Durban - Marcell Coetzee scored two tries as the Sharks bounced back from
defeat in their opening match of the Super Rugby season last week to
beat the Lions 29-12 in a rain-drenched contest at King's Park in Durban
on Saturday night.
AS IT HAPPENED: Sharks v Lions
The hosts were stunned by the Cheetahs on the
same field seven days earlier, but did not make the same mistake twice
despite the difficult conditions.
Odwa Ndungane and Cobus Reinach
crossed for first-half scores, before flank Coetzee's double added to
nine points from the boot of Patrick Lambie giving new director of
rugby Gary Gold his first win.
The Lions made the stronger start
in the driving rain and were rewarded with an early penalty when Coetzee
was caught offside - the resulting penalty well-converted by Marnitz
Boshoff, whose four goal kicks kept his side in the contest for most of
The Sharks, who appeared to be struggling more with the
conditions, hit back by winning a scrum penalty in the eighth minute,
which was slotted over by Lambie.
It was 3-3 by the end of an
error-strewn opening quarter, but things improved on the scoreboard
thereafter, although Lambie did miss what looked an easier second kick
on goal that fell well short after Jacques van Rooyen was penalised for
But the Sharks' flyhalf made amends for the miss
by setting up the opening try with his pin-point cross-field kick met
by the onrushing Ndungane, who took the ball in his stride and slid over
on a weakly guarded right flank.
Lambie missed with his
conversion, but the Sharks would soon claim a second try after good
initial work from Renaldo Bothma through the middle was followed by a
clever dummy from Reinach, before he stretched over.
Boshoff penalty when Bismarck du Plessis was penalised at the scrum
helped the Lions cut the gap to nine points at the break when it was
After the restart, they had a chance to further
eat into that lead when Tera Mtembu erred during a maul, but Ruan
Combrinck's kick from wide on the right struck the upright.
However, Boshoff did reduce the gap with his kick from right in front of goal after an illegal challenge by Bothma.
uncharacteristically blew a third kick on goal, this one for penalty
scrum, before the hour mark, giving the Lions further belief, and they
moved to within three of the Sharks when Boshoff landed his fourth
penalty following a ruck infringement.
But the Sharks punished
them when they opted for a penalty line-out on 63 minutes, with the
resulting drive leading to a Coetzee drive over - and Lambie finally
hit the target for a vital conversion.
The Lions did have a
chance to come back, but Lionel Mapoe failed to release a key pass on
attack and the subsequent danger was cleared.
With four minutes
to play the visitors lost captain Warren Whiteley to a yellow card and
the Sharks made the most of their advantage with a driving maul for a
bonus-point score courtesy of Coetzee to close out the win.
The Sharks picked up a full-house of five points for their victory and moved to second in the SA Conference. They also jumped into fifth spot in the Overall standings.
The Lions left empty-handed and remaining rock bottom of both the SA Conference and Overall log.
In next weekend's Round 3 action, the Sharks travel to Loftus Versfeld to face the Bulls (Saturday, February 28 at 17:05), while the Lions welcome the Stormers to Emirates Airline Park (Saturday, February 28 at 19:10).
15. SP Marais, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Waylon Murray, 12. Heimar Williams, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Patrick Lambie, 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Tera Mtembu, 7. Renaldo Bothma, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4. Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis (captain), 1. Dale Chadwick
Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Thomas du Toit, 18. Matt Stevens, 19. Marco Wentzel, 20. Jean Deysel, 21. Conrad Hoffmann, 22. Fred Zeilinga, 23. Andre Esterhuizen
15. Andries Coetzee, 14. Ruan Combrinck, 13. Lionel Mapoe, 12. Howard Mnisi, 11. Courtnall Skosan, 10. Marnitz Boshoff, 9. Ross Cronje, 8. Warren Whiteley (captain), 7.Warwick Tecklenburg, 6. Derick Minnie, 5. Franco Mostert, 4. Martin Muller, 3. Ruan Dreyer, 2. Malcolm Marx, 1. Jacques van Rooyen
Substitutes: 16. Robbie Coetzee, 17. Schalk van der Merwe, 18. Julian Redelinghuys, 19. JP du Preez, 20. Ruaan Lerm, 21. Faf de Klerk, 22. Elton Jantjies, 23. Harold Vorster