Sharks down Blues in Durban

2011-02-26 18:50

Brenden Nel - SuperSport

Durban - The Sharks overcame difficult conditions and held their nerve to emerge 26-12 victors in a tough and uncompromising match at King’s Park in Durban Saturday.

With humidity and the wind playing more than a bit part in the game, handling errors abounded as both sides struggled with the conditions and reminded us why it isn’t a great idea to play rugby in the coastal city this early in the year.

Eventually it was left to the side who made the less mistakes and held their nerve in the arm-wrestle, and that side was the Sharks, who made better use of the conditions to score two tries without answer and keep their unbeaten record in the competition.

This was the seventh straight victory for the Sharks against the Blues, extending their hold over the New Zealand franchise.

With so much international quality on the field, it was hoped the game would be an open running spectacle, but because of the conditions it turned out to be a forward battle of attrition as both sides found few backline opportunities to break opposition defences.

It came down to a Blues mistake in the end, as Jacques-Louis Potgieter, on the field as a substitute, snaffled the ball one-handed to intercept Isaia Toeava’s pass out wide and then popped it up to a flying JP Pietersen who used his pink boots well to run 60 metres to score.

The try may have been against the run of play, but it certainly settled matters just when the Blues seemed to be finding their rhythm and were looking dangerously close to snatching a victory out of the Sharks grasp.

Considering the way the Sharks started, with Lambie scoring his first points of his 21 point haul when his grubber kick on the Blues line ricocheted against Benson Stanley and back into his hands with an open line in front of him, the Blues did well to stay in the game.

Lambie converted and then started a kicking duel with Stephen Brett as teams had to settle for penalty shots instead of flowing tries in the first half.

Leading 16-9 at the break, both sides struggled to break defences and the Blues – thanks to some try-saving heroics from Jerome Kaino and Alby Matthewson – were able to stay in the game. Matthewson pulled off two showstoppers in the game – beating Lwazi Mvovo to a chip and chase, showing his pace in the process and then ripping the ball from Willem Alberts’ hands when the big flanker was over the line and set to score.

Pietersen’s knock out blow came as the score sat precariously at 19-12 with the Blues heavily on attack, and it was a blow that they never recovered from. The Sharks now head overseas while the Blues will hope for better luck – and better conditions – when they go to Coca Cola Park next week to face the Lions.


  • sannahan - 2011-02-26 19:21

    Well done, Sharks. An excellent all-round performance. Good luck for the road.You can keep it up in OZ.

      Andy49 - 2011-02-27 15:25

      And another win for the sharks without their legend captain JS, ? do you really need him?

  • Zakhele - 2011-02-26 20:35

    Come on Sharks1 Vat daar hulle bulle! Pragting Patrick Lambie my seun! KZN is nie Pretoria nie. Kom Sharks! Kom die Sharks! Kom ECR seuns!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Kom my mense......!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

      Peter - 2011-02-27 07:09

      Why do Bulls supporters,those overweight bald boykies that wear the nose rings so their wives can drag them around, always show their ignorance when it comes to rugby? You are a bad advert for all South Africans and are the reason the overseas spectators call us all Japies....! Seem to recall your first win was due to a cheat...or is cheating part of your game plan, pcpcoetzee89? And the rest of your ecord in SuperRugby? Sharks overall record is far better...go check the record books....i assume you can read numbers?

      Pieter Wolf - 2011-02-27 07:39

      poep coetzee jou blou bul knaters hang oor jou oë.

      Spartan - 2011-02-27 10:34

      Zakhele, go my Zulu warrior!!! Poep Coetzee - S14 final teen die Sharks was 'n weggee deur Steve "I fcuked it up" Walsh. S14 final teen Chiefs, Danville se 014-b span sou die spannetjie kon klop op die dag. S14 final teen WP - well deserved. Bulls sal nie in finals wees 2011...

  • davidepascolo7 - 2011-02-26 23:15

    That is not Pat Lambie in your picture

      xperdt - 2011-02-27 00:34

      hahahahaahaha i think it's a model or a real rugby player?? hahahahahaha

  • Poodle - 2011-02-27 03:18

    The picture is of Rory Kockott it looks like... fail, especially considering he doesn't even play for the Sharks anymore!

      Peter - 2011-02-27 07:05

      cant be kockett..he has never played in the jersey..maybe JL Potgieter? But yeah,

      Ignobilis - 2011-02-27 11:07

      Louis Ludik?

      The Patriot - 2011-02-27 11:48

      I also think its Ludik

      Andy49 - 2011-02-27 15:23

      Bismark trying to better the failed drop kick effort of Spies.

  • Byron - 2011-02-27 07:16

    SHARKS FOREVER!! well done boys great performance all round!!!!

      Andy49 - 2011-02-27 15:24

      And another win for the sharks without their legend captain JS, ? do you really need him?

  • Vincent - 2011-02-27 07:31

    Well done to the Sharks. Very well played. Looking very good this year

      Andy49 - 2011-02-27 15:24

      And another win for the sharks without their legend captain JS, ? do you really need him?

      Vincent - 2011-02-28 10:42

      Lol. I am not a shark supporter. I think John Smit is useless, and the sharks will start struggling when he starts again

  • ChumScrubber - 2011-02-27 07:34

    Comfortable win actually, the Sharks fluffed an opportunity when Alberts did not pass. He also got over the line and lost the ball. So the score could have been more, great win for the Sharks. To those who judged the Sharks on last weeks game - do you admit you were a bit premature. pcpcoetzee89 is a poor advert for a Bulls rugby supporter!

      Andy49 - 2011-02-27 15:24

      And another win for the sharks without their legend captain JS, ? do you really need him?

  • Harry - 2011-02-27 09:13

    To Peter - You seem like an ignorant clown. You mention that the Bulls' first win was a cheat. What kind of supporter are you ? Always having excuses when your team bail out. What about the other 2 FINAL wins of the Bulls? A record win against the Chiefs AND CURRENT Super Rugby Champions? Yes, you can have all the second places in the world, but if you can't win the TITLE you're a looser !!! It also seems as if the non-Bull supporters can't stand the fact that the Bulls are by far the most successful SA Title winners in Super Rugby history (and CURRENT champs). These bald fat okes are doing a good job thank you. I agree that the Sharks are looking good this time of year (like in previous years) and I wish them well. However, please think before you make stupid comments. I know it must be difficult for you, but please try.

  • brinjal - 2011-02-27 09:44

    Brendan Nel, were you watching the same game, ffs give the Sharks a little more credit, it did NOT come down to a Blues mistake.

  • JanPierewiet - 2011-02-27 10:14

    I am a Bulls supporter, but this Sharks team is a pretty good outfit. They won yesterday with comfort to spare. They never looked like losing this one, even with Willem Alberts' two missed opportunities. Well done.

  • springbokke - 2011-02-27 11:25

    Oh come now...a good collegians team would have beaten the Blues on their present showing....I love to stir.

      RJ - 2011-02-27 11:58

      Agree Sharks are a bunch of plonkers...The Blues didn't have the heart to win them.

  • The Patriot - 2011-02-27 11:51

    Great performances in the wet. Bodes well for the NZ games. Bulls looking really average. Going down hill after there stint on the top me thinks.

  • Paddy - 2011-02-28 00:33

    Good god John Smit is not only an embarrassment to himself and the Sharks but to SA Rugby as a whole! He is clearly unfit and missed countless tackles. Please can’t he, Spies and Jacobregop Steyn disappear into politics or something?

  • Deon - 2011-02-28 08:49

    The Sharks look like the best SA team in this early stages of the season. Well done.

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