ball from all areas of the field. JP Koen is knocked back by a huge hit from Deysel, but does well to hold on to the ball. The ball is recycled but then Joe Wheeler knocks on!

  • 74'

    PENALTY, SHARKS, STEYN! 28-27. Steyn gives the home side a one-point lead, from the kicking tee, after the Highlanders' front row are penalised for illegal scrummaging.

  • 72'

    Deysel takes the ball up, inside the visitors' 22, and goes through two tackles but loses the ball as he crosses the try-line!

  • 71'

    Bismarck du Plessis carries strongly and is eventually brought to ground inside the Highlanders' 22. The visitors get out of jail when Ryan Kankowski plays the ball from an offside position at the ensuing ruck.

  • 69'

    Sopoaga sees an opening behind the Sharks' 22 and boots the ball deep into the hosts' 22. Marais does well to track back and hoofs the ball upfield.

  • 66'

    Gareth Evans goes on a mazy run, from just inside the Sharks' half and is soon inside the hosts' 22! He is hauled in by Pietersen and is soon penalised when he fails to release the ball on the ground. Steyn puts the resulting penalty out on his 10-metre mark.

  • 64'

    CONVERSION, HIGHLANDERS, SOPOAGA! 25-27. Sopoaga puts the visitors back in front, with a well-taken place-kick!

  • 63'

    TRY,HIGHLANDERS, BURLEIGH! 25-25. The Highlanders launch a counter-attack, from close to the halfway line, and Patrick Osborne carries strongly into the Sharks'' 22. He draws in two defenders before getting a pass away to Phil Burleigh, who scores the visitors'' third try!

  • 60'

    The Highlanders attack, close to the Sharks' 22 but Sopoaga spots a gap and stabs a grubber kick through which rolls into touch, just inside the home side's corner flag!

  • 58'

    The sharks launch an attack, just outside their 22, but Alberts knocks on a pass from Reinach and the Highlanders have a great opportunity to strike back from a scrum.

  • 56'

    TRY, SHARKS, CHAVHANGA! 25-20. bismarck du plessis runs onto a pass from Deysel, close to the Highlanders' 10-metre line and draws in a defendr before offloading to Tonderai Chavhanga, who outsprints the cover defence before dotting down in the left-hand corner!

  • 54'

    CONVERSION, SHARKS, STEYN. 20-20. We're level again as Steyn adds another two-pointer!

  • 53'

    TRY, SHARKS, B DU PLESSIS! 18-20. The Highlanders battle to control the ball at the back of a scrum, on the visitors' five-metre line, and Elliot Dixon tries to clear but the pass goes forward. Nasi Manu tries to get out of the way, behind his try-line where Bismarck du Plessis dives onto the loose ball!

  • 52'

    The Sharks are hammering away at the Highlanders' try-line! They take the ball through 11 phases until Pietersen knocks on when taking it into contac.

  • 50'

    Marais spots a gap behind the Highlanders' defence and launches a clearance kick which sails into touch on the visitors' 22-metre line.

  • 48'

    PENALTY, HIGHLANDERS, SOPOAGA. 13-20. Sopoaga gives the visitors a seven-point lead, after Alberts is pinged for side-entry at a ruck.

  • 46'

    The Sharks are under the cosh, inside their 22! Steyn manages to kick for touch but the ball is not out and Patrick Osborne and Aaron Smith combine brilliantly to bring the ball back into the home side's 22.

  • 44'

    The Sharks put great pressure on their opponents at a scrum, just outside their 22! The Highlanders front are eventually pinged for deliberately wheeling the set-piece and Steyn puts the resulting penalty out five metres from the visitors' 22.

  • 41'

    Sopoaga gets the second half started with a deep kick which Jean Deysel gathers just outside his 22. He takes the ball into contact and his progress is halted by Christie.

  • 40'

    TRY, HIGHLANDERS, HAMES! 13-15. The Highlanders run the ball from inside their 22 with Ben and Aaron Smith, Buckman and Burleigh all prominent ball-carriers! They are soon inside the Sharks' 22 and Manu and Hoeata all handle before Kane Hames is in the clear and he gets in for the visitors' second try!

  • 40'

    CONVERSION, HIGHLANDERS, SOPOAGA! 13-17. Sopoaga adds the extras and the visitors go in to the break with a four-point lead! They've fought back magnificently after the Sharks were dominant in the early exchanges. The hosts will have to keep the Highlanders' dangerous backs at bay if they want to advance to the next round while the visitors will be keen to continue where they left off. We'll be back in 10 minutes.

  • 40'

    Sharks 13 Highlanders 17

  • 38'

    Fekitoa gathers a kick from Cobus Reinach wins vauable ground, just outside the hosts' 22, before it takes the combine efforts of Pietersen and Willem Alberts to bring him to ground.

  • 36'

    Steyn takes a shot at goal, after Kane Hames is penalised for a scrum infringement. His effort strikes the post and the visitors gain a reprieve by scrambling to gather the loose ball before Sopoaga puts the ball out on the edge of his 22.

  • 33'

    CONVERSION, HIGHLANDERS, SOPOAGA! 13-10. Sopoaga makes no mistake from the kicking tee, and the Highlanders are back in this game!

  • 32'

    TRY, HIGHLANDERS, FEKITOA! 13-8. Malakai Fekitoa runs on to a pass from Ben Smith, on the Sharks' 10-metre line, and shrugs off four defenders before crashing over!

  • 30'

    PENALTY, SHARKS, STEYN. 13-3.Steyn restores his side's 10-point lead after Shane Christie is penalised for illegally stopping a maul.

  • 28'

    Steyn launches a cross-field kick, for Lwazi Mvovo to chase inside the visitors' 22. Mvovo goes up for the ball with Ben Smith but the Sharks man knocks on in the air!

  • 26'

    PENALTY, HIGHLANDERS, SOPOAGA. 10-3. Lima Sopoaga gets the visitors' first points, with a well-struck place-kick after Jannie du Plessis is pinged for being offside at a ruck.

  • 24'

    The Highlanders' pack is blown up for an early shove at a scrum, on the Sharks' five-metre line. Steyn puts the ball into touch, midway between the halfway line and his 10-metre line.

  • 22'

    Buckman boots the ball upfield, and SP Marais gathers, before running into his 22. He kicks the ball out, close to the halfway mark, but the line-out is on the Sharks' 22-metre line as Marais carried it back.

  • 20'

    The Highlanders are on the attack, inside the Sharks' 22, but lose possession after Marcell Coetzee wins the ball on the ground, after a strong carry from Phil Burleigh.

  • 18'

    The Sharks are on the attack, close to the Sharks' try-line, and Jannie du Plessis goes over the try-line. Referee Steve Walsh calls on his TMO to make the decision and he rules that the big prop was tackled before going over the line!

  • 16'

    The Sharks are on the attack again and JP Pietersen is in the clear down the right-hand touchline! He is is soon inside the Highlanders' 22 and offloads to S'bura Sithole, who is tackled in to touch by Ben Smith!

  • 15'

    CONVERSION, SHARKS, STEYN. 10-0. Steyn adds the extras to extend the hosts' lead!

  • 14'

    TRY, SHARKS, COEETZEE! 8-0. The Sharks get their drive going, at the line-out, and Marcell Coetzee is in control at the back. When he spots the try-line he dives over for the game's first try!

  • 12'

    The Sharks put huge pressure on the Highlanders at a scrum and gain possession as they push the visitors off the ball! The visitors are eventually pinged for a scrum infringement, and Steyn kicks for touch putting the ball out on the five-metre line.

  • 9'

    From a scrum, just inside the Sharks'' half, the ball comes to Steyn, who kicks ahead. Richard Buckman gathers and beats the Sharks pivot with an outrageous side-step before being stopped by the hosts'' forwards where he sets up a ruck.

  • 6'

    There's a fair bit of aerial ping pong, as both teams boot the ball upfield in a bid to gain the best field position. The Highlanders eventually win that battle, when Steyn over-cooks one of his kicks and the visitors get the put-in at a scrum on the Sharks' 20-metre line.

  • 3'

    PENALTY, SHARKS, STEYN. 3-0. Steyn gets the game's opening points, from the kicking tee, after Hoeata is penalised for straying offside at a ruck.

  • 1'

    And we're off! Frans Steyn gets us underway with a deep kick which Jarrad Hoeata gathers inside his 22 where he sets up a ruck.

  • 0'

    Good day and welcome to our live coverage of the second Super Rugby play-off of 2014. This encounter sees the Sharks hosting the Highlanders at Kings Park Stadium in Durban both sides are highly motivated to follow the Brumbies by booking their place in the semi-finals. Don't go away! We'll be back shortly with team news.

  • 0'

    Highlanders full-back, and co captain, Ben Smith returns to the Dunedin-based franchise's starting XV for this crucial clash. Smith is back after missing last week's match against the Crusaders with a leg infection suffered a week earlier in Sydney. Additionally, there are two changes to the forward pack with Ged Robinson to start at number two and Jarrad Hoeata at four, which sees Tom Franklin move to the bench. In the back-line, Lima Sopoaga has been re-called to the playmaker position of flyhalf and will be partnering with Phil Burleigh in the 12 jersey. Trent Renata moves back to the bench as utility cover.

  • 0'

    The Sharks will have Springbok fly-half Pat Lambie on their bench for this play-off clash. Lambie returns from four months out with a torn biceps injury and takes the place of Fred Zeilinga, with Frans Steyn continuing in the ten position. Steyn directs an unchanged backline while the forward pack is also the same to the one that beat the Stormers in Cape Town last weekend.

Jump to

Sharks Highlanders
  • 3 Tries 3
    • 13' Marcell Coetzee
    • 53' Bismarck Du Plessis
    • 56' Tonderai Chavhanga
    • 32' Malakai Fekitoa
    • 40' Kane Hames
    • 63' Phil Burleigh
  • 2 Conversions 3
    • 15' Francois Steyn
    • 54' Francois Steyn
    • 33' Lima Sopoaga
    • 40' Lima Sopoaga
    • 64' Lima Sopoaga
  • 4 Penalties 2
    • 3' Francois Steyn
    • 29' Francois Steyn
    • 74' Francois Steyn
    • 80' Francois Steyn
    • 26' Lima Sopoaga
    • 48' Lima Sopoaga
  • 0 Drop Goals 0
  • 0 Yellow Cards 0
  • 0 Red Cards 0
Team Line-ups
  • Thomas du Toit
  • Bismarck Du Plessis
  • Jannie du Plessis
  • Anton Bresler
  • Stephan Lewies
  • Marcell Coetzee
  • Willem Alberts
  • Ryan Kankowski
  • Jacobus Reinach
  • Francois Steyn
  • Lwazi Mvovo
  • Paul Jordaan
  • J.P Pietersen
  • Sibusiso Sithole
  • SP Marais
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • Kane Hames
  • Ged Robinson
  • Chris King
  • Jarrad Hoeata
  • Joseph Wheeler
  • Elliot Dixon
  • Shane Christie
  • Nasi Manu
  • Aaron Smith
  • Lima Sopoaga
  • Patrick Osborne
  • Phil Burleigh
  • Malakai Fekitoa
  • Richard Buckman
  • Ben Smith
  • Kyle Cooper
  • Dale Chadwick
  • Lourens Adriaanse
  • Ettienne Oosthuizen
  • Jean Deysel
  • Charl McLeod
  • Patrick Lambie
  • Tonderai Chavhanga
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • Liam Coltman
  • Matias Diaz
  • Juan Koen
  • Josh Bekhuis
  • Thomas Franklin
  • Fumiaki Tanaka
  • Trent Renata
  • Gareth Evans

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