Sharks force scrappy win

    2015-03-28 19:07

    Durban - The Sharks have burgled a 15-9 victory over the Force Saturday after an error-strewn Super 15 match in Durban.

    As it happened: Sharks v Force

    Despite being outplayed for much of the game at Kings Park stadium, Sharks bagged four points and climbed four places to third on the table.

    It was the third consecutive victory for the Durban outfit, who will play far better than they did against the Force and lose in the southern hemisphere inter-provincial rugby championship.

    What the Sharks did achieve was crossing the try-line twice during the second half through fullback SP Marais and left-wing Lwazi Mvovo.

    Replacement flyhalf Fred Zeilinga converted one and slotted a penalty after taking over the goal-kicking duties from original playmaker Francois Steyn.

    The South Africans also tormented the Australians at many scrums, despite the absence of banned hooker and skipper Bismarck du Plessis.

    But they were embarrassingly poor in many other facets of the game and won only one third of the possession in a game that will quickly be forgotten by both teams.

    Beaten by a last-minute penalty from Northern Bulls ace points scorer Handre Pollard last weekend, Force once again were left wondering how they lost.

    Coach Michael Foley and his squad take two losing bonus points back to Perth, but it could have been eight from two victories with more clinical finishing and a little luck.

    SA-born fly-half Sias Ebersohn kicked two penalty goals for the Force and centre Luke Burton succeeded with the late kick at goal that secured the bonus point.

    Force, suffering a sixth straight loss after shocking title-holders the New South Wales Waratahs in the opening round, had two tries disallowed by New Zealand referee Nic Briant.

    While TV replays suggested loose forward Ben McCalman had scored a legitimate pushover try in the opening half, the television match official told the referee he was unsure.

    The match officials were correct to disallow a score by another loose forward, Sam Mafi, with 12 minutes left as McCalman obstructed a would-be Shark tackler.

    The pick-and-go style of the visitors helped bring them close to the try-line, but the Sharks always managed to keep the Australians out.

    Ebersohn slotted two penalties from three attempts to leave the Force 6-0 ahead at half-time after one of the worst halves in Super Rugby history.

    A blindside break by scrum-half Conrad Hoffman triggered a movement that ended with Marais diving over in the corner for a try three minutes into the second half.

    Zeilinga kicked a penalty just past the hour to nudge the Sharks into an 8-6 advantage and then came two minutes that settled the outcome.

    Ebersohn fluffed a simple penalty attempt and Sharks hit back with a Marais break that set up Mvovo to dive over and Zeilinga converted.


    Sharks: 15 - Tries: SP Marais, Lwazi Mvovo; Conversion: Fred Zeilinga; Penalty: Zeilinga

    Force: 9 - Penalties: Sias Ebersohn (2), Luke Burton



    15 SP Marais, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frans Steyn, 9 Conrad Hoffman, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Jean Deysel (captain), 6 Renaldo Bothma, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Mouritz Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Kyle Cooper, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

    Substitutes: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Daniel du Preez, 21 Stefan Ungerer, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Waylon Murray


    15 Luke Morahan, 14 Marcel Brache, 13 Kyle Godwin, 12 Luke Burton, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Alby Mathewson, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Kane Koteka, 6 Steve Mafi, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Sam Wykes (captain), 3 Tetera Faulkner, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pekahou Cowan

    Substitutes: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Oliver Hoskins, 19 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 20 Angus Cottrell, 21 Ian Prior, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Dane Haylett-Petty

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