Sharks go back to the top

    2014-04-12 21:25

    Johannesburg - Lwazi Mvovo gas scored a superb chip-and-chase try to secure a 25-12 victory for the Cell C Sharks over the Lions Saturday and top spot in the Super Rugby  on the Super 15 table.

    As it happened: Lions v Sharks

    The Durban franchise were just three points ahead in a fiercely contested South African derby at Ellis Park in Johannesburg when fullback Mvovo struck 13 minutes from time.

    Centre S'bura Sithole forced a turnover near the touchline and Mvovo darted down the flank, caught his chip and darted over to land a decisive blow against the Lions.

    Francois Steyn, who started at inside centre and moved to fly-half midway through the opening half when Fred Zeilinga pulled a hamstring, converted.

    The 2007 Rugby World Cup winner added a penalty to complete the scoring and give the Sharks a two-point lead at the top.

    Sharks have 27 points, with the Brumbies on 25 and the Chiefs on 24 on the combined standings.

    It was the sixth victory in seven outings for Jake White's men, but five of the matches have been at home.

    Lions remain ninth with 16 points as an eight-match sequence of winning two games and then losing two continued having failed against the Crusaders last weekend.

    "That was a really tough game and it took us a long time to score a try against a brilliant Lions defence," said Sharks hooker and skipper Bismarck du Plessis.

    "We have made a good start to the season, but there is a long road ahead and the last five league games will be crucial."

    Lions No. 8 and skipper Warren Whiteley praised his team-mates for battling bravely to try and avenge a 37-23 early-season loss in Durban.

    "We matched the Sharks for 60 minutes, but were not clinical enough when the team got close to the try-line," he admitted.

    "Let me give credit to the Sharks for capitalising on our mistakes -- some of those penalties from Francois Steyn were magnificent."

    Steyn slotted two monster early-second half penalties to earn the Sharks a six-point advantage after the first half finished 6-6 before a 30 000 Ellis Park crowd.

    Zeilinga kicked two early penalties within a minute before being forced off and leading Super 15 scorer Marnitz Boshoff also potted two shots at goal.

    Boshoff slotted two more penalties in the second half, raising his season total to 121 points, and Steyn landed his third penalty before Mvovo struck.

    Sharks host second-last Cheetahs next Saturday a couple of hours before the Lions tackle the Stomers, who are the bottom team in the standings, in Cape Town.


    Lions - 12: Penalties: Marnitz Boshoff (3)
    Cell C Sharks - 25: Try: Lwazi Mvovo; Conversion: Frans Steyn; Penalties: Fred Zeilinga (2), Steyn (4)



    15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Deon van Rensburg, 13. Lionel Mapoe, 12. Stefan Watermeyer, 11. Courtnall Skosan, 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9. Faf de Klerk, 8. Warren Whiteley (captain), 7. Willie Britz, 6. Derick Minnie, 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Martin Muller, 3. Julian Redelinghuys, 2. Willie Wepener, 1. Schalk van der Merwe
    Substitutes: 16. Robbie Coetzee, 17. Corne Fourie, 18. Ruan Dreyer, 19. MB Lusaseni, 20. Jaco Kriel, 21. Ross Cronje, 22. Elton Jantjies, 23. Alwyn Hollenbach


    15. Lwazi Mvovo, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. S’bura Sithole, 12. Frans Steyn, 11. JP Pietersen, 10. Fred Zeilinga, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Stephan Lewies, 4. Willem Alberts, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1. Tendai Mtawarira

    Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Dale Chadwick, 18. Lourens Adriaanse, 19. Etienne Oosthuizen, 20. Keegan Daniel, 21. Stefan Ungerer, 22. Heimar Williams, 23. SP Marais

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